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adkhiker92

Job Interview Tidbits

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Hey Everyone,

I am in the process of interviewing for my first PA job and was looking for any advice. I have done some research as to how to prepare for these interviews, dusted off my suit, and printed out my resume/CV and references. Anyone have any other things I should consider doing prior and/or during the interviews? Thanks in advance!

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Read all you can about the practice you're interviewing with. There is a ton of things you can find on the web. Good luck!

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Make sure you have a list of questions ready to go.

Things such as:

Is there call?  What does call entail?  OR/procedural call vs call for orders and nursing questions vs coming in for consults, etc.  Call pay rate?
Type of clinic patients - pre op vs post op?  Initial encounter vs followups?  # required to see - ramp up period?
Hours expected to work each week?  40?  OT compensation - is there a cap on OT pay?
Any opportunity for bonus?  What is the structure?
Vacation time?  How much initial?  Accrual?
CME time (days/hours) and stipend ($$$)?
License fees and yearly fees for organizations covered?  Preferably not included in CME.
Health insurance?  Can family be on plan? Dental/vision?  401K and is there a match?  Life insurance?  HSA?
Loan Repayment?

Did you have any applicable experience prior to PA school?  Do your clinical experiences relate to this specialty at all?  If so, how?  Talk it all up in the interview.

Edited by Kaepora
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I don't know about all that jazz up there; I have used these lines with zero success:

I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Or:

Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world. 

Or (and I like this one the best):

I see dead people.

let me know which one works!

 

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8 hours ago, Kaepora said:

Make sure you have a list of questions ready to go.

Things such as:

Is there call?  What does call entail?  OR/procedural call vs call for orders and nursing questions vs coming in for consults, etc.  Call pay rate?
Type of clinic patients - pre op vs post op?  Initial encounter vs followups?  # required to see - ramp up period?
Hours expected to work each week?  40?  OT compensation - is there a cap on OT pay?
Any opportunity for bonus?  What is the structure?
Vacation time?  How much initial?  Accrual?
CME time (days/hours) and stipend ($$$)?
License fees and yearly fees for organizations covered?  Preferably not included in CME.
Health insurance?  Can family be on plan? Dental/vision?  401K and is there a match?  Life insurance?  HSA?
Loan Repayment?

Did you have any applicable experience prior to PA school?  Do your clinical experiences relate to this specialty at all?  If so, how?  Talk it all up in the interview.

A lot of this I would think comes up after an offer...or at least not with the first interview.  I wouldn't want to be the person asking about vacation time and money on the first meeting.

OP didn't your school cover any of this with you?  Frankly there's nothing particularly special to do...it's an interview.  Be prepared to sell yourself but also get to know the job.  Ask how they handle new grads (training!), what their expectations are of your role, what kind of support you'll have.

The questions above are essential once you have an offer on the table and are at a negotiation stage.

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I'm frequently on interviews for PA/NP candidates in our group.  We look for a few key things...

1) experience related to the job (even if before PA school) and dedication to the field

2) personality and how well spoken they are.  Do we think they'll fit in with local culture of group.

3) likelihood to stay.  What ties you to the group / the area?  We want longevity, so convince us of that.

4) some questions we ask: what are your weaknesses you've noticed so far in practice?  What do you want in a group?  What's your 5 year plan? 

 

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Many practices like to pose situation type questions. This is where they give you a situation and ask how you would respond. Or they say something to the effect "tell me about a time when you blah blah blah and how you dealt with that.". They're looking for how you deal with other people, difficult decisions, being under pressure, dealing with change, and even your philosophy with managing care.  This can really catch you off-guard if you are not prepared. I would Google situation type questions in interviews and although you can't possibly be prepared for every question some of them cross over so you have at least some type of preparation before going in.

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There are only three interview questions.  All of them are variations on one of the three:

1) Can you do this job?
2) Can we get along with you?
3) Are you going to stick around?

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If they ask you which rotations you enjoyed in school, make sure to mention the one that corresponds with the place where you're interviewing. 

I'm not going to say how I figured that one out.

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