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Physicians, APs: Be Careful about Discussing Salary in a Job Interview

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Have you ever left a job interview, thinking to yourself, “Man, I just screwed that up!” I can guarantee you that you’re probably in the majority, as most of us have given at least one (usually more than one) bad interview in our time.

Over at Salary.com, contributing writer Alesia Benedict offers “7 Ways to Screw Up a Job Interview.”

One way to screw up a job interview is to talk about salary too early on.

Determining when to discuss salary is always a fine line to walk in an interview, and I’m not sure there’s any right answer to this. The main reason this topic is problematic in general, Benedict writes, is because “this question shifts the focus to what you want for yourself as opposed to the value you will provide to the company.”

She advises “to wait as long as possible into the process until salary is discussed. This lets employers know you also care about things like your job description, whether you’re the right fit for the company’s culture, etc.”

For the physician or advanced practitioner, you should never make money the focus of the initial interview. Your goal is to show an employer your team mentality, your patient-oriented focus, and your ability to lead during turbulent times.

One of the most negative images a medical professional can convey is a focus on money, especially in a time when hospitals and healthcare organizations are trying to prove that they aren’t overcharging patients, that they’re only administering necessary tests and exams, and that they’re eradicating waste from their processes and revenue cycle.

An effective interviewee will communicate an understanding of these goals and how they can assist in achieving them.

Finally, physician and advanced-practitioner salaries are hardly a secret. There’s a plethora of material on what the average medical professional makes in their specialty with that information broken down according to state and region.

When you walk into the job interview, you should already have an idea what you’ll be making, knowing that the specifics will inevitably arise. If the dollar figure isn’t what you’re looking for, then you simply say no to the job. If they want you enough, then they’ll be interested in negotiating further.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, when do you broach the topic of salary in an interview? Do you bring it up or do you wait for the organization to bring it up?

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