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Physicians and APs: Don’t be All about Yourself on a Job Interview

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When you go to that first job interview, what kind of demeanor are you conveying? Is it one that is interested in the organization and its future, or is it one that is interested in yourself and your career and what you can get out of this job?

Now, ultimately, how the job will affect you is important to consider, but on the interview, it’s all about the organization and what you can contribute to its success.

According to an article by Gail Garfinkel Weiss, MSW, over at Medscape, physicians—and presumably other medical professionals, such as advanced practitioners—have lost job opportunities because they “displayed a ‘what’s in it for me?’ attitude.”

This is why we have recommended in the past not bringing up money or bonuses or vacation time or benefits “unless these topics are raised by the interviewer,” and Patrick C. Alguire of the American College of Physicians (ACP) concurs.

However, one physician recruiter interviewed for the article said you might want to consider addressing these matters before you even get your foot in the door.

Truthfully, I had never heard or read this suggestion before, but here is what the recruiter had to say:

“If the starting salary doesn't meet your expectations, speak up immediately so as to not delay a potential problem. Questions about benefits and time off can be saved for a later discussion with a human resources representative."

So what should you be worried about in the first interview?

Simple. According to the article, you should be concerned about your skills and your talents and whether they are a good fit for the practice or hospital and how they can benefit this particular employer.

Here’s one way from the article to broach this topic: “I understand that you have a well-respected sports-medicine program. After finishing a family-medicine residency, I completed a fellowship in sports medicine. I think my training would further enable this practice to offer a blend of general family medicine and sports medicine. How does that sound to you?”

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what skills and talents would you want to let a potential employer know about during the first interview?

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