Five Questions Interviewees Should be Asking During Their Optometric Job Interviews
Whether you are an experienced doctor of optometry looking for a change or a recent graduate applying for your first position, the hiring interview process can be nerve-wracking. It’s important to keep in mind that both you and your potential employer have a shared goal during the interview – to determine how well you fit within the needs and the culture of their practice.
Some applicants spend so much time anticipating and preparing for questions the hiring OD might ask, they forget to come to the interview with questions of their own. Practice owners who have recently hired their own associate ODs shared five questions they recommend every interviewee ask:
- What is the practice culture like? While an applicant should come into the interview with some familiarity with the practice and its doctors, the hiring OD will have valuable insight to the environment of the practice that cannot be found on the practice’s website. This question can also lead into further questions about the backgrounds and interests of the current doctors, which can help demonstrate your willingness and interest in building relationships with your future colleagues.
- What would it look like if I wanted to practice [insert specialization]? If you have a specialization like vision therapy or ocular diseases, ask about different testing and procedures to learn more about how you might practice this specialization in the hiring OD’s practice. Indicating your interest in a specific area can help the hiring OD see where you can potentially add to the practice.
- Where was the practice 3 years ago and where would you like to see it 3 years from now? This question can help you see whether the practice is growing and give you an idea of the practice owner’s goals for the practice. Because, in most cases, both the applicant and the hiring OD are looking for a long-term fit, it is important to assess whether the needs and goals of the practice align with your own.
- Does the practice participate in MIPS or Meaningful Use Reporting? Because these programs require practices meet specific criteria, this question goes a step further than asking whether the practice is medically oriented, giving you a better understanding of the types of patients you may be seeing.
- What is the age range of the practice’s patient base? Because your career will revolve around patient care, you should feel comfortable asking as many questions as you need to develop an understanding of the patients you may be seeing as an OD in the practice. Asking questions about patient demographics can help give you insight you need to determine if the practice is a fit for your goals.
Coming to your interview prepared with thoughtful questions will indicate to the hiring OD that you are invested in finding a long-term fit to advance your career and will help them see that you are invested in the growth and success of your future practice. While you will spend most of the interview discussing how you might be a good fit for the practice, you should not overlook the opportunity to discuss how the practice might be a good fit for your career goals.
Searching for your perfect career fit? Check out the AOAExcel Career Center to connect with hiring practices nationwide.
In the second part of AOAExcel's four-part Standing Out in an Interview Series, learn what not to do and say during an interview in order to avoid these hiring OD's pet peeves.
In the first part of AOAExcel's four-part Standing Out in an Interview Series, learn how doctors of optometry can use body language, attitude, and engagement to shine when interviewing for a position in a practice. Check back next week for Standing Out in an Interview Part Two: Hiring OD Pet Peeves.
Begin your salary negotiations with a firm understanding of the optometric salary range for your target region.