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Looking to take up a locum assignment for the first time? Here are some locum tenens interview tips you must know before the interview.
Although medical recruiters provide details such as contract length, type of facility, and schedule, early on during recruitment, they don’t always help you gain a complete understanding of the assignment. For instance, the organizational culture, management style, politics, and availability of support staff are critical details that are likely to influence your decision to accept a locum assignment. However, intangible information of this nature can be easily missed through the course of your interaction with the employer, and adversely affect your decision about the offer.
Since the interview is often the last stage of the hiring process, you need to be prepared to handle it the right way in order to avoid any last-minute surprises. In addition to making a good impression with your answers, you also need to ask the right questions that will help you understand the nature of the assignment and the employer.
Make sure that you do thorough research on the locum tenens assignment and the company. Look them up on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, and read what their employees had to say on Glassdoor and Payscale. Going through the employer’s social media handles can give you an idea of the values that are dear to the organization, and citing them in your interview can give you a competitive edge over your peers. Employers tend to be interested in understanding why you applied for their job, as it helps them assess if you would make a good fit for the role.
This goes without saying for in-person interviews. But what about phone and video interviews? Regardless of the mode of the interview, make it a point to dress up in fine formals for the interview. The ensemble will ensure that you feel mentally ready to face the interview, even if you’re doing it from your parents’ house. Avoid dressing up till the waist for Skype or Google Meet interviews, and instead be dressed completely from head to toe, as you never know when you might be required to stand up or move away to fetch a pen or a bottle of water.
On a notepad, scribble down your preferences with the locum tenens assignment. What benefits do you think are absolutely necessary? Which aspects are negotiable and which are not? This exercise helps you fix your mind on your expectations from the job. During the interview, feel free to communicate the same to the hiring manager. Unless you open up about your requirements, you are never going to know how the conversation might go. By the end of the interview, either you learn a lesson in being realistic or you end up becoming more confident with your negotiation skills. Either way, it’s a win-win for you.
Remember, employment is a two-way relationship. Your interview isn’t just an opportunity to showcase your abilities, but it is also the right chance for you to understand the employer. Utilize the time to express your interests and specialties with regard to the job, how you would like to grow, and the nature of the relationship that you would like to share with them. The recruiter might like you for being passionate about the job.
Be prepared to ask questions that can help you decide about the employer and the assignment. Here are some sample questions:
· Why do you need the help of a locum tenens physician?
This question will help you understand if the employer needs your support to handle large caseloads or if you are only pitching in for a doctor on vacation. Based on the response, you can figure out if the employer might need you for future assignments as well.
· How many patients will I need to see per day or shift?
The response to this question will help you have a rough idea of what your workload might entail.
· What is the culture of the unit like?
Asking this question can give you insights into the environment and culture of the unit and may help you decide if you’d make a good fit.
You could also come up with questions based on your or your friends’ experiences.
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Click here to read about the difference between per diem and locum tenens.