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Physicians, APs: Emphasize Your Strengths, not Weaknesses in an Interview

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As we continue to explore ways in which you can screw up a job interview, as delineated by contributing writer Alesia Benedict over at Salary.com., we turn now to the subject of skills.

Previously, we explored reasons why you shouldn’t discuss salary in a job interview; why you should be careful about asking when a decision will be made; why you should research an organization before the job interview; and why you should focus your answers on what you can do for an organization, not on what they can do for you.

Another way you can screw up a job interview is by asking for training in basic skills.

There’s one major reason why this is a significant no-no in a job interview, Benedict writes, and that is: You’re emphasizing what you can’t do over what you can do.

“Emphasize the skills you bring,” she urges, “not the deficits about which you are concerned.”

So, they have an EMR platform that you’ve never used before. Talk about how well you adapt to new technology. You’ve never handled certain duties before; talk about the duties you have performed and how successful you were in bringing quality care and service to patients and their families.

Benedict puts it this way: “Compile a number of job-history anecdotes that exemplify your strengths and help you respond readily to interview questions.”

And what if you do need training in certain areas? She writes that “it’s certainly not a negative to ask about future training and development opportunities, [but] don't hurt your chances by inquiring about training for skills you should already have. It not only makes you look unqualified, it also shows a disregard for the qualifications listed in the original job listing.”

If your credentials in the right areas are impressive and exceptional, chances are the organization will be willing to provide you with training in other areas. Besides, there are many areas in which physicians have to be trained right now. Emphasizing what you do know over what you don’t know is more beneficial to both you and the employer in the long run.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, in a job interview, how do you communicate your strengths over your weaknesses? How do you turn potential areas of weaknesses, such as a lack of training in a certain area, into a representation of your strengths?

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