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5 Ways for a Physician or AP to Properly Frame Questions in a Job Interview

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Continuing our look at things you should and shouldn’t say during a job interview, we branch out from our last post, in which we discussed two things you shouldn’t say in a job interview, to look at five ways in which you should frame the questions you ask a potential employer, courtesy of Phyllis Maguire of Today’s Hospitalist.

1. Show interest in the entire program.

Don’t be one of those candidates who appears to want “the most amount of money for the least amount of work,” Dr. Dean Dalili, medical director of the Hospital Physician Partners hospitalist group at Rockledge, Fla.-based Wuesthoff Medical Center, advises.

2. Don’t complain about your prior positions.

According to Dr. Dalili, “Complaints about previous jobs can also be a deal-breaker, especially when they detail a candidate's frustrations with nurses, case managers, or multidisciplinary rounds.”

3. Instead, emphasize the lessons you’ve learned from previous positions.

This could include projects you “may have championed,” Dr. Dalili said.

4. Make sure your life narrative is plausible.

Continuing, Dr. Dalili said he tends to be more suspicious and “less drawn to [candidates] if I know in advance that they plan to be transient.

“…[C]andidates who have lived in the area or have family there…are less likely ‘to relocate out of the blue.’”

5. Ask why a group or hospital is hiring.

As Maguire writes, this shows curiosity about “group stability”: Are they hiring because of “growth, the addition of new services, or turnover?”

According to Dr. Jasen W. Gundersen, MBA, president and chief medical officer at TeamHealth Hospital Medicine in Tennessee, “asking about group stability is particularly important for doctors angling to move into leadership.”

“When the same director has been there seven years and it’s a small program, that director is never leaving," he told Maguire. “If that's the role you'd eventually like to fill, ‘you need to go somewhere else with more growth opportunity.’”

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what is some other information you would like to know from a potential employer? What is the best way to phrase and frame those questions?

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