Before you interview face-to-face with the physician, most likely you will have to spend some time on the phone with either a HR Manager, or perhaps the Practice Manager. Here’s what it takes to win them over.
Understand who they are, size of practice, number of physicians, how many physician assistants or nurse practitioners are employed, why the position is open, exact location, travel requirements and review the company’s website (if available). Ask open ended questions and be an effective listener. As an example; “looking at the existing providers you employ, what makes them successful in your setting? What are some of the attributes you look for in prospective PA/NP providers?”
Strong soft skills (inter-personal and communication) are just as important as experience and/or clinical rotations. Be lucid with responses, articulate and professional.
Use demonstrable examples when answering questions; perhaps rotational experience or other real world examples. Be prepared to have a very good reason why you are interested in their specialty and location. Wanting to work in Scottsdale, AZ because you like the weather is not a credible enough reason. Hiring managers want candidates that represent stability and traction. Anything that reflects or poses a transient threat will turn off employers.
If you are interested in the opportunity, don’t be afraid to let the employer know your interest level: “Thank you for your time and input today Jennifer. The position sounds fantastic and challenging at the same time. I’m interested in meeting with you, the doctor and seeing the practice. I’m excited to understand any additional expectations and responsibilities associated with the opportunity and would love to shadow.”
Create a sense of urgency for the practice. “I have two interviews next week on Thursday and Friday, but will be available Monday or Tuesday if you are trying to reach me with feedback.”
Remember, the purpose of the phone screen is to confirm your interest level in the opportunity and hopefully open the door to the next step in the hiring process.