For many PA graduates, it’s interview season! Here are 5 tips to crush your interview:
1. DRAW ON YOUR PA SCHOOL INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE
We all had to go through interviews to get accepted into PA school, so don’t forget about these invaluable experiences. If you’re out looking for jobs, you obviously convinced one or more PA programs of how great you are, so reflect back on what you did to stand out from the crowd.
2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
You should enter each interview having researched the company that is interviewing you. Pay close attention to their mission statement and try to integrate some of the keywords from that into your answers. Ask yourself, “What can I say and do to show that my values are aligned with theirs?” Another example is if your potential employer is an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), you need to understand what that means, and should demonstrate that understanding in your interview.
3. DRESS FOR SUCCESS
First impressions are critical, so dress nicely for your interview. Do not wear anything flashy, provocative, or sexy, but look like you mean business. This doesn’t mean you should break the bank getting a tailored Italian suit, as you poor post-PA students could probably do just as well at Marshall’s or through online shopping.
4. SPIN EVERYTHING POSITIVELY
Here’s an example: You’re not just a new grad, as you’re also a clean slate ready to be trained by your prospective employer. My example: I’ve had interviews where they questioned my PA-employment gaps (for extended time-off and sabbaticals), only to explain how I was prioritizing my life outside of work, leading to interesting conversations and allowing me to become unforgettable to them.
5. BE PREPARED TO ASK QUESTIONS, NOT JUST ANSWER THEM
After doing your homework (see #2), prepare a few questions to ask your interviewers. Not only does this demonstrate engagement and interest, but it also gets you out of the hot seat for a few minutes, and can lead to more conversations, as opposed to a standard question/answer format.
If you’re looking for even more interview tips, Indeed has some more good advice. I highly suggest you also check out The PA Blueprint to better understand compensation, which may help with negotiating your contract, once you are offered a job.
DISCLAIMERS: 1) The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer. 2) I don’t know what I don’t know, so feel free to message me if you don’t agree with something that you read. 3) By clicking any links from Efficient Clinician to their helpful website and purchasing any of their products, I will receive a percentage of the purchase. But, as I said previously, I will never commit to any agreement that will sacrifice my integrity.
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