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Questions Physicians and APs Should Ask and Answer on a Job Interview

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Continuing our look at what physicians and advanced practitioners should say and what information they should give on a job interview, we turn our attention to questions to ask and questions that might need to be answered, courtesy of Phyllis Maguire of Today’s Hospitalist.

First, here are three questions you might want to ask on a job interview:

1. Who makes decisions for the group and how much say do group members have?

2. How much influence will my position give me on major committees?

3. What's the relationship between administration and this department?

These are questions that Dr. Leah Berkery, a hospitalist with Albany, N.Y.-based St. Peter’s Hospital wishes she had asked on her job interview, Maguire writes.

“My own group has evolved from one extreme to another, from being uninvolved in the hospital power structure and viewed as glorified interns to becoming an independent department," Dr. Berkery said. "I know now how vital it is to work for a group that's fully integrated.”

Now, here are two questions you should be prepared to answer on a job interview:

1. What other organizations are interviewing you?

This is a question that Dr. Jasen W. Gundersen, MBA, president and chief medical officer at TeamHealth Hospital Medicine in Tennessee, will ask his interviewees. You might be inclined to think that these interviewees will refuse to answer the question, but Dr. Gundersen said they often do answer it.

But why does he put them in the position of having to answer it in the first place?

“It helps me frame up how competitive a package has to be if we get to that point.”

2. What goals do you have?

“I always ask people what they want to do when they grow up, and that can throw some people off," Dr. Gundersen said. "But it helps me know how a candidate might use the opportunities in one job toward preparing for another position.”

He added that he likes to hire the ones who “have admitted that they want his job,” Maguire writes.

Finally, here’s something you should clearly state at some point during or soon after the interview (if it’s true, of course):

“I’m interested in this position.”

According to the article, Dr. Viviane Alfandary, a John Muir Medical Group hospitalist, said her group “responds to candidates' overt enthusiasm for a position.”

“One candidate recently emailed everybody he met in the group and made it clear that he was interested," Dr. Alfandary said. "If you're wavering between two people, the one who shows the most interest is more likely to stay and is more likely to be offered the job.”

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what are some questions that you have had to answer on job interviews? What are some questions that you like to ask?

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