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What is an Inappropriate Question to Ask on a Job Interview?

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We’ve discussed the appropriate questions to ask on a job interview, but what constitutes an inappropriate question?

According to a few experts who were interviewed by Gail Garfinkel Weiss, MSW, over at Medscape, an inappropriate question would delve into matters outside the professional confines of the interview.

This includes “questions relating to the personal status of coworkers, staff, or superiors. Never comment on race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or physical traits.” Questions about the income of people in the organization would also be off-limits. Any conversation that isn’t professional should be polite, vague, and strictly within the realm of small talk.

Instead, Patrick C. Alguire of the American College of Physicians, said, focus on “practice philosophy, a typical workday, anticipated responsibilities, teaching responsibilities, and opportunities for practice growth. Learn about your expected role in the practice, and what will be done by the practice to help make you successful. Getting an idea of staff, including physician turnover, and length of employment, can reveal much about the workplace atmosphere.”

Here then are 10 questions a physician recruiter gave to Garfinkel Weiss that would be considered appropriate:

1. What is the hierarchy and reporting structure, both clinical and administrative?

2. What levels of support staff will you work with?

3. How technologically advanced is the organization? That is, what tools and resources will you have at your disposal: EMR, onsite imaging, and so forth?

4. What support and tools will you have for routine tasks?

5. Can you choose your support staff?

6. What are the peer and quality review processes and expectations?

7. What are the call coverage rules?

8. What are the daily and weekly patient volume, size of patient panels, and productivity requirements?

9. What is the orientation period?

10. If you're moving to a new area, what are the licensing requirements and admitting privileges?

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what are some questions that you would never ask on a job interview?

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