How to Get the Job you Want
Here is our guide for getting the job you want. Click any of the links below to jump right to that section and to get an in-depth overview of how to get the job that’s best for you!
Preparation for the Interview
What You Should Know About the Employer
What an Employer Should Know About You
Questions to Expect
Questions to Ask Before You Sign
The first essential step toward a successful interview is preparation for the interview. Potential employers are continually amazed at the lack of the applicants’ preparation regarding the position for which they are interviewing.
The following are necessary ingredients or a successful interview.
It is important to plan the image you with to present. Dress according to conservative codes regardless of what dress may be appropriate for the position you see. Dress in a professional, conservative manner, your personal taste may not be the best guide.
For men, wear a dark business suit with a white shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, well shined shoes, well-groomed hair, face and hands.
The same dress code applies to women. A suit light colored blouse, moderate jewelry, and accessories and pumps not sandals, will convey the most groomed, professional image.
Simply, the objective of the interview is to leave a favorable impression. So that all possibilities remain open to you, always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Your goal on an interview is to learn enough about the opportunity in order to make an intelligent decision, as well as leaving a favorable impression.
If your decision at the end of your discussion is to join that organization the proper positive attitude needs to have been prevalent throughout that interview. Do not assume that a job offer is automatic just because you have been invited in for an interview.
You will be making one of the more important decisions in your life. You also want to get the best offer possible. It is essential therefore that you prepare yourself by having done your “homework” and demonstrated a genuine interest in their organization.
The applicant should know the answers to the following questions prior to meeting a potential employer:
- What specialties or services does the organization provide?
- When was the organization established?
- How many physicians and other health care providers work for the organization?
- What other healthcare entities does the organization rely on or interact with?
- What is the training of the physicians who you would be working with?
- Is the organization privately owned or non-for-profit?
Thoroughly study their web site it may be a wealth of information. There are a variety of informative web-sites from which you can compile information on the organization to help you prepare to make a better connection with the people who will be interviewing you.
The employer’s goal is to determine if you have the necessary qualifications to do the job. Anticipate the questioning to be centered on two major areas: tangible and intangible.
It is important that you know all dates and locations pertaining to your educational and employment history. In addition, be prepared to discuss specifics regarding each position, detailed job dates, duties and responsibilities.
Throughout the interview the employer will be evaluating the tangible qualification and skills just presented, as well as determining your strengths, weaknesses and intellectual adeptness, with particular attention to the following five major areas:
- Communication skills – how well do you present yourself and your ideas?
- Your attitude – do you have a positive attitude about yourself and your career?
- Your aptitude – based on both educational and actual experience
- Your potential – how your attitude and aptitude combine to contribute to organizational goals.
- Your motivation – what are your short and long term career goals, what is your level of maturity, what is your personal motivation and reasons for success?
You have two main gals in the interview situation:
- Convince the employer that you can make a positive contribution to their organization that is equal or greater than their investments in your salary and your training.
- Convince the employer that you will be a compatible member of their team. Bear in mind that both you and the employer are selling and evaluating each other.
Listed below are the general guidelines for interview conduct:
- Plan to arrive a few minutes early – late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
- If presented with an application, fill it out neatly and completely even if you have brought your CV with you.
- Shake hands firmly and greet the interviewer with his or her surname.
- It is your responsibility to establish an immediate level of rapport so that you may communicate comfortable.
- Direct the interviewer to detail the duties of the position early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to their needs.
- Make sure that your positive traits are communicated to the interviewer in a factual and sincere manner.
- Emphasize your strong points and minimize your liabilities.
- Respond to each question thoughtfully, truthfully, concise and complete.
- Be aware of your posture and body language – they communicate attitudes and impressions.
- Never close the door on opportunity – always conduct yourself as if you were determined to get the position you are discussing.
- Manage the interview, do not take charge but establish equal status: not subordinate, not dominate.
- Why do you want to change jobs or why did you leave your last job?
- What do you identify as your most significant accomplishments in your last job?
- How many hours do you normally work per week?
- What did you like and dislike about your last job?
- How did you get along with your superiors and subordinates?
- Can you be demanding of your subordinates?
- How would you evaluate the organization you were with last?
- What would you like to tell me about yourself?
- What best qualifies you for the position?
- How long would it take you to start making a contribution?
- What do you know about our organization?
- What questions can I answer for you about our organization?
- What interest you most about the position?
- How would you structure the job and your position in the organization?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your career goals?
- How long will you stay with us?
- How have you kept up with your CME?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What did/do your father, mother, brothers, sisters do?
- Do you participate in civic affairs?
- Do you smoke?
- What motivates you at work?
- How much money do you want?
- Would you rather work alone or as part of a team?
- What would your current boss or colleagues say about you?
- Will you sign a non-compete employment contract?
- How much money do you make now?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you want the job?
- Tell me about a difficult case and how you handled it?
- Reason for hiring?
- If replacing departing physician reason for departure?
- How many physicians have left group in past 10 years?
- If replacing retiring physician their practice volume?
- What is expected clinical and surgical volume for new associate?
- What are primary and secondary service areas?
- How many competing specialist are in there?
- What are political or referral factors with other competing specialist?
- Ratio: Practice call? E.R. call? Any second call?
- What is current ownership structure?
- Expected frequency of getting called while on call
- Payer mix % Medicare/ Medicaid / Managed Care / Private / Other(s)?
- What is groups’ overhead percentage?
- Does group own office building?
- If Lease space number of years remaining?
- How many square feet , # exam rooms , # procedure rooms?
- Is billing done in house? What is the average tenure?
- Are there any spouses or relatives involved in the practice?
- If yes describe capacity, duties, if duties are financial what are checks and balances?
- What is typical weekly schedule of physicians?
- Description of equipment currently available at office?
- Description of hospital and equipment?
- Backlog time to schedule a new patient?
- Does group utilize P.A.’s.? Other assistants?
- Any anticipated or current support staffing availability issues with new or existing office?
- Last year group saw how many patients?
- First year Income guarantee range?
- Partnership top end potential?
- What is the productivity or bonus arrangement?
- Partnership available after how many years?
- How much is the partnership buy in?
- What is buy-in based on?
- Are there different levels of partnership?
- Is there a ownership available in real estate?
- Partnership income is distributed by what formula?
- How are existing versus new patients assigned?
- Review a sample copy of the employment agreement.
- Tenure / background of administrator?
- What is the history of the group? Year founded, mergers?
- What are the short and long-range business goals of the group?
- Are regular staff meetings held? Do all of the doctors attend?
- Status and type of of EMR?
- What type of promotions are conducted to help new physician establish their practice?
- What other duties will you have - administrative, managerial?
- Do not smoke or chew gum.
- Avoid answering questions with a simple yes or no – relate back to your own accomplishments and skills as much as possible.
- Do not lie.
- Never make derogatory statements about your present or former employers.
- Make sure that the employer realizes that your interest is based on a positive opportunity that they may have, and not a reaction to anything negative that you are currently involved in.
- Do not inquire on subjects such as salary, vacation, bonuses, retirement, or any other benefits – Only after the employer has broached the issue may you open yourself to discussion. When the employer initiates the subject of salary, indicate that your interest will be based upon the organization, its employees the position and the opportunity. If those aspects are positive to both you and the employer, express your belief those terms can be reached fairly and amicably.
- Do not be overbearing, overly aggressive, conceited, or leave the opinion that “you know it all.”
- Do not be evasive or make excuses for unfavorable factors in your background.
- Do not display the attitude of “what can you do for me.”
If you are interested in the position, make a declarative statement. You must make a definitive, qualified statement that expresses interest without saying you’ve made a decision. E.g.:
- I’m very interested in this opportunity and I’d like to move forward. What is the next step, where do we go from here? Would it be possible to get a sample employment contract so I can review it and get back to you after I review it?
Human nature being what it is means that if you like them they will like you all the more and increase your position for future discussions.
Your goal before leaving the interview is to know more than: “That was a nice job I wonder what happens next?”
If after the interview, your decision has not been made and you wish some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. However, make sure you set a definite date when you can provide that answer. In many cases, the employer may want to communicate with other members of their team before making a decision. Do not be discouraged if a direct offer is not made or a specific salary discussed.
Even in that situation, try to set a specific date when these matters can be discussed further. When the interview is coming to a close, keep in mind that there are two questions uppermost in the employer’s mind: Are you really interested in taking a position if offered and are you qualified to do the job. Confirm with the interviewer that you have answered both of these questions in their mind. And thank them for their time and consideration.
Regardless of your desire to actively pursue the position, a follow up telephone call and email extremely beneficial. The content of that call and email should include:
Your appreciation of their time and consideration and provided you wish to pursue the opportunity reiterate:
- Your confidence in your abilities to handle the position
- Your interest to be part of their organization and a definitive statement expressing your decision that you want to move forward so you can make the most informed decision available to you.
It may also be stated that your commitment to accepting this position was based on a thorough analysis by yourself and your family subsequent to the interview. In closing, express your belief that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
If your decision is not to pursue the opportunity a gracious thank you with how difficult the decision was is in order at the earliest possible convenience. You don’t want to be “that person” who never gave the courtesy of a reply.
Golden Rule #4
Remember in every step of your interview process you don’t really have a decision to make until someone sends you get a contract to actually sign!