You’ve survived interviews for residency and fellowship, so many of these things should not be new but below are a few questions you should be prepared to answer when you go on your interview.
Know what you want. This is very important. You are entering the applicant pool as fellowship-trained which means that there is an expectation that you have a better sense of hospital medicine and what you want.
- What are you looking for in a hospitalist position and hospitalist group?
- What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? in 10 years?
- What are your interests (in education, quality/safety, IT, clinical research, etc)?
- If joining faculty, you may also be asked about tracks and FTE so have a sense of what is reasonable and out there.
Be prepared to answer questions about yourself
- Tell me about yourself. (This question sucks but it will inevitably come up so have an answer ready.)
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What leadership positions have you been involved with in the past?
Be prepared to answer questions about past behavior (that are often used in interviewing to predict future behavior). Here are some examples but there are many more out there:
- What do you think are some of the challenges as a hospitalist?
- Tell me about a time when you had a resolve conflict between two individuals or groups.
- Tell me about a difficult case and what you did in that situation.
- Tell me about a mistake and what you did and learned from that experience.
What questions do you have? You must be prepared to ask questions back so do your research and know who you are interviewing with. Tailor your question to who you are interviewing with. Make sure to also talk to different people within the division (junior and senior faculty).
- What changes do you foresee coming in your group?
- How does your group make decisions and deal with upcoming changes?
- What other activities are members of the group involved with outside of clinical endeavors?
- Is there a mentorship program for new hospitalists?
- Who do you think would be a good mentor for me?
- How do hospitalists advance or promote within the group?
- What is the rate of turnover?
- Don’t forget to ask about schedules: how many weeks of service, how many nights, how many weekends, call in house or at home, etc?
Gather more information. Either before or after your interview day, reach out to friends, other PHM fellows, any contacts you may have who can give you their thoughts of the program. Everybody naturally puts their best foot forward on interview day (you should be too) so you want to try to gather as much info as possible so you have a realistic picture of the job and the program.