Interview season is an exciting and stressful time for applicants and for residency programs. Both sides are invested in finding the right fit, and the interview process is integral to the process. Unfortunately, being integral doesn’t mean its easy. Here are some tips to the interview process.
Because the entire residency interview process is important, the tips are not arranged in any particular order.
- Be yourself – Don’t fake a personality or falsify events
- Know your CV inside and out – Be prepared to talk in depth about anything on your CV. It’s all fair game. This includes results of research projects, successes of children you have mentored, or the actual country where you started your NGO.
- Wear clean professional clothing – doesn’t have to be a boring black suit with white shirt, but it does have to be clean, ironed, with tasteful color palette. This also means that you may consider keeping your suit as a carry-on, for when you are flying, in case your flight is delayed or luggage is lost. That goes along with wearing comfortable shoes, because you will be going on tours that can seem endless when your toes are being pinched.
- Never ever be late – even if a snow storm is anticipated. Always have a contingency plan.
- Don’t get belligerent at the resident social event prior or preceding the interview. Everyone is watching.
- Be extra respectful and considerate for the residency coordinators – They hold special sway with program directors.
- Be interested – Always have questions ready in advance in the likely event you will be asked if you have any. Do your research by going through the residency and departmental website, ask questions to the residents and other faculty members you meet.
- Remember that you are interviewing the program as well – Make sure you inquire about areas that you are interested in – such as international travel, research opportunities, mentorship, etc.
- Take notes – After a while the interviews will all blend together and it’s helpful to create a short log of notes after each interview while the information is fresh in your mind.
- It’s ok to brag – within reason. Now is not the time to be modest of your achievements. If you don’t advocate for how awesome you are, then who will?
- Talk to the other applicants – you will be surprised to bump into the same group of applicants along the way, be professional and social. They may be your future resident colleagues. Additionally, consider sharing information you gather from other programs with each other. Like-minded people often think alike.
Please feel free to add any other tips you may have gathered along the way!