Hospitalist Job Interview Tips

The hospitalist job is one of the fastest growing in healthcare. These physicians specialize in treating hospitalized patients, leaving primary care physicians more time to devote to their practices. The last step before securing this important job is a face-to-face interview with the prospective employer. Although this can be an intimidating prospect, preparation can help you master the interview. Here are a few tips.

1. Don't be late!

It may seem obvious, but the worst thing you can do is be late to your job interview, especially for a job with as much responsibility as a hospitalist. See if you can get to the interview location about ten minutes early. If you don't know exactly where it's at, find out! Don't be afraid to do a "test run" to the spot to make sure you know where it is.

2. Dress the part

A hospitalist is an important person who patients need to trust. Dress professionally to the interview with a full business suit or business dress. Keep the colors low-key and avoid excessive jewelry, make-up or perfume/cologne.

3. Radiate confidence

Body language is a huge part of your interview, maybe the most important part. Enter the interview room with confidence, make strong eye contact and give the interviewer a firm (but not overpowering) handshake. Sit straight up during the interview and keep both feet firmly on the floor. It's not a mistake to show a little nervousness, but you want the overall impression to be one of competence and stability.

4. Probing/background questions

The interviewers are interested to see what kind of person you are. They will ask some questions to see how you think about things and what your background is. Such questions could resemble the following:

  • Tell us about a time you had to resolve a crisis situation involving a patient.
  • What led you to choose a career as a hospitalist?

5. "What if?" questions

A hospitalist has a lot of responsibilities. The interviewers will ask some hypothetical questions to see how you react to stress or work in a team. Give these questions some thought before you answer...they are some of the most important you'll be asked. The questions may be like these:

  • A patient says your treatment differs from the one his primary physician proscribed. How would you respond?
  • Two patients are in a crisis situation at the same time. How would you choose which one to help first?

6. Research the hospital

The interviewers will also want to know if you are familiar with the procedures and policies of their institution. It would be a good idea to do some research on that particular hospital before your interview. In fact, see if you can speak to an employee or former employee to "get the feel" of the place.

7. Mock interview

Prepare for the interview by doing a "mock" interview with a friend or relative. This might seem awkward, but it will help you identify areas you need to work on. If you are uncomfortable with an answer in the "mock" interview, it will be just as uncomfortable with the "real" thing.