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Here is your key to a successful Interview 

Prepare for a job interview 

Obtaining a residency after an interview is not the result of luck. Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Someone who prepares for an interview will reduce their chances of being flustered by unexpected questions. A well prepared candidate will present a positive and relaxed image. After residency programs have reviewed applications, they extend offers for on-site interviews to selected candidates. Being offered an interview is an accomplishment and signifies the candidate has made it to the next round of the residency process. 


Guidelines for a successful interview:

  • Dress conservatively

  • Be punctual

  • Listen well so that you can answer well

  • Engage in casual conversation before the interview and demonstrate your social skills 

  • Avoid nervous habits (playing with hair, tapping your foot, playing with your hands etc)

  • Act interested (even if you discover that it is not what you were expecting, always be polite and answer all questions, this is a small world and people communicate with each other) 

  • Respond directly or ask for clarification

  • Send a thank you note


Remember that you are evaluating the organization as much as they are evaluating you for the job. You want to make sure that the organization is a good fit for you and somewhere where you will be happy.

The Interview

The residency program interviews will vary. Most programs will include time spent with current residents. Although this atmosphere may be more relaxed, it should be considered an interview since the resident will contribute input about the applicant.  Some programs will require demonstration of clinical skills, including writing SOAP notes, responding to drug questions. Although it is difficult to truly prepare for these activities, make sure you review some common disease states and their treatments. 


After the interview

Send a thank you note and take some time to evaluate your own performance as well as your interest in the position. Consider these questions for follow up interview questions and future interviews with other employers:

  • What questions were you asked that you want to remember?

  • Which questions posed the most difficulty? How would you answer them differently if you could?

  • In which areas do you need more information? 

  • What should you emphasize more strongly if you are offered a second interview?

  • Do you see yourself as a fit with the organizational culture?


If you haven't heard back from the employer within the time frame specified, it is ok to follow up with them and express your continued interest. 

Dress to impress



  • Suit: navy or dark two piece, professional skirted or pant suit. Length of skirt should be at knee or below. If you wear something longer, it shouldn't puff or flow.  Pick a suit that fits you well and isn't too flashy. 

  • Blouse: White or pastel silk blended button-down, long sleeve shirt. No sheer or low cut.

  • Shoes: A mid-heel pump is a classic choice. Don't pick something you can't walk in or shoes that are slippery. 

  • Cosmetics: No perfume. Light makeup.

  • Hair: Put up hair if you tend to play with your hair.



  • Suit: Navy or black two piece traditional cut suit.

  • Shirt: Cotton long sleeve shirt.

  • Tie: Conservative, stripes, paisley, or solid color.

  • Shoes: Black and well polished. Wear solid, vertically ribbed socks in black or grey and socks that are long enough to cover your legs when you sit down. 

  • Cologne: No cologne or aftershave

  • Jewelry: No earrings or visible piercings

Important suggestions: 

  • Investigate what the average employee wears. Always dress more formally than would be expected on the job. 

  • Bring a portfolio with at least one copy of your resume. 

  • Do not wear jeans, open-toed shoes, t-shirts, hats, shorts or other extremely casual clothing. 

  • Be well groomed and your attire is laundered, pressed and wrinkle free. 

  • Make sure your clothes fit correctly. 

  • To avoid being screened out, consider removing facial piercings and fixing hair in a widely accepted manner. 

  • When in doubt, ask!

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