Once you have a diploma in hand, you may think the hard work is over. But while the next stage is exciting – starting your career! – it has its own challenges.
To land a great optometry residency, you must first ace the residency interview.
What to Expect in a Residency Interview
A residency interview is no different than any other interview.
You’ll be speaking with one or more representatives from the office you’re interested in. They’ll likely give you a quick overview of the position and expectations for you, the resident.
Expect a back-and-forth conversation. The goal is for each person to learn about the other to see how well they work together.
You’ll be judged on your educational and professional background, how you present yourself, and whether you seem like a good fit for the practice. Because this is a position that deals with people, your interviewer will also likely consider your people skills.
This holds true for local optometrist offices like Medical Arts Eye Clinic & Optical and larger healthcare facilities like hospitals.
Getting Ready for Your Interview
While there are many considerations for a residency interview, you have control over how you come across to the other person. With the right preparation, you can walk into the interview confidently.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in your interview:
1. Research Common Questions You Might Be Asked
The best way to ensure a smooth interview is to know how you want to answer questions. Your answers shouldn’t sound scripted – you just want to sound comfortable discussing them.
Research common questions and think of a few responses. Interviewers may have follow-up questions, so be prepared to expand on each thought. The last thing you want to do is get flustered by a tricky question.
2. Think of Questions You Can Ask the Interviewer
Even if you think it’s obvious that you want this residency, asking the right questions will show your interest.
Think of this as a chance to learn more about your future boss and working environment. Wouldn’t you like to know how things work before you get hired? Ask what traits they find most appealing in a resident. Then you’ll have a leg up if you do get hired.
3. Pick Your Power Suit
How you present yourself says a lot about you. Choose a suit that fits well and isn’t too distracting.
If you need to borrow a suit for your residency interview, make sure the person is a similar size. An ill-fitting suit or even an outdated one could put off potential employers, no matter the field. If you can invest in one good interview suit, it’s best to do so.
4. Prepare Your Paperwork
Bring updated resumes, transcripts, and letters of recommendations if you have them. Also make sure you have contact information for your references, just in case that comes up.
If you’ll be meeting multiple people, bring extra copies for each person.
Taking the Next Step
Before you can start interviewing for residencies, you need to start applying for them!
Polish up your resume and reach out to hiring managers directly to make connections. With the right preparation, the interview should be comfortable, engaging, and productive.