Nearly all employers start their screening process with a telephone or teleconference interview. If you made it through to this step, congratulations! This means you presented yourself well initially on paper by creating a strong CV or did an excellent job of networking with the right people.
A phone interview is usually coordinated between the candidate and the hiring physician and takes place during the evening hours when both parties are not in a distracting work environment. We recommend you allow for at least a 30-minute call. The purpose of the telephone interview is for you and your potential employer to develop a rapport and determine if an in-person interview is warranted. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your phone interview:
- Be prepared to speak in a quiet place (dogs barking, traffic, hospital intercoms or any background noise may be distracting)
- Have a copy of your CV, a list of professional references and your schedule for the next month handy
- Review any information you have on the physicians and the practice in preparation for the call
- Create a list of questions and select a few that will help you decide whether this is a practice worth visiting in person
- Take notes
- Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time
Obviously, the interviewer will have questions of their own. Preparing in advance will help to give you confidence and poise during your interview. Below we have provided a set of commonly asked questions to assist you. If you get genuinely stuck on a question, it is acceptable to pause and think through it before answering. For example, “That is an excellent question. I would like to think about it before answering. Could we come back to it?”
Interviewers often ask some version of the following:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you changing jobs? (if applicable)
- Why are you considering this practice?
- Why do you want to live here?
- Why did you choose to go into medicine?
- Why did you choose your particular medical school?
- What other specialties did you consider before deciding on nephrology?
- What value can you bring to the practice?
As mentioned above, the telephone interview is a preliminary way for both parties to get to know each other and develop a rapport. At the conclusion of the phone call, both parties will make a determination to proceed ahead with an onsite interview, or to move forward in another direction and decline. If you find yourself with a continuing interest, it is completely acceptable to express your interest and ask about the next steps. Please do not accept an onsite interview if you are not interested in the position. It is very expensive to the practice to bring a candidate in for an interview. Additionally, you have limited free time to commit to interviews so save it for the positions you are truly interested in. If you are uncomfortable declining the offer for an onsite meeting while on the phone, ask for time to think about it and then follow up with an email. For more information on the interview process, check out the DaVita SOURCE Interview Guide.