Effective interviewing

Residency Program Insider, January 31, 2006

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Effective interviewing

Dear residency program colleague:

Interviewing candidates for residency is often a delicate process. Representatives must conduct a thorough interview, ensuring that they cover necessary information without structuring the interviewing process so rigidly that interviewers and interviewees have no room for personal expression. To tackle this task, graduate medical education staff should consider providing first-time interviewers with an interviewing handbook, outlining appropriate and inappropriate topics to cover during the interview. In addition, consider matching new interviewers with veteran interviewers on the staff; the new interviewers will learn on spot, while the experienced interviewers can help those who are new stay on track.

Finally, ask open-ended questions during the interview, such as:

Not only will these questions provide the candidate freedom to exhibit his or her personality, they also give the applicant opportunity to self-disclose important information. Take these tips into consideration during the interviewing process, and find out if each applicant is "the right fit" for your program.

All the best,

Lisa Drage, MD

Associate dean at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Rochester, MN

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