Sunday, 9 December 2012

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How to prepare for your future potential medical residency position Interview.

If you're at this point it means that you, unlike many humans, have done A LOT. You don't feel it because you've been doing it for, how many years? 10?

So you graduated from high-school and excelled, so you could opt into a career path that included medicine. You studied a total of 8 years of Medical School (IMG) or 4 years of Medical School (US, after a major in something else). You passed a hell of a lot of exams, including the:

USMLE Step 1
USMLE Step 2 CK and potentially,
USMLE Step 3

You filled out your ERAS application, paid thousands of dollars to send it out to various hospitals, and there you are, waiting for that interview to happen.

8+ years of time plus many, many thousands of dollars invested in your career plus all the long hours studying  plus sacrificing parties and oh! Such a long way you have come!

Give yourself the credit. You have done amazing. If you have been invited for and interview (or still waiting for one) then you have to GIVE YOURSELF THE CREDIT. If the above-stated wasn't enough to make you feel EPIC and GRAND about what you have achieved, then perhaps you need to read it again!

The fact that you have been selected among world-class doctors, like yourself, means a lot. Realize it and breathe in deeply. Feel epic, successful, and full of greatness. You have achieved a Himalaya of goals.

So after all that has been done, no one really prepared you for... an interview! Damn, you curse, as you realize that you have no clue whatsoever how to prepare yourself for an interview.

Here's a step-to-step guide on how to prepare yourself for an interview.

It doesn't really matter where you're being interviewed, you can apply this same process over and over again and excel wherever you may go.

1. Prepare to Travel. Travel expenses are huge when it comes to interviewing at various hospitals across the United States. Make sure you book your flights on the correct dates, hotels, and shuttle services so you don't miss the glorious moment when you get to show off who you are and why you matter.

2. Investigating the Program. You have to delve into the Program's web-page. You have to read every single page there and jot down notes about the program. I know you did this upon selecting the program, but now it's about finding details and things relevant about the program which you could find interest in and eventually ask a compelling question about it.

3. Practice. Interview yourself. How? Dress up as you would for you interview. Yes, go on, I know you feel weird, but it will help you dearly. Now that you're all dressed up just as you would be for the actual interview, interview yourself. How? Most computers and laptops have a webcam. Use it to ask yourself questions. Answer the questions and then analyze how you answered them. Are you satisfied  If not, then repeat the answer until you see yourself answering as you would like to on the actual interview. If you get nervous or jittery, observe yourself; if you get anxious and start casting your eyes everywhere, then correct the behavior.

4. Make a list of relevant, compelling questions. You have to ask questions, dear colleague. There is no way around this point. If you have no questions, it may seem as though you are not interested.You may be very interested but be locked in your fear of talking or whatnot. Get rid of the fear and prepare good questions.

5. Avoid memorizing. Don't act like an automaton. You're a human being, so act like one. Don't behave like a memorizing machine that acts upon commands; no!, be intuitive, be sensitive, behave naturally as you would in any other scenario!

6. Talk to other residents and staff. Talk to people, get to know them! You may work with them for at least 3 years so getting to know the people around you is key. This will help you decide if the people here are the ones you wish to be with for a certain amount of time. They may also prove to be a great source of information.

7. You have done your best. If not, analyze what could've been improved and improve it! Sit back and enjoy the emotions after having been interviewed. NO, you don't have the position yet; what you do have is certainty that you are a world-class doctor who is competitive.

If you are in your interview process please do share your experience here!!