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Psychiatrist Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Psychiatrist interview, here are 32 interview questions and answer examples.

Psychiatrist was updated by on May 25th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 32

What kind of work environment do you thrive in?

How to Answer

When answering this question, be sure to tell the interviewer that you are able to conform easily to whatever setting you're placed in. Research the company beforehand so that you have a good idea of what type of atmosphere they have. Keep your answer positive no matter what type of environment you prefer. Include past experiences with different workplace atmospheres to show your range of adaptability.

Written by Heather Douglass

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32 Psychiatrist Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. What kind of work environment do you thrive in?

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, be sure to tell the interviewer that you are able to conform easily to whatever setting you're placed in. Research the company beforehand so that you have a good idea of what type of atmosphere they have. Keep your answer positive no matter what type of environment you prefer. Include past experiences with different workplace atmospheres to show your range of adaptability.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "In getting the opportunity to work in many different settings during my years in residency, the environment that I found must satisfying to be in was a small, close knit clinic or hospital setting. In these environments, it was easier to get to know the team that I worked with and become a closer unit. I know that your opportunity is a smaller, tightly knitted practice that I would be able to succeed in."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      1st Answer Example

      "I have done my best work as a Psychiatrist in a collaborative, team based environment. I am a people person and like to have the ear of a colleague from time to time. I've practiced solo and am able to adapt to not having close colleagues around as well."

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Experienced

      "I am a Psychiatrist that thrives in an environment where I am allowed to be innovative and help to make important decisions in the practice. I've worked in an organization that operated very autocratically and while I was able to adapt to constant changes I may not have agreed with, I find that including many people in key decisions is the key to running a successful Psychiatry practice."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I work in a small community health center that is non-profit and requires skills to deal with almost all having psychosocial issues "” highly demanding with complex cases with substance abuse and discordant families. I offer the time and flexible with working time giving priority to the patients with superior satisfaction to my supervisors and administration."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great response! It's great that you mentioned the clientele you currently serve, because you have a knowledge base that could greatly benefit their agency. I revised your response a bit, because you can most likely discuss satisfying supervisors and administration during other areas of the interview. This question allows you to show your personality and passion for helping people.

      "I currently work in a small nonprofit community health center that serves diverse clientele. I assist clients who have complex psychological challenges, substance abuse issues, and discordant family dynamics. I believe openness, competence, warmth, and a non-judgmental approach best serves clients with these needs. I thrive in similarly complex, fast-paced environments, and gain a lot of satisfaction by contributing to a client-centered team."

  • 2. Do you have interest in pursuing research or have you been involved in research in the past?

      How to Answer

      For this question, it is important to be honest with your feelings for research while also knowing the position that you are applying for and what that organization may be looking for. Interviewing for a position at an academic institution will require some passion for research. Conversely, the desire to do research may be a hindrance while interviewing for a position with a private practice. Be sure to do your research on the position and the organization prior to interviewing.

      "I have a very high interest in pursuing research at a higher level. While going through my psychiatric training program, I had been a part of extensive research on the effects of medicinal marijuana on patients with severe depression. While research has always intrigued me, I've been away from it now for five years and am really hoping to put my knowledge and research methods and skills to use in this position."

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "While I have been exposed to research through my training program, my career goal for now is patient care and I'd like to focus my career on that as a new psychiatrist in this position that you have available."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      1st Answer Example

      "I have a very high interest in pursuing research at a higher level. While going through my psychiatric training program, I had been a part of extensive research on the effects of medicinal marijuana on patients with severe depression. While research has always intrigued me, I've been away from it now for five years and am really hoping to put my knowledge and research methods and skills to use in this position."

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Experienced

      "As you can see on my CV, I have been heavily involved in research in the field of treating mood disorders. I have several published studies that I am extremely proud of and look to continue by bringing my current research to your institution. I am a firm believer that sound research in our field is what will advance our treatment techniques in the future and I want to be a part of that."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I started my psychiatry career as a researcher. I began working with Dr. Schnur at Elmhurst Hospital Center and performed a psychiatric assessment using research scales such as PAANS, BPRS, YMRS, CGI, etc. Encouraged with the learning a new subject and interaction with patients helped me to choose psychiatry as my career. As a part of the curriculum, I think I decided outstanding topics of research during my externship, residency, and fellowship. My passion for research leads to publishing a few articles recently, which gives me more confident though it is on a smaller scale. If there is any chance to do the research, I will be willing to participate in a study in addition to the clinical care of my patients."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic response! I made some revisions to your wording and sentence structure. You mentioned your externship, residency, and fellowship; keep those experiences in the forefront of your mind, since preliminary interview questions scratch the surface of an interviewee's experience. You want to give specific examples of knowledge (which you clearly answer in your response), but you can elaborate in-person by discussing your externship, residency, and fellowship. You want to grab the interviewer's attention, yet not discuss all experiences at once.

      "I have an affinity for research, as it was the start of my career tract in psychiatry. I gained research experience in psychiatric research scales such as PAANS, BPRS, YMRS, and CGI under the direction of Dr. Shnur of the Elmhurst Hospital Center. My passion for research has led to a few published articles as well. If given the opportunity, I am willing to participate in research projects as well as clinical care."

  • 3. Talk about a time you had to think outside the box to help a patient or solve a problem. How was your thinking accepted among your team or peers?

      How to Answer

      Working with patients that have moderate to severe mental illness can require some creative thinking at times to help treat them. Unlike a Cardiologist that can pinpoint a problem and then diagnose and treat with the use of sophisticated technology, life for a Psychiatrist is often not that advanced. The interviewer is looking for your ability to treat a patient as an individual and see your ability to think creatively when treating a patient. Try to be specific with your answer.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "In my training program, I was on a clinical rotation in a child & adolescent unit working with children with PTSD. After reading several studies about the use of music therapy for people with traumatic stress, I convinced my attending physician and the unit director to let me try using music therapy sessions with the children. After designing a program and getting it approved, the therapy sessions were a hit among both the children and their loved ones. As I left my training program, I received special recognition for helping to develop this therapy in the program and they plan to continue to utilize after I leave."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      1st Answer Example

      "During my time working as an Addictions Counselor, I was treating a patient that had completely devastated their life due to alcoholism. They had lost their job, their spouse due to divorce and the inability to see their children on a regular basis due to court order. Throughout my treatment of the illness with the patient, deep regrets were brought to light once they had gone through the initial detox period. As part of my daily sessions with this patient, it became quite obvious that the patients ex-spouse may help play an integral role in helping him recover. I had never done this prior in practice, but I contacted the ex-spouse to see if they would be willing to join us for one of our normal one on one session together and the spouse readily agreed. It had been almost six months since they had spoken, but right away the spouse could see that the patient was on a path to recovery. Once recovered and released, the patient came back to our unit to volunteer and work with other patients and he remains sober to this day. Every time we see each other, he thanks me for helping him turn his life back around and helping to get his children back into his life."

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Experienced

      "During my time practicing with my current organization, I have taken great pride in my ability to think outside of the box for each patient that I treat. To help in making hospital visits better on our inpatient Psychiatric unit, I advocated over time for a more relaxing atmosphere in the patient rooms. Knowing that our patients were in a vulnerable state while hospitalized, I felt that it was important for our inpatient rooms to feel more like home with nice paint, lamps and artwork on the walls. After speaking in front of our board of directors, we were granted the budget for making the changes the following year."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I cannot think of an out of the box solution I've needed to help a patient, but as a mother, thinking out of the box is a must. My daughter has become terrified of helicopters after we were chased off the beach by a police helicopter a few weeks ago. She is scared of going outside and seeks comfort when she hears a helicopter overhead. So I have been gradually exposing her to helicopters by watching Peppa Pig episodes with helicopters and playing with helicopters and police toys. Finally, we borrowed a rabbit from her school to look after over the weekend. This was intended to encourage her to be outdoors more. I've given her a lot of reassurance about helicopters and the police, and day-by-day I can see her confidence growing."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You sound like such a patient and loving mother! This example is a wonderful show of your patience in solving a problem. Also, this response showcases your deep empathy and understanding.

  • 4. What electronic medical records do you have experience working with?

      How to Answer

      Working on an electronic medical record program is an essential part of the job for any physician, including Psychiatrists. Talk about the experiences that you have working on different programs and be sure to point out your comfortability working on the program. As well, discussing the importance of utilizing the system will go a long way with the interviewer.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Through my training program, we worked exclusively on the Allscripts program. I found myself to be a very quick learner once I started using the program. In talking to some other friends that I've stayed in contact with since medical school, they have worked on a variety of programs and I am confident in my ability to be able to learn and use any program to its fullest potential. "

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I work with EPIC at my job, and I work with Practice Fusion at my practice. I have been working for almost ten years with EHR before switching from paper charts. I found myself a rapid learner once I started using the programs."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a great response. I make a few revisions with sentence structure, but feel you answered the question adequately.

      "I have approximately 10 years of Electronic Health Record experience. Switching from paper charts to EHR was rather easy; I use Practice Fusion for my private practice, and EPIC at the community health center. I learn electronic platforms easily, and consider myself computer and tech savvy."

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  • 5. Psychiatric providers are in high demand right now across the entire country. Why do you think that is?

      How to Answer

      Psychiatry is an extremely high demand field right now and this question gives you the opportunity to talk about both high level philosophy on your work and what brings you to the interview with the organization you are interviewing for. Psychiatrists are in a unique position where employers may be willing to bend on the practice to attract you, but don't be pushy with any requests that you may have.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Through med school, it was rare to find a future physician that had the desire to train and pursue a practice as a Psychiatrist. Mental health has always been a strong passion of mine but I know a lot of other new graduates share my passion. With the increase in demand for Psychiatrists and a large portion of the field projected to retire in the coming years, I feel fortunate to be in the position I am coming out of training."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I think this is both due to the increased prevalence of mental illness, the increased recognition of early warning signs, and that it is increasingly acceptable to seek help."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are excellent points! If you know anything more about the increase in demand (i.e., stats or even an article you've recently read) this question is a unique opportunity to start a conversation with your interviewer vs. offering a closed-ended statement.

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  • 6. Have you worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings? Do you have a preference of one vs. the other?

      How to Answer

      For this question, it is important for you to know the details of the position that you are interviewing for. The interviewer will know your background from studying your CV and now is a good time to talk details on your prior experiences in practice in an outpatient and inpatient setting. If the position you are interviewing for is specific to one of these settings, you can expand upon that setting particularly and how your experiences match what the organization is looking for in a new Psychiatrist.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my residency, I had the opportunity to see patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. These opportunities have allowed me to become a well-rounded Psychiatrist heading into my first practice. I really love the fact that this position will allow me the opportunity to see patients in both settings."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I've worked in a range of inpatient units, from subacute to acute across different settings.

      2- I've also worked across a variety of CAMHS teams

      3- I find that in inpatient units, there is a greater urgency of family members to have things change, so a lot of progress can be made, especially in family therapy. On the other hand, the time restraints also often mean that you can't start meaningful work, which is best suited to the community. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with the under 12's which you can only do in the community"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You show passion for a variety of areas, which makes you a versatile candidate. It seems as though you would make any situation work for you!

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  • 7. Talk about the importance of the entire patient care team in a Psychiatric setting. How do you work with other member of your care team?

      How to Answer

      Working as part of a greater team is extremely important in a Psychiatric setting. Your interviewer will be looking for you to point out the importance of each member of a patients care team and your ability to work and communicate with each member of the team. Give particular examples of how you work well with members of your care team.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my residency training, I made it a priority to get to know all of the members of my care team to be able to work with them better. By knowing each person personally, I was able to communicate and work with them more effectively which ultimately helped provide better care to our patients. I also took the time to understand the role that each person plays as part of the team to help me gain a larger perspective in patient care."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- Important to work collaboratively, allowing others to lead with their expertise in certain areas, as well as giving voice to members who tend to be quieter.

      2- It also means being mindful of my own emotions if I am challenged or someone else in the team assumes a dominant position.

      3- Teams can also sometimes align against a third party, e.g., the patient, the community team, or the family. It is important to be mindful of the perspectives of those who would not be present in the room."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Amazing answer! You give a range of perspectives that shows maturity and self-awareness. Very well done.

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  • 8. Is there a particular patient population that you specialize in or prefer working with?

      How to Answer

      With the field of Psychiatry being sub-specialized, be open and honest with your interviewer on what patients you prefer or are trained to work with. Your interviewer will be able to tell a lot about you based on your CV, but now is a good time to talk about the particular patients that you like working with. Your specific training in your field can come into play on this question as well. For this question, it is important to know the particular position that you're interviewing for as well. If you are interviewing for a general practice position, specializing isn't a bad thing but the ability to practice generally is important.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "By pursuing fellowship training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, I would like at least a part of my practice to involve working with that population of patients. My training has prepared me to practice in a general practice setting, but it's important for me to utilize my training working with children and adolescents."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "(I'm applying for a child psychiatry position)



      1- I am particularly used to working with suicidal adolescents. I've had training in specific family therapy for this, and have adapted several treatment approaches towards resourcing parents to being able to contain their child's distress."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Solid answer. You show direction and purpose, which is precisely what the interviewer would be looking for in this question.

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  • 9. Talk about a time you had to deal with a crisis situation. How did you handle that situation and what was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, crisis situations can arise from time to time. How you have handled a crisis situation in the past will often predict how you will react in the future. Here, your interviewer is looking for your ability to stay calm and collected while solving the situation in an efficient manner. Presenting a situation where you learned something for the future can go a long way with the interviewer as well.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my residency, I rotated in both inpatient and outpatient settings. On one outpatient rotation, I was seeing a patient that had violent outbursts in his history so we always had two people in our sessions together. During one session, the patient grabbed a lamp and started swinging it violently in the air. Using my training, I was able to calmly talk him down from the escalated situation. In talking further, I learned that he had experienced a traumatic even at home earlier in the week causing the outburst."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

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  • 10. What do you know about our facility?

      How to Answer

      This question is a test to see if you did your homework on the organization you are applying to. Once you get to the interview stage, you'll want to do further research about the facility. Start with the website, reviewing their mission, values, and culture. You can read employee reviews to see what their experience was like. Do your homework so that you can respond confidently. Strive to impress the interviewer with your knowledge. That shows you have vested interested in the facility and that you're thinking long-term.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Being a new Psychiatrist when I leave residency, it is important for me to find a practice that aligns with my personal values. I know that this organization receives a lot of funding to help mental health patients that are poverty stricken and I can't emphasize how important that is to me. My dream in becoming a physician was started by my want to help the less fortunate individuals and I would love working in this environment here."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

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  • 11. What kind of impact would you like to make here?

      How to Answer

      This is a great question to turn the tables on the interviewer. Tell the interviewer that you'd like to tackle any projects they need someone to take the lead on if there is an inspection or accreditation coming up you want to be a part of it. This is your chance to ask the interviewer what they currently have in the queue to accomplish. This will give you an idea of what else the job entails.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "As a new psychiatrist, I would bring a patient centered approach to the organization and would love to participate in any committees or projects that involve patient care, patient satisfaction or patient safety."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- One of the principals of clinical governance is the professional development of staff, and one of the aspects of that which I have personally benefited from is videotaping of sessions for group supervision



      2- I have found that especially helpful for the areas of improvement that I wasn't aware of, and have used it for attachment-based family therapy and theraplay.



      3- If the team and patients consent, I think this would be a really good opportunity for professional development, group supervision and improved clinical care towards our patients



      4- I also understand there is a project underway to decrease the number of presentations to ED. I am especially interested in working with families to contain suicidal children by causing them to be a secure base through rupture repair. I think this would be especially helpful in assisting this process."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You make some excellent suggestions, and draw a clear line between these suggestions and how your experience and expertise can be a support. Well done!

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  • 12. Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or both? Explain your answer.

      How to Answer

      If you enjoy recharging your batteries by spending time alone then you are an introvert. If you thrive by being around people and all the action then you are viewed as an extrovert. If you answer the question as being an introvert make su"‹re you don't make it too awkward and end up not being able to work with a team. If you have been described as an extrovert than being the center of attention is what you need just be sure to sensor your answer.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Personally, I have always been an extrovert enjoys the company of others both inside and outside of the workplace. I see being around and working with people as an opportunity to both have fun and learn at the same time. During my rotations in residency, I am able to work independently and secluded as well. I don't have any issues making critical decisions on my own without access to my direct leader."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I have reflected a lot on my personality, and I think working in child psychiatry forces you to be.



      2- I think I am considered friendly, engageable and sociable, very easily meeting new people



      3- However, in regards to talking about personal matters I do find that I tend to keep to myself."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds as though you offer proper professional balance, and know exactly who you are. Very solid answer.

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  • 13. How many other po have you applied to?

      How to Answer

      This question could be a way for you to practice your negotiation skills. If you are applying to other hospitals 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 applied to. If you discuss any specifics about other position, focus on the practice and why the job you are interviewing for now is ideal for you. Do not discuss pay at this time. By being honest with your interviewer here, hiring decisions are often expedited given the competitive nature of the Psychiatrist job market.

      Here's a sample answer: "I have applied to two other hospitals in the area. The reason I applied to this position was that the position is a Child Psychiatrist. I have 10 years experience working with children and have enjoyed every minute of it. I would love to have a future practice focusing solely on children."

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Being in my final year of residency, I have applied to a few different positions throughout the country and this is my second interview. Geographically, I have it narrowed down to two regions based on the things that I like to do outside of work. Practice wise, this opportunity suits me well as I am looking to join an organization where I can focus on an outpatient practice with several experienced Psychiatrists."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "This is the only post I have applied for. I have been working for this organization for the last 6 years. I am happy with the work culture and team support available here. My family and I love the lifestyle here. I thought this is an ideal opportunity for me to begin my career as a psychiatrist in the same organization that I am trained in."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great response; this shows that you are truly passionate about this particular organization and highly interested in the role. In the "Revised Answer" section, I have suggested a way to revise this response slightly to improve clarity and detail.

      "Because I am truly passionate about this organization, this is actually the only position I have applied for. I have been working for this organization for the last 6 years, and I am happy with the work culture and team support available here. This is is an ideal opportunity for me to begin my career as a psychiatrist in the organization that I already know so well."

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  • 14. How do you maintain a professional composure during a session with a patient?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, one of your main objectives is to maintain composure during a session with a patient. Tell the interviewer that you don't allow your emotions to get in the way, you don't take things personally and you keep a positive attitude. As a Psychiatrist, it is important to respond appropriately to the situation that is being presented to you. Talking about specific techniques that you use and examples where you've needed to keep your cool always help.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Through my entire time as a student pursuing my undergraduate degree, medical degree and then heading into residency, I've always been a calm, cool and collected individual. During residency, one of my attending physicians was a great role model to learn from as she had a great demeanor with each patient and she was able to tailor her approach to each individual patient. From her, I was able to better learn how to stay professional with each and every patient I encountered."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I have done a lot of work monitoring my own emotional reactions. I have become much more attuned to noticing if I am becoming irritated or frustrated.



      2- When my emotional reactions are being triggered, I have learned to become empathic in seeking to find and attune to the underlying vulnerability between the frustration.



      3- I view this as a way of enacting rupture - repair and strengthening the relationship."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! If you want to go a bit deeper into the action steps that you have taken in monitoring your emotional reactions, that could strengthen your response.

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  • 15. What is your availability?

      How to Answer

      For this question, it is important for you to have done your research on the position that you are interviewing for and be open and honest if you have specific needs when it comes to scheduling. If you have specific times when you aren't available to work and the job requires those times, that hopefully should have been discovered in the job posting or a phone interview prior to interviewing in person.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Being a new Psychiatrist, I am entering the workforce complete open to availability. I have the ability to cover day, evening and night shifts on the unit and also any call time to help me become a better Psychiatrist."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I can work full-time as required by your position description, including nights and weekends on call. I am working part-time and plan to increase my availability before the commencement of the next clinical year. Currently, I am also undertaking my MPM studies to spread the workload over the coming year."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Comprehensive answer! The interviewer should appreciate you providing all the details of your availability upfront.

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  • 16. What is important to you in life?

      How to Answer

      This is a pretty personal interview question. Keep your answer honest and brief so you don't go off on a tangent. Feel free to talk about what is important to you in your career as well as in your personal life.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Since I was young, I have donated a large portion of my time to helping animals and currently volunteer with many animal well-being organizations like the Human Association. I also am a foster home for dogs that are rehabilitating from injuries and find great joy in being able to provide something greater in life for these animals."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- My values, being true to my faith, honesty, integrity, doing the best job that I can.

      2- Applying those same values to my family, church, and community.

      3- Also applying those values to my work to be the best clinician I can be and to be of the most use possible to my patients and colleagues."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a wonderful mission statement. You show the interviewer that you have strong values and a fulfilling life, which will only benefit your patients and colleagues.

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  • 17. What was your most challenging patient?

      How to Answer

      Dealing with difficult patients are an unfortunate fact of life in the mental health field. As a Psychiatrist, you know how to identify, understand and respond to your patients and that can make your work life safer and less stressful. Tell the interviewer about a challenging patient you had recently. Describe how you diagnosed them, treated them and where they are at on the road to recovery.



      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my rotation on an inpatient unit during residency, I was most challenged by a patient that seemed to have the world at her fingertips but was threatening to commit suicide because of her deep depression. Here was a lady that grew up in well off family, had her college degree and had a very successful career in the banking industry living the American dream. As I got to treat her further and get to know her more, I learned so much about clinical depression as an illness and how it can consume a person from any walk of life. This patient helped give me a truer understanding of the illness and the importance of treating it."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A patient with frontal temporal dementia, only hours into admission, unexpectedly charged at the door and pushed a nurse to the floor. He was very difficult to manage despite help from his family who helped identify his triggers. Eventually, the patient was discharged to a locked facility. This patient helped me to appreciate how difficult it is for a family to come forward for help and how his wife would have felt disclosing his problems. It's amazing how much families are willing to put up with. In the end, it is better to have a patient slightly over-sedated and settled than to risk his or others' safety."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This patient sounds like a challenge, indeed. You give a comprehensive overview of the patient and the struggles he and his family faced. I recommend putting additional focus on the actions that you took as his psychiatrist.

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  • 18. What books have you recently read?

      How to Answer

      This question is being asked so that the interviewer can get a better idea of who you are as a person when you are not working. You don't necessarily have to be well-versed in the literary world, but it helps if you had read something fairly recently. If possible, talk about a book you read that is relevant to the field in which you are applying. If the interviewer has read it too, feel free to ask their opinion on it.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by mystery books and have read authors like Agatha Christie and Charlaine Harris to name a few. Over a vacation a few weeks back, I read the entire Harris trilogy "Midnight, Texas." To keep my brain sane outside of work, I find that reading personally engaging books is a great therapy for myself."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am especially interested in attachment theory, I've read the ABFT, Dan Hughes workbook, and manual, Therplay and COS intensive textbooks.

      I am also interested in more systemic family therapy. I've recently read the adolescent in family therapy by Mincui, the genogram workbook by McGoldrick. I am reading the child in family therapy by Condrick lee."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic! This is a broad range which shows the interviewer that you have a keen interest in expanding your knowledge across a variety of topics.

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  • 19. What areas of psychological psychiatry are of particular interest to you?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, you may or may not find that all parts of psychological psychiatry are beneficial for treating your patients. When answering this question be sure to stay positive and share particular situations where you have found it helpful.



      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Coming into practice for the first time out of training, I look forward to utilizing both a biological and psychological approach to my practice. I am a firm believer in psychotherapy techniques to help understand and better treat patients with mental illness and have found that I am very skilled in one on one sessions with patients."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have had the opportunity to work with psychiatrists who practice psychotherapy as part of their practice. I have also worked in prevention and recovery-focused care with individual and group therapy. I would like to use these skills to complement my approach to management."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful! Your answer is straightforward and focused.

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  • 20. What areas of biological psychiatry are of particular interest to you?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, you may or may not agree with biological psychiatry. When answering this question it will be important not to have too many strong feelings towards one way or another as the interviewer may not have the same feelings as you do. Do your best to be neutral and answer their question directly.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "My decision to pursue residency training in Psychiatry was due to my curiosity in the relationship between the body and mind. In taking a biological approach to diagnosis first, I have worked with patients that had undiagnosed thyroid issues that led to sever depressive states and simple medication to regulate the thyroid did wonders for their mental state."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- treating psychosis

      2- anxiety, depression

      3- disruptive behavior"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      A nice range of options shows the interviewer that you are well-rounded in your interests.

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  • 21. What are your career goals?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into your self-awareness and communication skills. Have a short term and long term goal in mind. Make all goals relevant to your career field. It is important for this question to ensure that your goals match the direction of the organization that you are working for. Pointing out a goal that simply cannot be accomplished at the the place you are interviewing with may raise red flags with the interviewer.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "As a new Psychiatrist, I want to find a position where I can grow and learn from the colleagues that I work with on a daily basis. Having a team of solid providers to practice with is important to me. Down the road, I have hopes to gain faculty status with an institution because I have a firm belief that education of the future in mental health is extremely important and feel I would be a great fit in an educational setting."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have honestly enjoyed virtually every one of my rotations, and I am still interested in broadening my experience in psychiatry and achieving a solid grounding in core rotations. However, I have particularly enjoyed CL and Aged psychiatry because it draws on a lot of my previous experience."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! You have clearly outlined your interests and goals for the future. Be sure also to address how these goals align with the organization for which you are interviewing.

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  • 22. Are you efficient with your time?

      How to Answer

      Life as a Psychiatrist can be very busy and hectic at time and the interviewer is looking to get insight on how you are able to handle patients and tasks with efficiency. A simple yes won't suffice with this interview question. Be able to explain examples of how you efficiently use your time. This would be a great question to tell the interviewer if you developed a best practice for yourself or your team of colleagues.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Through my past eight years as a medical student and a resident, being efficient with my time was of utmost importance. I utilize technology by keeping a completed calendar on both my phone and my work computer and make a priority to update meetings, appointments and tasks regularly. Doing so keeps me organized and efficient while also allowing me to be able to multitask with ease."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I prioritize emergencies.

      2- Once acute risks are addressed, I prefer to give thorough assessments. I like to have a systemic formulation in addition to a psychiatric diagnosis, which can add a little bit more time. When there are more time pressures, then sometimes the focus becomes more on the biological symptoms addressing risks and potential benefits of medication.

      3- I generally find I can manage my work comfortably, though there are busier periods, especially March or when I am covering other psychiatrists."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds as though you know exactly what to do with your time. It's nice that you added in some information on how you manage time in high-pressure situations.

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  • 23. How do you handle stressful situations?

      How to Answer

      This question is being asked because the interviewer is trying to figure out how easily stressed you are and whether the job or organization tie closely to your stressors. It is human nature to feel stress and it is okay to talk about the things that do stress you both personally and professionally. It is important for this question to talk about your coping mechanisms that you have developed should you become stressed.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my Psychiatric training program, the times that I found myself stressed were during the periods of long hours with little sleep in between. Having not worked on a schedule like that before, it was very important for me to ensure that I was taking care of myself by eating healthy, exercising when I could and staying hydrated. Through medical school, it was easy to make it through long days by pumping caffeine through my body. But to remain stress free in these times, I have found it much better to take care of myself to be the best that I can be on the job."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I try and plan ahead and prioritize my workload. I think it is really important to practice regular self-care and try to find the elusive work-life balance. If I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I would reach out for help from my support network, my supervisor, family, and friends who can help me see things from a different perspective."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You have some helpful stress relievers - this is great! If you have a story example of a time when you deployed one or a few of these resources, this question is an excellent time to offer a story example (an opportunity to 'show and tell' vs. just 'tell').

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  • 24. What is the most difficult part of being a Psychiatrist?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, you diagnose and treat health conditions related to the mind. If you have a strong ability to listen, show compassion for someone struggling with depression, anxiety or substance abuse, psychiatry can be a rewarding career. However, you may face some challenges in the profession. Tell the interviewer about a particularly difficult part of being a Psychiatrist. Are you frustrated with billing? Is the fact that some of your patients noncompliant? When you tell the interviewer the difficult part be sure to follow it up with how you overcame or continue to overcome this challenge.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Being fresh in the field coming out of residency, the most difficult thing I encountered through my training was working with patients that were on a hold in our unit against their will. A patient that doesn't want care or doesn't think they need care have been the hardest for me to work with. I have developed skills in talking to patients to help them understand why they have been put on a hold and have received great feedback on my ability to do so. Once a patient understands the "why", they often become more receptive to the care that they are receiving."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "It is the inevitability of patient suicide or working with people that might make you question your ethics and values. It is very important to have space to reflect and a good support network, supervisor, or family to rely on."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are very challenging aspects. It seems you have a variety of options to remain grounded, which the interviewer will be happy to hear.

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  • 25. How would your former employer describe you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking to see how your employer would say you worked with others, managed your caseload and succeeded as a Psychiatrist. Tell the interviewer your positive traits others use to describe you. Focus on the characteristics that are most valued in the workplace.



      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Throughout my time in residency, I think that any person you would talk to would describe me as being motivated to succeed as a Psychiatrist. From my attending physicians through my rotations to my senior residents in my program, I have demonstrated that I am eager to learn everything I can about the field to become the best that I can be when I go into practice."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- Reliable, always keeping to my word, attending when asked, and covering as I promised, very consistent with my attendance, I've had an average of 1 sick day a year for the eight years I've been there.



      2- Honest, I feel we have a strong relationship where I can confide in him on a very genuine level.



      3- Friendly and engageable, getting along easily with other staff."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds as though you have an excellent working relationship with your current employer, and that you are incredibly reliable, precisely what the interviewer will want to hear.

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  • 26. What role do you think Psychiatrists play in the overall health care system?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, you have the potential to play a crucial role in the early identification of illnesses and intervention with your clients. For this question, the interviewer is looking to hear how you interact with other providers throughout a health system and your overall thoughts on the importance of your field. Tell the interviewer how you personally have contributed to the overall healthcare system. Talk about the importance of mental health in the overall well-being of patients.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my residency training and throughout medical school, I was fascinated by the link between mental and physical health which led me down the path of becoming a Psychiatrist. I am a firm believer in working hand in hand with primary care providers for my patients as we all play a big part in the health and well-being of our mutual patients."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- Private psychiatrists play a very important role in helping manage less acute presentations in the community.



      2- Hospital and community-based psychiatrists work collaboratively within the MDT's to provide their input in clinical interactions and management. Especially with patients who are at higher risk, require biological treatment. I also think that psychiatrists' training across a wide range of settings helps provide input regarding the more difficult cases. I find my training in family therapy and attachment theory useful for some of these patients.



      3- The input of psychiatrists in more senior clinical director positions is important to be able to add the clinical perspective, which can inform administrative decisions with recommendations regarding prioritization of funding."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic. You have a very clear idea of the multiple ways that psychiatrists benefit and relieve the overall health care system and communities. Well done.

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  • 27. What have you done in the past year to better yourself as a Psychiatrist?

      How to Answer

      This interview question is being asked to hear more about your goals as a Psychiatrist. Talk about professional development, training programs, educational curricula, the study in your field, on-the-job training, skill-building and relevant books you've read. Be ready to give examples of a few things you've been doing this past year to better yourself.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my final year of residency and knowing that I wanted to pursue a practice as a Addiction Psychiatrist one day, I have attended several conferences throughout the country on Addiction Medicine where I had the chance to listen to many experts in the field talk. At conferences like these, I relish the fact that I get the opportunity to speak with leaders in the field on a one on one basis."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "My previous training has shown me the importance of being a scholar and a teacher. I am starting the MPM in July, reading about psychiatric interviewing and psychology. In addition, I regularly participate in registrar teaching and grand rounds. If you are wondering why I've had no academic achievements in the last three years, my focus has been on my family life, spending quality time with my daughter, and enjoying every aspect of being a mother. That said, the time I've spent with my family has crystalized my goals in life and has readied me to train in psychiatry."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Beautifully said! It's clear that you are a balanced individual, putting family first. At the same time, you strive to reach your professional goals and meet your own personal needs. Well done.

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  • 28. Are you an empathetic person?

      How to Answer

      If you are an empathetic Psychiatrist, you absorb other people's emotions and physical symptoms because of your high sensitivities. Though being a Psychiatrist involve being empathetic, there are challenges to being a highly sensitive person so you will want to assure the interviewer that you are able to adapt and overcome these feelings and not allow them to get in the way of treating your patients.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "I have always been an empathetic person since I was a young girl. Way back then, my grandmother always told me I was destined to become a nurse or a doctor. In going into the Psychiatry field, I know that I need to be empathetic with my patients to help build trust without letting personal emotions get in the way of any interactions with my patients."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Having worked in other specialties prior to psychiatry and being a mother helps me understand other people's problems; however, my experience also helps me to understand the need for boundaries, prioritization and remaining level-headed, so I can effectively help people."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very well said! It seems you have many facets that would allow you to understand people, and it's terrific that you have put essential and healthy boundaries in place at the same time.

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  • 29. Why did you become a psychiatrist?

      How to Answer

      As a Psychiatrist, you enjoy studying, diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental disorders from a medical standpoint. Tell the interviewer about the time you knew you wanted to work with people. Tell the interviewer about a skill or a characteristic you possess that you want to share with others as a successful Psychiatrist.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "I was inspired to become a Psychiatrist during my senior year in high school elective AP Psychology class. In learning more deeply about human psychology and the spectrum of mental illnesses, I knew that my pursuit of becoming a doctor someday would involve Psychiatry and I have never doubted that decision one bit."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I've always been interested in understanding why others behave the way they do.



      2- I enjoy the 'art of psychiatry.' Someone said, 'a psychiatrist has to use his words with the same skill that a surgeon uses a scalpel". I appreciate that analogy, and I enjoy the discernment in the words I use.



      3- As I've progressed throughout my career, I've started to realize that I probably started psychiatry to learn more about myself. I've gained a lot through self-reflection over the past few years as I've focused more on early childhood development and attachment."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      What an excellent quote! This is a very memorable answer; genuine and heartfelt.

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  • 30. Do you have previous experience in this field?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer can answer this question broadly themselves upon looking your CV. So when you are asked questions related to the experience that qualifies you for the job, it's important to be very specific about your skills and experience and how they apply to the position that you are interviewing for. The interviewer wants to see how you can put your pieces together into their puzzle.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Coming out of residency, you'll see that my training program exposed me to a wide variety of patients and clinical settings upon graduation. Knowing that the outpatient unit here sees a wide spectrum of patients, I think my broad experiences entering the workforce will benefit the organization greatly. Personally, a general practice where I can learn to grow from both my partners and my patients is exactly what I am looking for."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have a breadth of clinical experience I worked for many years in rural areas, in a prison service, in organ transplant units, and also in major trauma centers. In addition, I have a degree in law. All this experience has prepared me well for psychiatry. As for my formal work experience in the field of psychiatry, I have worked in the psychiatric field for 4 years, one-year full-time and three part-time, in a range of settings including acute, community, and rehab facilitities."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent overview. You offer a helpful review of your extensive background, including the right choice of highlights!

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  • 31. Why are you the best candidate for us?

      How to Answer

      This is your chance to wow the interviewer with your elevator speech. Your answer should summarize the top three or four best reasons the interviewer should hire you. Tell your interviewer your most impressive strengths and describe your most memorable selling points. It is important to have researched the organization that you are interviewing for so you can tailor the answer to align with the top requirements in the job description.

      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "Coming out of training and fellowship, my strong passion for working with the adolescent population that is struggling with a variety of mental illnesses will be a great benefit for the organization. I'm entering the workforce as a motivated Psychiatrist looking to build a successful practice with this population and this opportunity is perfect."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- I have specific training and skills in various modalities of family therapy, including attachment-based family therapy for suicidal teens, which I believe can supplement the services' project for diverting ED presentations. I also have training in MBFT.



      2- I have specific skills for the under 12 age group. - theraplay, both four and 10-day circle of security, and therapeutic skills to work with the under 12's.



      3- I work well in teams, being readily available to help, supporting other's projects, and taking the lead on occasions myself."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Matching your training and experience to the needs outlined in the job posting/description is the best way to answer this question, which it appears you have done. It's also a great added touch to include soft skills. Nice answer!

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  • 32. What is your favorite type of patient?

      How to Answer

      This question is a way for the interviewer to hear about your ideal patient and it gives you the opportunity to describe your ideal interaction. When your patients are compliant and easy-going, you have a greater ability to do your best work and help the patient on the road to recovery.



      Written by Heather Douglass

      Entry Level

      "During my training program, I found it extremely important for me to able to build a personal bond somehow with each individual patient. Even though each individual person comes from a unique background with unique experiences, any two people can find some common bond. During initial intake sessions with patients, those bonds between us helped build a trusting a relationship moving forward and this is a technique that I will use in my practice for the rest of my career."

      Written by Ryan Brunner

      User-Submitted Answer

      "1- My first instinct is to say I like working with patients who are easy to engage and compliant with treatment.



      2- As I've progressed throughout my career, I've started to realize that those who are 'compulsively compliant' may be suppressing negative emotions (such as anger towards myself) and that the work is progressing cognitively but not at the emotional level.



      3- I've more recently begun to help patients access negative emotions and become better at expressing their disagreement with me."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very interesting observation! This is a great answer as it shows a strong amount of insight and willingness to enter challenging situations. Fantastic, work overall; you sound highly prepared for your interview!

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