Some Things You Ought To Consider If You Are Planning On Medical Interview Coaching This Year. Before You Commit
Are you planning on undertaking medical interview coaching in 2019?
A Wrap Up Of 2020
2020 was another successful year for coaching clients. Demonstrating the value of performance coaching to secure career progression. We managed to help clients secure some fairly competitive posts, including Paediatrics, Cardiothoracics, Radiology and Ophthalmology in some pretty prestigious locations (think Prince of Wales & Royal Melbourne).
Overall I’m probably most proud of helping those trainees who were passionate about their career choice but were being let down by a lack of confidence and poor past advice.
Late last year I did a project for the College of Radiologists looking at their trainee selection processes and how to incorporate things like diversity into the future selection of trainees. I look forward to hearing some results from this work.
Whilst the median number of coaching sessions for 2020 was once again 3. Some coachees, in particular trainees, opted for an additional fourth or fifth session. I clocked well over 500 interview coaching sessions.
Some also approached me for some “last minute” coaching. A once-off interview coaching session can be challenging. Particularly in relation to not overloading the coachee with too much new information. However, many doctors reported these sessions as helpful, particularly in being able to calm their nerves prior to the interview and to ask background questions and test out potential work examples to use.
There remains no doubt in my mind, however, that a planned and stepped out coaching approach is far superior and will address higher levels of interview capability and performance.
- The format of most interviews remains remarkably conservative. Usually a single small panel of 3 to 5 running for 15 to 30 minutes (shorter for more junior roles, longer for more senior)
- The types of questions remain highly predictable and if you practice enough you will likely cover the majority (with slight variation) bar any clinical problem they may put to you
- Questions about experience (some what of a waste given they already have your CV), conflict resolution, strengths and weaknesses and preparedness for the position remain popular
- Ethical questions, particularly in relation to trainee doctor wellbeing and managing upwards appear to becoming more popular
- Most doctors can identify 3 or 4 good examples (good stories) from their CVs that can be used to fit the range of interview questions. Sometimes to more than one question and even if an example is not asked for
Thanks to our community and coaching clients. We have now collected more than 640 interview questions. Providing a useful bank of questions for you to practice upon.
Key Considerations For Interview Coaching
Career coaches often offer interview coaching. There are lots of coaches available to choose from if you live in a capital city. Less so in rural and regional places. But video technology now lets you connect virtually and also offers some additional benefits (such as not having to travel and the ability to record sessions easily). Some things you should consider in a coach are the following:
- What is the coaches training and experience in interview coaching?
- What sort of knowledge and experience do they have with the actual interview process? Medical interviews can be fairly unique, particularly in terms of the types of questions asked and what panels may be looking for. So someone who has actual doctor interview panel experience is ideal.
- Does the coach provide face to face coaching or on the phone or online? Face to face may seem best initially. But consider that you may need to travel to see the coach and often during normal work hours. Phone coaching and online coaching may be more convenient and cut down on travel.
- What feedback is provided after each session? Phone and online coaches can often give you a recording of the session for you to review.
- What is the price of the coaching?
To this I would add that your coach really should know about video coaching in 2020. For obvious reasons.
If you cannot afford a coach, there are some opportunities for less expensive or even free coaching. Your Director of Training may be skilled in interview coaching or may be able to recommend another Consultant in your hospital who is.
My Approach For 2020
I have a passion for medical career development and truly enjoy working with other doctors in a coaching format to reach their goals.
For 2020, I will continue to be offering the 3 session online coaching service as my main format for coaching doctors who wish to improve their medical job interview performance.
As an additional bonus this year I will review your video confernce set up for you. To make sure it looks good for your actual interview.
All this in addition to the ability to offer coaching at a mutually convenient time in the comfort of your own home (or private work area if you prefer). With a recording of each session available to review usually within the hour.
I am always happy to work with doctors on a once-off basis when I can. But I will continue to prioritise coaching clients on a sessional coaching plan.
What Can Be Achieved In a Single Session?
In short. Quite a lot.
- Orientate you to the interview process.
- Resolve any queries you may have about the panel.
- Practice an opening type question, during which we can also introduce some techniques for relaxing into the interview.
- Go over your work examples as they relate to particular common questions.
- And review some interview answer frameworks.
What Are The Benefits of a Series of Coaching Sessions?
Everything that is covered in a once-off session can be covered but with more depth and the opportunity for deliberate practice so that improved performance sticks and generalises.
We also use the extended time to develop better examples and practice answering multiple questions in relation to past example and hypothetical frameworks.
Over this time you incorporate relaxation and “panel warming” techniques into your answer approach. You become better at selling your examples and competencies and agile at answering a range of question