Four steps toward worthwhile physician-candidate interviews

Keep your physician-recruit interviews on track by focusing on the main objective: assessing the applicant's intellect, medical competence and people skills. Further, look for good chemistry between you and the potential new associate. During the actual interview, follow a four-part outline to make sure you cover all the bases. Structure the interview along these lines:

1. Break the ice. Set the meeting's tone right away by doing your best to make the candidate comfortable.

2. Explore the candidate's background. Carefully study the doctor's curriculum vitae before going to the interview. Jot down questions to ask based on the résumé. As candidates recount their own background it reveals personal opinions, self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses, values and motivations.

3. Explore the candidate's medical skills. This is not time to conduct a technical oral exam. Rather, ask questions like,;What do you do if . . . and describe a patient problem or symptoms. Listen carefully for technical know-how (diagnostic and procedure skills) and for how the recruit approaches patient care in general.

4. Discuss business issues. If you still have strong interest in the interviewee, present him/her with a written, non-binding outline proposing the employment arrangements. Keep the outline simple, but make sure it covers the offer's main components.

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