Have you ever met a physician candidate who didn’t ask any questions? You’re waiting to hear what he or she wants to know about the organization, and yet you’re met with…silence.
If so, you’ll likely appreciate a recent PracticeLink feature article that offered six questions physicians should have in their interview quiver.
1. Why are you hiring for this position?
This is a chance to learn why the organization is recruiting a new physician and what that move might say about staff stability plus workload. Will administrators be replacing a retiring physician with an established patient panel or a recent hire who’s exiting, leaving just a budding practice? In either case, what does it say about the internal dynamics of the place and the challenges ahead? This question not only gives those doing the recruiting an opportunity to clarify issues, particularly about turnover but also gives candidates an opening to discover what they might inherit.
"If you don’t ask those questions," Eric J. Sedwick MBA, CPC, CPRP, system director for physician and APP support services/recruitment at Premier Health, tells candidates, "you could be walking into a dysfunctional practice, and in a year or two, you’re already looking for the next opportunity."
2. What would a day in the life of your practice look like for me?
This is a chance for candidates to investigate what the job entails. Getting down to work basics should elicit any number of follow-ups about the makeup of the patient panel to the number of clinic hours or procedures he or she will need to meet.
As Eleanor Hertzler, recruitment manager at Patient First, notes: "All of those questions are good to ask and will help give a generalized understanding of what to expect on a day-to-day basis."
3. Why do physicians enjoy working here?
This is a chance for candidates to learn what the environment is like. Candidates may be surprised hearing, for instance, that the day starts early but they don’t have to stay late. Or they can work remotely when they don’t need to see patients. Whatever the answer elicits, the response should reveal if the team is cohesive and the boss supportive. More importantly, are physicians valued for their contributions?
4. Who will support me in caring for my patients?
This is the chance for candidates to discover the capabilities of the team beginning with their future physician colleagues. Obviously, no one can complete the picture with just one visit. But highlighting this topic should still yield valuable intel about the credentials, strengths, even accessibility. More importantly, can they trust these individuals with their future patients?
5. What are my opportunities for growth?
This is a chance for candidates to see how their future might unfold. Physicians who eventually aspire to new and different heights - perhaps earning another degree or
landing a leadership role - will want to know if they’ll be encouraged to do so. By posing the question, they should get a sense as to the support - or lack thereof - for that
growth. Even better is to meet current team members who’ve accomplished new goals.
6. What’s your philosophy about work/life balance?
This is a chance for candidates to learn if their future bosses believe in the concept, and if so, how they define it. If candidates have itemized work/life balance as critical to being successful professionally and happy personally, then they’ll want assurances during the interview that it’s more than a trite phrase. As a recruiter, be prepared with examples from the organization.