Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Interview Skills Michael A. Gisondi, MD Program Director Northwestern University Interview Skills ..and the 10 Things That The Other Program Directors Don’t Want You to Know! Disclosure: I want you to match at the very best program for you. #1:Interviewers are looking for reasons to reject you. It is just the opposite: we want to find the best! 4 Interviewing = Talent Search 5 #2: Interviewing for residency is just like interviewing for medical school. Truth: Residency is a job. 6 This is a job interview! PLAY THE PART Dress Appropriately Firm Handshake Be Mature Say Thank You 7 What are we looking for? • Professionals • Goal-oriented • Self-starters • Evidence of achievement • Learners who can pass the tests • Employees who won’t complain 8 What is the 3am Test? 9 #3: Your interview begins at 9am in the ED offices and will conclude at 3:30pm. Every point of contact is an interview. 10 Who is interviewing you? • The program coordinator when you call to schedule (and re-schedule) your interview. • The receptionist who sits in the lobby with you during your interview day. • The resident who is giving you a tour of the ED. • The nurses on your second look day. • Everyone. 11 Two Truths About Me: • I offered interviews to three candidates that I was impressed with at the SAEM residency fair last year. • I have rejected candidates who I have met at residency fairs. 12 #4: The optional pre-interview social is truly optional. Not anymore. 13 Pre-Interview Social What to expect: • Occurs the night before or the night of your interview • Some residents will be there (not all of them!) • Faculty or alumni may be there • There may or may not be food, alcohol • You will learn a lot about the program 14 #5: There is a delicate balance between doing your homework and kissing ass. Come prepared. 15 Before your interview… • Read the website • Read the information sent to you about the interview day • Know who runs the program (PD, APD, Chair) • Ask your advisor what they know about the program 16 #6: There are no stupid questions. Truth: There are lots of stupid questions. 17 Some general rules…. • Do not ask the program director about shift length, vacation requests, days off, etc. • Do not ask the residents questions exclusively about shift length, vaca requests, days off… • Do not waste your time with the program director by asking questions that you could have answered by reading the program website. • Have a good reason for your questions. 18 Always ask a question! • No questions = disinterested • Some back-up questions: 1. What do you like best about this program? 2. Why did you come here/why do you stay here? 19 #7: You must wear a navy blue suit and a white shirt to your interview. Dress professionally. Plan for weather, lost luggage. 20 21 #8: Interviewers will never ask illegal or inappropriate questions. Prepare for the difficult questions. 22 The illegal and inappropriate questions • Marital status • Arrest history • Dependants • Ethnicity • Sexual orientation • Religious preference • Personal health • Rank Number 23 #9: Post-interview contact is against the NRMP rules. One rule for both sides: be honest! 24 Post-interview contact • Thank you notes • The Second Look • “I plan on ranking you highly….” 25 #10: It is wrong to “no show” 26 #10: It is wrong to “no show” Late cancellations are bad too! 27 A lot of effort goes into your interview day…. What to expect: 5-8 hour interview day! • Pre-interview social the night before • Continental Breakfast, Lunch • Tour of facilities, Conference • Several interviews • Time with the residents 28 DO NOT: • Cancel less than 2 weeks ahead • Cancel via ERAS website only • No show 29 Take-Home Points • We are looking for talent – Impress us! • This is a job interview – Be professional, prepared! • Play by the rules, be honest, and be yourself! 30 Final Words of Advice: 1. Find advisors that will tell you the truth about your candidacy 2. Don’t trust blog websites GOOD LUCK!