I spoke with Anita Fletcher of Stand Out medical careers on interview preparation
We speak about the preparation phase, the night before, and understanding the unexpected question. In terms of preparation it is important to understand that the night before should be spent relaxing, and getting a good night's sleep, it is not the time when you should be thinking about preparing fr your interview.
In terms of preparation one should think about three key areas, firstly understanding the job, secondly preparing your story and thirdly clarifying your goals for the future.
There are three key questions that the interviewer may ask of you: firstly tell me about yourself, secondly, tell about a time when, and the unexpected question.
Tell me about yourself is not an ice breaker, but rather one of the most important questions that you will be asked. It is your opportunity to highlight your personal unique selling points, showcase specific elements of your cv and demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the job. The answer should be well practiced, roll off the tongue and last approximately two minutes. Tell us about a time when is often a dreaded question. These questions are often predictable, but the answers must be polished. The unexpected question is designed to disarm you, and allow the interviewer an opportunity to understand how you react to the unexpected. Examples of questions might be as follows. 1) If you could be an animal what would you be and why? 2) How many zebras are there in Australia? 3) How would you manage a situation that would delay your attendance at interview
If you get the chance, it is always worthwhile visiting the department prior to interview. This visit should be regarded as an informal interview and is just as important as the formal interview. Fundamentally they are both an opportunity for the team to assess if you will fit into their culture.
Author: Dr Ferghal Armstrong
Ferghal is an experienced medical educator, Addiction Medicine Specialist and teaches the subject of pharmacotherapy to doctors.