Common Interview Questions for Residency (and How To Answer Them)
Doctors have to go through a residency after they finish medical school. This is a program of supervised practical training. The residency interview is a chance for people who want to become doctors to show what skills and experiences make them a good fit for the program. This interview could also be used to find out how well you get along with the training physician in charge and the healthcare facility. In this article, we look at some of the most common questions asked at residency interviews and give you examples of answers to help you prepare for your own.
Some interviewers may ask you standard questions that can be used for many different jobs and industries. These questions let you show who you are and learn more about the person interviewing you.
- Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
- What about this residency program stood out to you?
- What are the best things about you and the worst things about you?
- Which words say the most about you?
- What worries you the most about working in this field?
- What do you do when you have free time?
- Who do you look up to?
- If you couldn’t become a doctor, what would you do instead, and why?
Questions about who you are and what you’ve done as a resident
These questions help the interviewer figure out if your education and work history are a good fit for the residency program you want to get into.
- What makes you different from the other people who have applied for this program?
- Do you want to work in a classroom or a doctor’s office?
- What is the hardest part of doing this job?
- In your past jobs, how did you handle projects?
- Do you think this program can be used with these methods? What gives?
- How do you think you could get your coworkers to do a better job?
- What do you think the biggest problem is right now for people in your field?
In-depth questions test your skills in different situations, so these questions help the interviewer figure out how you might act with patients and other doctors on the staff.
- Give an example of a time when someone didn’t like your work and how you handled it.
- Do you like working under pressure?
- Tell me about your best and worst things you’ve done in medicine.
- What do you do when things go wrong?
- Tell me about a stressful situation you had to deal with while you were in medical school.
- Tell me how what you’ve done fits in with this residency program.
- Have you ever been unhappy with how you did something? What did you learn from it?
- What skills do you think this program needs?
Examples of interview questions and how to answer them
Here are some examples of how to answer interview questions. Think about the residency program you’re applying to and what you want to specialize in before you answer these questions.
1.Why did you want to go to school to become a doctor?
This question gives you a chance to tell the interviewer about your career goals and how the residency can help you get there. Talk about a teacher or a personal experience that got you interested in medicine. Make sure to talk about your most important core values to show how the residency program can help you grow as a doctor.
Example: “When I was in high school, I spent a few weeks following my aunt, who is a nurse for kids, around for a school project. I saw her make her young patients and their families feel better and talk to them patiently about each step of the procedure. Then I decided I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and treat kids with the same care and thoroughness as a pediatrician does. When I finish my residency here, I’ll be able to work with other doctors who are experts in pediatric medicine. They can help me get better at what I do and how I treat people.”
2. What skills do you think are needed for this program?
This question gives you the chance to talk about the skills you’ve learned in medical school and during your internship. Focus on your biggest strengths and how you plan to use and improve them during the residency program. You could also talk about a time when you used these skills to help a patient or another medical worker.
Example: “I think that being able to manage your time and talk to people are the two most important skills you need to work in internal medicine. You have to be able to talk to people who are sick or hurting and may be in pain. You should also watch how long you spend with each patient. It’s hard to find the right balance between taking care of patients and doing your job well, but I think you need these skills to do well in this program and as a doctor.”
3.Tell me about how you help people.
Talking to patients is one of the most important things a doctor does. This question gives you a chance to talk about the best ways to talk to patients about treatments and give them medical advice. You can also say a few words about your style and how you care for patients. Think about using a specific experience to show how this style affects things and what it means to you.
Example: “I think I work with patients in a way that shows empathy and allows me to change my style as needed. When I talk to a patient for the first time, I can usually tell how they are feeling and how comfortable they are. This can affect how I talk to them and learn about them. I think that my friendly personality could be a plus if I lived here.”
4. Do you like to find out about things?
You can talk about the kinds of things you like to do by answering this question. Talk about how you really feel about this task, but also talk about what you like to do in your free time. No matter how you feel about the task you’re being asked to do, this is important. This gives you a chance to talk about why you like doing some tasks more than others, and it shows where you do well.
Example: “Research is one of my strengths, and I like doing it because it can lead to new medical discoveries that can help people right away. During my internship at the Oral Roberts hospital, I studied the effects of losing weight in the lab. This research was written up in the medical journal of the university. But I think working with patients and getting to know them while they are in the hospital is my specialty. I have helped people at Oral Roberts hospital give blood samples and get ready for exams, so they know what to do to help the hospital get the test results it needs. Overall, I’m a good candidate for the job because I’ve worked directly with patients.”
5. What’s the general state of doctors?
This question wants to know how well you know the industry and how all of your experiences led you to your answer. Do some research on the industry to help you answer this question, and explain how your interactions with medical professionals have changed how you see the industry as a whole. Interviewers want to hear about more than one thing, so putting these things together shows them how you think.
Example: “I think the healthcare industry is one of the most dynamic and changing ones. I think that doctors are more important every year because they have to solve more complicated health problems. They must also be quick learners on the job. I’m looking forward to working with experts in internal medicine during my residency to improve my skills and help patients through different situations.”
6.Would you rather work in a hospital or at a college?
This question is asked because the interviewer wants to know more about your career path. Answer this question honestly and explain how this residency program will help you in the future if you want to teach students or work for a doctor or hospital. To show your career path, you need a short summary of your past work and your core values.
Example: “I think that the best way for me to help people in the future is to work for a medical practice. I think this residency program gives me the experience I need to work in a medical practice because I can do things like give patients medical procedures and put together research on how they live and how their health is. In the end, I think you can use what you’ve learned in school to do your job in a medical practice.”
How to do well at your residency interview
Think about the following tips for a good residency interview:
Learn what you should know.
Research the hospital or residency program you’re applying to so you know what it stands for and what it wants to accomplish. You can write better answers if you know what the institution stands for. The interviewer should also tell you who you’ll be meeting with so you can get ready to learn about that person.
Have a teacher or mentor help you run through a mock interview.
Ask a professor or a mentor if they have time to do a “mock interview” with you to help you prepare. You could also talk to a friend or family member to help you prepare. But the best way to know what questions they will ask and how to answer them is to do a practice interview with someone who has been through residency interviews before.
STAR stands for:
Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) to answer questions, but if you want to stand out as a great candidate, you’ll also need to talk about what you’ve done well.
Send the person who talked to you a thank-you note.
After the interview, send the interviewer an email thanking them for their time and telling them what you learned about the residency program. This shows that you followed up with them on your own and told them what you learned, which is good because it shows that you were there for the interview.