Question: My friend wrote about his interest in ballroom dancing in his ERAS application, and his interviewers asked him to show them his moves during his interview. It’s easy to despair if those around you are receiving interview invites at a higher rate than you, for example, but remember that the interview period runs from September until mid-January at the latest. Thank you once more for taking the time to interview me for the residency program at [School or Program Name] (earlier today/yesterday/specific date). Not everyone on your interview panel will be skilled at conducting interviews, and they may ask questions that you are not obligated to answer. Dear Dr. Yoffe. The residency interview process is very competitive and you will be going up against candidates who do not have a gap. Inspiring Stories. So, even though you have probably addressed the gap in your personal statement, you must make sure that it isn’t seen as a red flag once you are in the interview. Here we’ll provide an overview of the most common residency interview questions and why interviewers ask them. I haven’t been able to explore pediatric radiology, but if my away rotation and my experience volunteering at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital are any indication, I’d combine the best of both.”. Conversely, schedule programs that you are less likely to go to at the end of the cycle. Clearly, what you say is not as important as how you say it. Some programs—it’s difficult to say which, as this isn’t something programs like to advertise—offer more invitations for interviews than they can accommodate. How much do you make per hour moonlighting? Arrive for your interview in the city the day before and remember that travel delays might interfere with your schedule; plan accordingly. A good, broad phrasing might be: “I’m so excited about the program for X, Y, Z reasons. You can also interview with a friend or family member as well to help you prepare. Here’s a sample thank you letter template you can use to email your interviewers. In other cases, they may not ask about these things at all. In cases such as these, use your judgment. Knowing which questions to ask at your residency interview can make a good impression with the people who may decide if you are a good fit in the program. I am surprised more interview candidates are not on this page commeting. Answer: It’s always fine to try to find out these things at any job interview, including at a residency interview. These are a great time to informally meet with residents and find out more about the program and see if it is a good fit for you. You can treat this as a “practice interview” before you assimilate the interview format in preparation for your top programs. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, this is not a typical interview. A staple of most interviews, this question is open-ended enough that, even if you’ve heard it before, a new context can still make you unsure about how best to approach it. If you have another accommodative need that will affect your work on day one, you should mention it as well. Top 50 Common Residency Interview… So it’s the time that you achieve another milestone in your medical career and that is your medical resident place. Question: Is it appropriate to ask about sick days, holidays, what time residents get out, whether moonlighting is an option, etc.? Prepare as if it were a real interview: review your answers to specific questions, have a list of questions you plan to ask, and if possible, dress as if it were a real interview. Was it the chance to work with technology in a high-impact context? A common misconception: Residency applicants often think the strength and especially the weakness they choose to share have the power to make or break the committee’s perception of them as a candidate. What should I do? That said, don’t push your top programs too late in the interview cycle. Adding new information is OK, don’t raise red flags by bringing up completely new reasons. This applicant might then further furnish their answer with a particular anecdote, say, about a child undergoing an MRI, or a physician who explained to them that pediatric radiology might be a perfect fit for their intellectual and personal interests. Sleep less beforehand, drink coffee, and do whatever else you need to give yourself slight jitters. This has been pretty important during my time working on the oncology unit, because sometimes patients are so overwhelmed with all that they don’t know or understand about their own conditions that it takes a particularly sensitive person to slow down and check in on them. Demonstrating insufficient knowledge on such topics may undermine your commitment to the specialty and, ultimately, the likelihood that you’ll match with the interviewing program. You can be as creative as you need to be, but not too creative—whatever stressful situation you induce should approximate the level of stress you typically experience during interviews. How to Ace Your Emergency Medicine Residency Interview. Be sure to check out the thread below for additional questions to ask on the residency interview trail! However, they can be dangerous if you are too informal. What are your evenings like when you get home from work? It would be a pleasure to guide you! Instead, you’ll always want to converse naturally. But there are things that can’t be gleaned from your application materials alone. Remember: first, remain consistent with the answer you gave in your personal statement. That way, your interview day will feel more familiar. Programs are increasingly aware of the problem of resident and physician burnout, and they may be actively pitching you on their resources for dealing with it. You won’t be rejected based on insufficient stats or extracurricular experiences. These three pieces of information highlight two powerful insights about how to think about and approach the residency interview process: An interview invitation means you’ve made the academic, extracurricular, and clinical cut. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. My introductory lecture to our residency program starts and the lights begin to dim. Answer: Yes and no. “Then, I take this information to my No Committee, which hears me out and then, for the most part, tells me to turn it down. Interviewers who don’t respond well may be an indication that that program is wrong for you. Curious about other aspects of the residency interview process? I’ve split these questions into a few categories, based on the appropriate audience. This responder doesn’t need an anecdote to illustrate her strength—it’s a pretty clear and comprehensible strength, and, frankly, someone with emotional intelligence often just beams that quality out naturally. Answering residency interview questions essentially boils down to the following: Answer in a way that is consistent with your application materials, Ensure your answers progress clearly—avoid non-sequiturs and tangents—and address the question directly, Take a firm position on an issue (e.g., bioethical or healthcare policy issues) when necessary, but make sure to demonstrate your reasoning for your stance, Demonstrate how you prioritize patient needs above all else, Use appropriate speech volume and tone and make consistent eye contact, Display appropriate emotions and facial expressions (e.g., laugh when it’s appropriate to laugh), Update your interviewers on achievements since submitting your ERAS application. How has this institution supported you in achieving your career goals? One of the attendings on my ED rotation in my third year actually asked everyone to try out doing a compassion meditation before their shift so that we could remember that any colleague’s “failure” came from somewhere. Question: I just interviewed with my top program and want them to know that they are my number one program in my thank you note. ], which aligns with [some quality or aspiration that is important to you]. Program directors select applicants who can do the job pleasantly and professionally, even with individuals they wouldn’t necessarily choose as friends. To supplement the above questions, I crowdsourced some additional suggestions via Twitter. In addition, list your strengths, values, accomplishments, and abilities. Step 1 Score Is Critical. A common misconception: Some applicants think they must be overly complimentary of the program, but this may result in a generic list of perks like well-known faculty and colleagues, exemplary status in the specialty, great location, etc. Is this representative of other faculty at the program? This applicant doesn’t need to turn to his specialty interest at the end, but he has a nice, natural hook. We’ve selected a few common residency interview questions and provided strong sample responses for each to demonstrate how to apply this guidance. If you listed a detail or mentioned an experience on your application, it’s fair game to be discussed during your interview. Therefore, you should go into the interview with confidence—you’re “good enough” academically and clinically. Was it the most patient-centric specialty you encountered? A list of pharmacy residency interview questions is provided here. That you are as polished in person as you convey through your applications. You should pay significant attention to how you answer questions and interact with interviewers and other school staff. The Sleepy Man. It’s best to focus on excelling in your rotations and, when you can carve time out of your busy schedule, practice your interview skills. It is not a trick question, but there are better and worse ways to respond. The trickier part for almost all applicants is identifying, and speaking about, a weakness. This is an evidence-based way of identifying your strength, and in sharing it with the committee, they will learn how and to what you ascribe worth and value. Whether this reflects poor planning on your part (losing track of time, rushing to avoid tardiness) or is misconstrued as nervousness at the interview process doesn’t matter, as the effect is the same – admissions committees may feel uneasy or put off by either. In some cases, your home institution may offer funds as well, so make sure you check their options. Here is a list of ways you can make your mock interview more stressful: Sleeping less than 7 hours the night before, Consuming more or less caffeine than you typically do, Interviewing with someone who has a harsh or cold demeanor. answer might be acceptable? Using this perspective, your questions should allow you to leave an interview day equipped with more information than when you arrived. Hey, #MedTwitter! These are just a few of the many ways you can stress yourself out to simulate interview day jitters. Ask yourself: Does the interviewer’s tone indicate the question is at least partly asked in a humorous way, thus suggesting a humorous (yet tactful and appropriate!) An example is to ask how often residents perform or assist in surgery. (And you must talk about one, if asked.) When I was young, I resented it a little (chuckles). If you’re nervous that you might be seen as green to this particular specialty, think of the skills, traits, behaviors, and values that dominate in your specialty of choice and answer with analogous experiences. Your email address will not be published. Finally, avoid putting them on the spot for breaking a rule. Scenario #1: The interview conflicts with another interview (or is scheduled back to back) Residencies set their interview dates in advance and do not coordinate with other programs. Learn how to distinguish ones self from other top-notch physical therapy residency interview candidates, and prepare for the most commonly asked questions. Buy 100 Strong Residency Interview Questions, Answers, and Rationales for the Residency Match (Pharmacist Residency and Career Series Book 3): Read Books Reviews - Amazon.com You can also brainstorm some examples you could draw on that wouldn’t compromise your integrity or make you uncomfortable to the point of undermining the rest of your interview performance. Deciding if Medicine is for You. On the other hand, barring the illegal questions already noted in the article, there are questions admissions committees might ask you regarding more personal aspects of your life that are nevertheless not illegal and are, therefore, questions you must answer or risk seeming like a poor sport. Some applicants sign up for just one session (e.g., for their dream program), but most sign up for multiple sessions because they either don't feel very confident in their interview skills or simply don't want to leave anything to chance. An effective sample response: “One of my strengths is definitely perception. “Essentially, I chose two people who know I struggle to say no. Ask for a “Budget Adjustment for Residency” and make sure you understand how this money is disbursed. Learn what you can expect from the residency interview process, including advice from residents on what to ask and tips for navigating the interview trail. Hopefully this list of questions would help you prepare for the interviews. Otherwise, I look forward to Match Day. Residency programs can learn much about you through your ERAS application materials, including your: Clinical performance (MSPE scores/Dean’s Letter/grades in required clerkships), Medical knowledge, including basic sciences and medical practice (USMLE scores), Perceived commitment to specialty and relevant experiences (Residency personal statement, CV), Evidence of professionalism in collaborative settings (ERAS letters of recommendation). Did you only encounter dermatology during a fourth year rotation? BS/MD | BA/MD | BS/DO Admissions Services, Common Residency Interview Questions—and How to Answer Them, Click here to learn about our 1:1 residency interview coaching, Video coaching session This is a tip that may seem counterintuitive but can reap positive results: if possible, schedule an interview for a program that’s lower on your list for your first interview. Not all general surgery residency interview questions are asked by the interviewer. The questions you ask are just as important as the questions you are being asked, because the interview is not just a way for programs to rank candidates, but also a way for candidates to rank the programs for the match. What is your vision for the program over the next 4-7 years (however long your residency training will be)? You have one. They can encourage you to rank a certain way, tell you they would Match you if you ranked them, but they cannot ask you where you intend to rank them, as it is a violation of Match tules. What attributes about this program attracted you here? Giving an entirely new answer might stump the interviewers or cast you as inauthentic. Find the sweet spot toward the beginning-to-middle of the season when you’re energized and capable, and when the early date of your interview can still reflect your enthusiasm for the program. One thing I am trying to find out about is how much the programs I’m looking at prioritize residents’ wellbeing. If you think of your residency interviews as an opportunity to genuinely engage faculty, residents, and staff—a much higher priority than showcasing your deep medical knowledge—you’ll maximize your odds of matching to your top-choice residency programs. Don't Forget to Ask: Advice from Residents on What to Ask During the Residency Interview The process of applying and interviewing for a residency position is complicated and can be stressful. Is it okay to do this when I have several interviews at other programs lined up for the rest of the cycle? While such questions aren’t necessary—and overdoing it can make you seem cloying—it’s wise to have some thoughtful inquiries ready. Doesn’t your CV speak for itself? - Do most residents in your program do an AP/CP track? Residency interview question #2: “Why did you choose this specialty?”. I love working with children, but the technical part of me likes having equals with whom I can solve problems. Required fields are marked *. Residency interview question #3: “Why do you want to join our program?”. The work has to be done, but everyone is exhausted, and time and resources are finite. Questions you should ask during your interview for a psychiatric residency program. What do I do? How easy is it for you to access funding for educational resources or conference attendance? Who is your hero? In these cases, the asker is likely trying to suss out your commitment to the field, which you can convey through your passion, rather than directly defending your personal priorities. Does your interviewer want to know about your clinical experiences? Your official interviews can be stressful. This is why it’s important not to embellish your initial application and to review your application materials thoroughly. If you would like any additional information from me, please feel free to reach me by phone at [number] or email at [address]. Questions like, “Any skeletons in your closet you want to tell me about?”, “What would you be willing to sacrifice for a successful medical career?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?” are, unfortunately, fair game. This will show the program how you problem-solve, learn, and grow, all key elements of the self-awareness all programs hope their residents exhibit. In addition, [reference a personal interaction you had, for instance, “I appreciated your candid advice about making it through the first two years of residency” or “I am still thinking about the paper we discussed…”]. There are a few ways you can discern this information. But now that I’m a darkroom photographer myself, I realize it was the beginning of my interest in chemistry, which I took to CU Boulder and then medical school at UC Davis. Answer: Wait until mid-to-late January to inform your top program that they are first on your list. I grew up in Hemet, not too far from the Riverside University Health System Medical Center, and I saw firsthand how healthcare disparities in the inland desert grew as more people started moving in from LA and Orange Counties. Nor is it a trap to get you to divulge a side of yourself you’d rather not share during an interview. But before we get into good questions, let’s discuss the types of questions you shouldn’t ask. I don’t do that regularly anymore, but the practice left quite an impression.”. If you’re preparing for interviews, you might be wondering about the questions you’ll be asked. An effective sample response: “Before I started medical school, I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician because I love working with kids. It’s worth noting that interview panels may understand that different applicants have had different levels of exposure to their chosen specialty. 19 thoughts on “ The Most Important Residency Interview Questions and How to Answer Them ” oben ojong 29 October, 2017. Second, think about key experiences and anecdotes. Top 10 tips: How to contact USMLE residency programs to ask for interview An essential skill during the Match cycle is how and when to contact the residency programs to request interviews. And of course: you’ll want to be up to date on your chosen specialty, including trends and topics of interest. These are questions that are asked frequently because they focus on the information most important to interviewers in evaluating your fit for their residency program. To help nudge you in the right direction, I’ve come up with a list of some of the best interview questions to ask on the residency interview trail. “In effect, we were an ambulatory clinic that anchored that community’s access to medical care. Our patients were more willing to come to us because we were conveniently located and met their needs without being the full-size hospital down the road, which they found intimidating and inaccessible. 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