Interviewing A Potential New Physician for Your Dermatology Practice
Getting the most from the interview process—and finding the best long-term fit—requires preparation.
Finding a new physician to fill a vacancy in your dermatology practice can go smoothly, provided you’ve properly prepared. Sometimes the most daunting part can be the interview, as you anticipate the questions that will reflect all aspects of the position and your practice.
Once you get to the interview stage, both parties usually have hope and certain expectations. It is also often the first meeting between both parties. It can be an opportunity to see how the physician candidate will fit in the practice.
Having ample preparation and following the steps and tips described here will ensure you can check off all of the important things you want to discover about your potential candidate including:
• Their career motivation
• Clinical skills and accreditation
• Years of experience
• Personal strengths and weaknesses
• Personality traits, such as conflict management.
Essentially, you want to find out why you should hire the candidate while also showing the features and benefits of your dermatology practice. Attracting professional physicians that will fit well in your clinic requires a special balance during the interview stage. It is becoming more common for conversations to be behavioral and of an emotional intelligence nature.
Success in the interview process can lead to growth for everyone involved. It will also reflect on the overall reputation of your dermatology practice and affect the team dynamic among colleagues.
Health care providers have good reason to be concerned that they cover everything during the interview. At the same time, the candidate will be looking out for their best interests as well.
Top Five Interviewing Tips
An interview involves more than just the questions you will ask, though we will get to those. As an employer and/or partner in the business, you want to show that you are invested in the process. You also want the interview to reflect the requirements and benefits of the position. Think of it as a trial run.
Both parties will be eager to know more about the other to see if this will be a good fit. Following these five tips will provide an interview that is informational and productive on both accounts.
Prepare your questions ahead of time.
In your initial preparation, highlight the important aspects of the position and practice and put those questions at the beginning so you do not overlook them or run out of time.
Know who you are interviewing.
Do your homework ahead of time. Look at the candidate’s qualifications and history so you can ask questions to verify information.
Work with a recruiter.
A recruiter is a great third-party consultant that can provide beneficial resources about the job posting.
Inform the candidate about your dermatology practice.
When preparing for an interview it is often easy to get caught up in the potential new physician. Make sure to prepare answers and information about your office, as well as information about the position.
Involve the office.
Prior to the interview, get feedback and suggestions from colleagues and other employees of the practice regarding specific details or questions that relate to how the candidate will fit the position.
Questions to Ask and Questions to Avoid
Some questions that you ask can make or break the interview. Make sure you are prepared to ask the right questions. Regardless of how you word the questions, some version of the following questions should be included:
Why are you interested in the position?
You want to get a feel for what makes them a good candidate. Their “why” should in match yours. However, their answer will definitely shed light on how they will fit the position you are looking to fill.
How would you describe your professional process?
Ask about how they interact with clients and coworkers. Sometimes more than one question might be better to cover multiple areas of the candidate’s preferred work methods depending on what you are looking for. This can include what their vision is for the potential position.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Adjust the number of years and the wording as you see fit. However you ask the question, it is a good way to gauge where the candidate is going in his/her career. Without being discriminatory, you can find out if their career goals match what you are looking for.
As far as questions to avoid go, it is best to refrain from any questions that can be considered discriminatory. Age or lifestyle-based questions, as well as family planning, or things that might be perceived as too personal can make the new physician uncomfortable. It may also be against labor laws to make hiring decisions based on some of these answers.
Finally make sure to ask if the candidate has any questions. This creates a great dialogue and gives you an idea about how much research they have done. Their questions and your discussion will begin to build the rapport that can become foundational to a great working environment.
When to Talk Money
Often it is suggested to leave the discussion of salary until the negotiation stage or at the end of the interview. Other times it is listed in the job posting. In either case, this is another aspect of the interview you want to prepare in advance.
This is another instance where a recruiter can help you with the market research of comparable salary, benefits, bonuses and potential profit-sharing. Then your position can clearly be explained from the perspective of your dermatology practice.
It is also helpful to have a great support system for the new physician’s wellness, as well as the daily demands of the office.
Make a Connection
While it is important to steer the interview towards professional issues, you also want to get a personal feel for the candidate. It is important to remember that every physician interview is an opportunity for a successful working relationship between both parties.
Make sure that while you are there to make a sound evaluation that you also take time to get to know each other. Listen closely and, if possible, have someone else take notes. Hearing what the candidate says and how they say it is as important as their qualifications.
A Balancing Act
When you are interviewing a new physician for a place in your dermatology practice, it can be a bit of a balancing act. By ensuring proper preparation for the interview, you can move forward in finding the right physician to fit your position.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends that potential employers avoid asking applicants about personal characteristics that are protected by law, such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or age. Beyond making some candidates uncomfrotable or suspicious, they may be considered evidence of intent to discriminate by the EEOC.
EEOC recommends to avoid:
• Questions about race, religion, or ethnicity, such as:
• Are you biracial?
• Which church do you attend?
• What language(s) do you speak at home?
• Questions about age, unless used to verify that applicants meet any age-related legal requirements for the job.
• Questions about an applicant’s pregnancy or plans to start a family, such as:
• Are you pregnant?
• Do you plan to have children within the next year?
Before a job offer has been made, you can’t ask questions about an applicant’s disability or questions that are likely to reveal whether an applicant has a disability. For example, you can’t ask an applicant:
• Do you have a disability?
• What medications are you currently taking?
• Have you filed any workers’ compensation claims?
However, you can ask an applicant if he will need a reasonable accommodation during the application process or on the job, in certain circumstances.
You can ask an applicant with a disability which is obvious or which the applicant disclosed if he will need assistance with or a change to the application process because of his disability; and You can ask an applicant with a disability which is obvious or which the applicant disclosed if he will need a change to the work environment or to the way a job is usually done, if you reasonably believe that he will need a reasonable accommodation to perform the job. You also can ask an applicant to voluntarily report that she has a disability for affirmative action purposes.
Different rules apply after a job offer is made and after the employee starts working for you.
You also can’t ask questions about an applicant’s genetic information, such as the applicant’s family medical history or receipt of genetic tests or genetic counseling.
These rules apply to any communications with or about the applicant, including application forms, interviews and reference checks.
These rules apply whether you are seeking information from the applicant or from someone else, such as the applicant’s doctor, former employers, friends or family.
—Practical Dermatology® Staff