Being a medical professional means that you need to take a keen interest in current events by carefully following the challenges the medical industry faces. The interviewers want to see that your attention is rooted and that you spend time learning, and understanding, the challenges you face in your career as an anesthesiologist. Discuss what you feel to be a primary concerning issue, and be sure to ask the interviewers what they personally see as the most concerning issue in the medical field today. This is an opportunity to start a very insightful conversation.
"I feel that the most concerning issue in the medical industry is the continual rise of drug prices. The best medications should be accessible to anyone, regardless of their financial or social status, and there has been a rising concern with big pharma creating drugs and then pricing them so high that they are unattainable to most. What do you feel are the most concerning issues facing the medical industry today?"
"From what I have seen so far, I believe that the staffing shortage in the medical industry is a considerable concern. I have seen patients with critical needs sitting on wait lists for months, and that is very concerning. What concerns you most in our industry?"
"Quite often we have a shortage of medication. I was able to set up a program with another facility to provide medication to one another if needed. We've been able to help each other out quite often; however, this should never be a concern in the medical industry, in the first place. What is the most concerning issue you face at this facility?"
This question is a stress test! The interviewers only want to know if you are happy with your performance in the interview. There is always room for improvement; however, you want to avoid picking your meeting apart.
"I prepared for the questions that you asked me today and am happy with my performance in this interview. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Can I ask if there is anything I can clarify for you, or elaborate on, from today's conversation?"
"I prepared for the majority of the questions you have asked me today; however, I would like to clarify my answer on one particular point...." (Then, return to the question you may have stumbled on and answer how you would have liked the first time.) "
"I have greatly enjoyed our conversation today, and I look forward to furthering conversations with your team. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from our meeting today?"
This question provides an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer how much you enjoy your job. Do you enjoy working with a particular type of patient most? Perhaps you enjoy the rush of an emergency c-section or the intricacies of being present in heart surgery. Talk to the interviewer about the aspect of your practice that excites you.
"Working within Obstetrics excites me the most. Being able to be a part of a families excitement makes me love my job every day."
"Here are some of the areas where you can specialize as an anesthesiologist: - Cardiothoracic Anesthesia - Critical Care Anesthesia - Neurosurgical Anesthesia - Obstetric Anesthesia - Orthopedic Anesthesia - Pain Medicine - Pediatric Anesthesia"
"The part of my role as an anesthesiologist that excites me the most is knowing which medications block the nerves that connect a particular body part or region to the brain, preventing the nerves from carrying pain signals to your brain. It's fascinating."
The interviewer is trying to get to know you better. Have you always been interested in medicine? Did you spend time as a medical professional in another specialty and decide you wanted to enroll in an anesthesia training program? Tell the interviewer a bit about your journey as a medical provider and what made you want to specialize as an anesthesiologist.
"My father was an anesthesiologist, and I grew up knowing I would likely follow the same path. It was an easy decision for me, and I am so happy to have pursued this specialty."
"When I was in medical school, and it was time for me to choose my specialty, anesthesiology stood out to me because it is a unique and highly technical avenue in medicine. I am happy that I chose this specialty and have never looked back."
"I started my career as an RN anesthetist, and when I decided to return to medical school, I knew that anesthesiology was the option for me. As an RN anesthetist, I had the pleasure of meeting many talented anesthesiologists who left a positive impression on me. They all seemed to find great career fulfillment and were happy individuals."
Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, an author. Anyone! Having a mentor in our lives can help encourage and empower us to take a step in the right direction. You can learn valuable business and life skills from your mentor, including best business practices, appropriate behaviors, and protocols. They provide insight, perspective, vision and provide a sounding board. Did you seek out a mentor from the very beginning, hearing lessons that your mentor has learned along the way through their past experiences? Has your mentor been a family member, professor or fellow doctor? Tell the interviewer how this mentor has helped you become the anesthesiologist you are today.
"I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that the person who has most greatly inspired me has been my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. I try to live with her as much as I can."
"My mentor has been my father. My father is also an anesthesiologist, so he has been able to help and guide me get to where I am today."
"I met my mentor while attending university many years ago. She was a professor of mine and a huge inspiration. When I attended medical school, the anesthesiology specialty did not see many women. Her guidance and wisdom gave me the push and added confidence that I needed at that time in my life. We still keep in touch to this day!"
The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas. A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. Which of these qualities do you most identify?
"I have taken many workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills over the years. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my support staff's small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving."
"I'm new to my career, so my workplace leadership experience is somewhat limited. With that said, I possess great leadership qualities that include diligence, tenacity, and open communication. I look forward to taking these skills to work for you!"
"I believe I efficiently lead by showing others respect regardless of their position or title, creating an open environment in which everyone knows that ideas are welcome. I enjoy setting achievable but high expectations for myself and my support staff."
Having a self-development plan is incredibly important for anyone. The interviewers want to know what your plan is, and how working at their facility will be beneficial to that path. If they are going to invest in you, they need to know that you have a plan in place for investing in yourself also.
"I agree that self-development is crucial for continued growth and achievement. I am committed to investing in myself, and some of the ways I do this is by attending personal development workshops, and meeting with my mentor once per month."
"Some ideas for self-development: - Listening to an inspiring podcaster - Attending personal development workshops - Spending time volunteering in a capacity related to your career goals - Utilizing a mentor - Learning another language - Reading books associated with success"
"Self-development is incredibly important to me. Being in a high-stress work environment, it is imperative that I give back to myself. I encourage my support staff to do the same. Some of the ways I do this is through regular meetings with my mentor and reading books related to stress management. I also meditate every morning which has been a fantastic way of keeping me grounded."
Poor health can range from a patient with diabetes to a patient that smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Let the interviewer know that you gear your procedure counseling to make the patient aware of complications they may face if they don't follow before and aftercare instructions, or fail to answer your pre-op questions truthfully. Walk the interviewer through a list of items you routinely ask your patients.
"The day before a procedure I schedule an appointment with my patients to explain the procedure, the outcome and answer a few questions that I have in regards to their health. The more I know about the patient and their health history, the better I can care for them while they are under."
"I have been taught that when a patient has high-risk factors such as being a heavy smoker or being obese, I must take the time to explain the risks to them before proceeding carefully. I will also be sure to get a second opinion from a more seasoned anesthesiologist."
"Working with a patient that is obese is one of the greatest challenges that I face as an anesthesiologist. I always refer back to my training, get a second opinion from a colleague if necessary."
You can hear that voice in your head tell you to stand up, brush off and move on. As an anesthesiologist, you have to do just that but still, allow yourself to process the situation, and learn from it. Tell the interviewer about a time someone didn't make it out of surgery. Discuss how you reacted and what you learned from the situation.
"As a medical professional, I know very well that the unthinkable can happen at any time. I rely on my training and experience and provide the best care possible for each of my patients. When we lose a patient it is difficult; however, we must remind ourselves that this is the circle of life. We learn what we can from the situation and remain confident that we did everything in our power to keep the patient alive."
"I have not yet been in the situation of losing a patient, and I wholeheartedly hope this never happens. If I do find myself in a situation where a patient does not make it out of surgery, I would be sure to remain composed and ensure that the medical team and support staff banded together, learned from the situation, and processed it healthily."
"Regardless of the situation, I keep my composure at all times. Everyone is watching you in the event of a patient loss, and the support staff is relying on you to take the lead. I can't let it get to me but I can learn from the situation to help with similar cases in the future."
The interviewer wants to see that you have some insight into the desired qualities and characteristics of an anesthesiologist. This is an opportunity to give a unique answer so try to dig deeper than "good bedside manner" or "strong attention to detail."
"good bedside manner"
"Here are some qualities an anesthesiologist should possess: - Unrelenting drive - Desire for improvement - Accountability - Patience and Fortitude - Integrity - Optimism - Self Confidence "
"I have come to learn that the single most important quality of an anesthesiologist is attentiveness. During surgery, an anesthesiologist needs to pay attention to multiple patient queues, orders, and details. It's imperative to be engaged and present at all times."
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the hospital's website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their website!
"Thank you for asking! One question that comes to mind is how many anesthesiologists do you have on staff? Also, is this position a replacement or a newly created opening due to growth?"
"Here are some sample questions: - When would you like to have this position filled? - How long has this role been vacant? - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role? - What is your favorite part of working here? - What is the hospital's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months? - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you? - What do you see as the most significant change in the medical industry over the past three years? - Is there any reason why you would not hire me? "
"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"
Talk to the hiring manager about your schedule and flexibility in hours. Be honest about your availability and expectations and ensure that the interviewer is clear with you on their expectations, as well.
"I understand that as an anesthesiologist, my hours may be sporadic and not always pre-determined. I went into this field with a strong understanding that I would be expected to work a wide range of hours. I can make myself available whenever needed."
"I am new to my career as an anesthesiologist and understand that my hours need to be extra flexible as I build my career. I can make most schedules work. What are your expectations for this role?"
"I'm primarily looking for a day shift position knowing that it will include weekends. I'm available to work other shifts; I just need a few days to coordinate child care."
The interviewer wants to understand better where you feel healthcare could most evolve. Perhaps you think that healthcare can best grow through more patient-focused care. Maybe you believe that care coordination and synergy within the administration is the fastest way to improving healthcare. Whatever your answer, be sure to maintain a confident stance and complete your answer by describing how you feel healthcare is currently evolving.
"I would like to see health-based organizations and facilities put more efforts into putting their patients at the center of everything that they do. This could mean cutting down wait times, improving safety in hospitals, and even engaging with the community more often, so there is a greater level of trust and comfort-ability. I do believe that we are evolving at a fast rate and I am happy to see how far this patient-centered attitude has come since I started my educational path within medicine."
"I think we are doing a great job but can always do better. I would like to see healthcare evolve to being more affordable for everyone, despite their income level. We need to improve affordable care further."
"As an anesthesiologist, I often see patients on surgery wait lists for much too long. I believe we can still improve scheduling, so that wait times go down."
The compensation question can be very difficult to answer. It's always best to start with what you are currently earning and then discuss what your future compensation goals look like.
"Currently, I am earning a salary of $230,000 per year. What range are you offering for this position?"
"I am currently making $140,000 per year as a new anesthesiologist. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides the opportunity for growth."
"At this point in my career, opportunity and growth are at the forefront of my decision. Compensation is not my only driver. With that said, I am currently earning $280,000 per year."
As an anesthesiologist, you are at times the first person they talk to about their pending procedure and the last person the patient speaks to before they are sedated for their procedure. Tell the interviewer about you counseling style. Your patient interaction style should be calm, informative and empathetic.
"My objective is to ensure the patient understands the procedure that they will be receiving, the aftercare that is necessary and that they can ask any questions along the way."
"My objective would be to ensure that the patient or their guardian fully understands the procedure. I will always take the time to answer any questions they or their family may have."
"As an anesthesiologist, I understand that I am likely the last person the patient sees before they go under for their surgery. My communication goal is to make sure they understand the situation, our medical plan, and that they are in great hands with our medical team."
The interviewer wants to know if you would relocate if circumstances changed for you. If picking up and moving your family across the country isn't your plan then be sure to let them know that. If working between two clinics, with some overnight travel, wouldn't bother you then let the interviewer know.
"I wouldn't consider relocating to a different state, but I would consider working with the three other hospitals you have in the valley. I am a strong team player and would collaborate with other facilities."
"I am new to the medical industry and will happily pursue an opportunity anywhere within the united states."
"I would consider relocation for the right opportunity. The right opportunity would provide me a blend of leadership responsibilities, career growth, teaching opportunities, and an increase in compensation."
With this question, the interviewer is questioning your knowledge, character, and ethics at the same time. You should have a well-versed answer to this question as it may come up many times during your career. Research the concept of "therapeutic privilege" and then create a canned response from there. Your answer should be brief, clean, and not convoluted.
"I do not believe there are any situations when a physician is justified in lying to a patient. We have a responsibility to disclose fully, and do only good, for our patients."
"In my years as an anesthesiologist, I have never had the inkling to lie to a patient. I understand there is the concept of therapeutic privilege but it has not come up for me before."
This question could be a way for you to practice your negotiation skills. If you are applying to other hospitals, then be sure to say so. Word travels fast when hiring managers are calling around to find out more about you. Be sure to tell the interviewer why you chose to apply for their position and why you would like this job over the others that you have referred yourself to.
"I have applied to two other hospitals in the area. The reason I applied to this hospital was you have a strong record and reputation in Obstetrics. I have ten years experience working in Obstetrics Anesthesiology and would very much like to grow my career with the best of the best!"
"You are the only hospital to which I have applied. Your mission, values, and goals as a hospital are what attracted me to the job. I haven't found another organization with goals that align so close with mine."
"I am not actively seeking a new opportunity; however, I had to throw my hat in the ring when I saw your posting for a Pediatric Anesthesiologist. Your hospital has an incredible reputation, and I would be proud to work with your team here."
This question is similar to the 'what is your greatest weakness' question. Not all challenges will reflect a weakness that you possess, but you need to show the interviewer that despite the difficulty, you have learned from it. Tell the interviewer about a challenging case you had or a time you struggled emotionally with the outcome of a surgery. Discuss what you learned and how you applied that struggle to your professional or personal growth.
"A challenge for me, early in my career, was being able to separate my emotions from my work. I've learned to better cope with the emotions of the job through working with my mentor and talking it out with my co-workers."
"My biggest challenge has been with balancing my studies and my residency. I have learned a lot about managing my time, and prioritizing my work."
"A challenge I learned early in my career was surrounding my time and flexibility. Emergencies will find their way into a scheduled day, and you have to be ready for those situations. Having good time management, critical thinking skills and a calm demeanor helps me get the job done."
Questions like this can be tricky! Be sure to take note of the wording here as the interviewers are looking to see how you navigate controversial topics versus directly asking your opinion on these matters. This is the time to discuss how you remain tactful when contentious issues arise.
"When it comes to controversial topics such as abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and cloning I will certainly give my opinions more freely in a social setting with a friend versus a workplace setting or around patients. If at work, I would try to keep my personal opinion to myself or at the very least - remain diplomatic by expressing how each side has their right to an opinion."
"That is a tough question! During my time in university, I learned that it's best to keep opinions to oneself, as often as possible. Everyone has a unique opinion to be heard and respected. If directly asked, I will confidently say that I feel it's more professional to keep my personal opinions out of the workplace."
"As an anesthesiologist, I am on the side of science and what is best for each person, on a case-by-case basis. For this reason, I choose not to express a firm opinion on any controversial topics. The situations are so fluid, and there are too many factors that change from person to person."
This is more of a personal interest question, and you really cannot give a wrong answer here. Think back to any of the' founding fathers' (and mothers!) of medicine. Who has a story that resonates with you the most? What did they overcome, and how can you relate? What did they discover/ create/invent that you admire so much? It's also a great idea to think of the most burning question you would have for that individual. Be sure to add passion to your answer so that the interviewers can sense a genuine interest.
"If I could meet anyone in the history of medicine, I would go back to the very beginning and meet Hippocrates. I find it fascinating that he was the first person ever to believe that disease and death were not a result of the anger of gods. I would ask him what that first conversation sounded like...when he first said to others, that superstitious belief does not cause disease. He would have had to have faced so many roadblocks yet he continued to believe in his work."
"That's a great question! If I could meet anyone in the history of medicine, I would meet Virginia Apgar. She paved the way for women in medicine and also introduced obstetrical considerations to neonatology. She also invented the Apgar score. Now, that's fascinating!"
"I have come to appreciate the work of many medical professionals who paved the way for me to have a safe and fulfilling career as an anesthesiologist. If I had to choose just one person from history, I would choose Emery Andrew Rovenstine. He pioneered the idea of therapeutic nerve blocking and also introduced the use of cyclopropane."
The path to becoming an anesthesiologist is a long and challenging one. The interviewer would like to know more about the lessons you have come to learn along the way. Perhaps it's a significant skill or trait. Or, maybe you learned something about yourself in the process. Share with the interviewer a valuable lesson you learned on your path to becoming an anesthesiologist.
"During my path to becoming an anesthesiologist I've learned to understand another person's situation from their perspective instead of seeing it from my perspective. I have become much more empathetic which is a trait that all medical professionals should have."
"The most valuable lesson I have learned is the lesson of pure dedication. Medical school is not for the faint of heart or for those who give up easily. My level of dedication has grown immensely, and I am very thankful for that."
"The most valuable lesson I've learned as an anesthesiologist is not to take my administrative staff for granted. Over these years, I've come to realize that the administrative staff supports the hospital in so many ways that often remain unseen. I'm grateful for their support."
The interviewers would like to understand what drives your pursuit of a career in the medical field. Your core passion is what will keep you going on the toughest of days. For the interviewers to understand how to motivate you, they need to know what fires you up! It is okay to share a personal story when answering this question. Perhaps you can discuss what initiated your interest in attending medical school. Whatever drives you, make sure the interviewers can feel your passion!
"Many factors drive my passion for a career in medicine. If I had to pinpoint one main driver, I would say that saving the lives of others, every day, is the most significant for me. Everyone deserves great health care, and I plan to live that mantra by being the best at what I do, and giving my all to my patients, every day."
"The factor that drives me most, regarding working in the medical field, is the pride that I feel knowing I am helping to save lives on a daily basis."
"The anesthesiology specialty is not as common as other options, and so, for this reason, I am even more motivated to make a difference in this area of medicine. I am driven to stay in this industry by knowing that my work matters."
As an anesthesiologist, what makes you want to come to work each day? Perhaps it is the team that you are a part of or the excitement of a new case every day? Relay to the interviewer what you like best and express your enthusiasm for this next opportunity.
"In my current role, I work with a great team of professionals. Everyone is highly skilled, and they bring a collaborative mindset to the hospital every day. I look forward to meeting the team here and building new professional working relationships."
"I am thrilled to say that my current position has laid solid groundwork for me to begin my career as an anesthesiologist. I work alongside some very seasoned professionals who have committed themselves to teaching me everything they know. I am very thankful for this, and now feel ready to move forward into a role with your hospital."
"One of the things I like most about my current role is being able to mentor our junior anesthesiologists. I enjoy being able to teach medical professionals and help them pave a solid career path in the medical industry."
Time management skills are crucial to being a successful anesthesiologist. You will juggle multiple patients and projects and will need some sort of system to keep track of it all. Tell the interviewer about the system you utilize to manage your time.
"Time management is an important part of meeting deadlines and being successful in my role as an anesthesiologist. While there are general activities that are ongoing in my role, I manage my time based on pressing projects and the needs of the people I support in my role. When necessary, I adapt and ensure flexibility in my time management."
"Time management is imperative to stay on schedule with my patients and procedures. Being able to manage my time effectively will help me build time into my schedule in case an emergency comes up."
"I rely heavily on my support staff. They are lifesavers at times. Also, I ensure organization by never delaying my documentation and always showing up to a shift 30 minutes early."
An Anesthesiologist makes sure that surgeries go smoothly when a patient undergoes anesthesia. In some cases, irregularities in blood pressure or heart rate during surgery can lead to grave consequences. Anesthesiologist care for all ages of patients. Anesthesiologists assure the right dose of medication is administered an infant whose organs are still underdeveloped and who cannot speak to tell you that he's in pain as well as the correct dosage of medication to a mother in labor.
Anesthesiologists are self-motivated and able to work long hours under pressure. Good communication and decision making skills are a must as an Anesthesiologist. As a member of a surgical team, Anesthesiologists must be especially calm and cooperative.
To prepare for your interview just review the details on your resume. The interviewer will have done their homework on you. You look good on paper so now all you need to do is find out more about the facility and how your skills are going to be addition to the team. Have you had the opportunity to work within a facility with specialty clinics allowing you to have complex patients?