You’ve combed through hundreds of job postings, sent out carefully crafted cover letters and resumes. The HR manager just called to set up an interview. So now, do you know how to crush your interview in style?
Dress for Success
Don’t skim over this topic. Too many candidates think the way they dress is acceptable, while HR managers shake their heads. Before you go, does your outfit follow these guidelines?
Wear your most professional attire.
No one ever failed a professional interview for dressing too conservatively with too much class.
For the ladies: tasteful blouses with high necklines should be subtle, solid colors or minimalist prints. Skirts should come to the knee or below. Solid, straight legged pants tend to be the most flattering on any figure. Make sure clothes fit comfortably.
Impress them with your personality with your personality, not your clothes.
For the men: Suits and ties in dark colors tend to be timeless. A bolder tie can be interesting with a solid suit and light shirt, but save silly ties for #FunFriday AFTER you land the job. Wear socks with your dress shoes. Again, stay simple; a patterned sock like argyle, might be acceptable if it coordinates with your shirt, but don’t try to be witty with your sock choice.Crush your interview: Dress for success - no one ever failed an interview for being too classy! Click To Tweet
Of course, dressing for success includes fastidious personal grooming and hygiene. Minimal use of fragrances is important, especially in the medical field. Nails should be clean, trimmed and clear or neutral colors for female applicants.
Take time to study the practice and specialty. Get to know recent medical advancements in their specialty or be able to discuss related current events and your related interests or experience. If the practice is on social media, follow them, get to know what matters to them.
If possible research the careers of the supervising physicians for whom you’ll be working. Be able to talk about why you would like to work with this physician or what types of physicians you have successfully worked with in the past.
If you go into the interview with the attitude that you just want any job, you won’t look like you want this one.If you go into the interview like you'd be happy with ANY job, you won't land this one! Click To Tweet
Prepare your own questions!
Be ready to ask about the practice and expectations for you as a provider.
- How much training will be required? What is the salary during the training period?
- How much supervision and time with the physician will I have each week? Is the physician open to mentoring and guiding new hires?
- If so, what does that look like? (You want autonomy, but also a physician who will help you grow as a provider because ultimately you want to provide excellent care for every patient. Some chart review and time with the physician each week should be part of a truly collaborative practice.)
- What is the turnover for Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners?
- If there is high turnover, the practice may have high expectations or the supervising physician may be unreasonably demanding. It may be appropriate to ask “To what do you attribute the turnover?” and let them add details.
- Avoid too many questions about call times and schedules. Ask once about the expected schedule, then let it go. Making call seem very important gives the appearance of laziness to the HR manager. Save further questioning and clarification for the second interview or hiring negotiations.
*EASY HACK – Take a notepad. Your questions for the interviewer can be on the pad. Plus, you can take notes during the interview, which will make your interviewer feel important and give you the appearance of studious professionalism.
When you discuss salary, be realistic. A new grad without any autonomous experience will earn near the bottom of a proposed salary range. If you can negotiate some because of special skills or exemplary transcripts, great! But have fair expectations. Make sure to include vacation, paid continuing education, loan repayment, rate of raises, and cost of living for the area into your equation. A fair salary might look different depending on specialty as well.Personal presence speaks volumes before you do. #CrushyourInterview #JobInterview Click To Tweet
Lastly, personal presence speaks volumes before you ever open your mouth: be confident, walk tall, have a confident firm handshake, make eye contact. Your resume landed you the interview, but presence can land the job. Portray yourself with confidence. FAKE IT if necessary.
They don’t know you’re nervous. Smile, breathe, take a second to consider a question before answering. Answer each question with appropriate details for clarity without divulging too much personal information.
And turn off your cell phone or silence it without vibrations. If you can’t give the interview undivided attention, they won’t expect you can offer it to your profession either.
Accept that finding a perfect fit means an interview is a first date. Present yourself accurately and trust the right job will recognize your unique qualities.
After the interview – Take the time to send an electronic follow-up within 24 hours, something simple, like I appreciated meeting you, thank you for your time. Send a more formal written follow up a few days later, include some personal notes about your meeting here. Following up shows the HR manager and physician that you are conscious of the time they have spent to recruit and interview. Even if you do not get an offer initially, building relationships is always good. If you do not accept an offer, always send an additional thank you, keeping the door open for the future.