Ace Your Interview

Veterans offer tips for a successful interview, whether you're looking for your first job or a mid-career change.

Interviews are a critical piece of the hiring process. Here, both you and your potential employer have the chance to assess whether or not you are a good fit for one another.

Obviously, you want to make a good impression. However, most employers consider the interview process to be physicians' biggest weakness in the job search, partly due to the fact that medical schools often provide little in the way of career support. If you are thinking about new employment, check out some of these interviewing tips from radiologists with experience.

Best Behavior

Nearly every career publication advises that you "be professional." But what does that mean?

According to Kimberly E. Applegate, MD, MS, FACR, director of practice quality improvement at Emory University, author of several publications on career development, and interview veteran, it has a lot to do with your preparation. It's important to consider how you're going to present yourself, and that starts with the emails you exchange, Applegate says. "Make sure your language is formal and polite. Then, following the interview, formally thank people no matter what the outcome. You never know when you might cross paths with these peers later in your career," she says. And be polite. "No jokes or overly casual behavior. You never know how the potential employer might react," Applegate adds.

Early Bird

Arriving early is something that Applegate highly recommends, and something she has done in interviews. "During several of my interviews, I arrived a few minutes early and was able to see the department for myself," she says. When you are shown around the department, they want to impress you, and so the conversations are more scripted, says Applegate. But by watching the patients and staff interact, she was better able to get the flavor of the hospital. "I was able to see whether people were happy and how my potential colleagues would interact," she says.

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