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Psychiatrist Interview Questions

32 Psychiatrist Interview Questions
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.

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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"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."
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Question 2 of 32
Do you have interest in pursuing research or have you been involved in research in the past?
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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."
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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"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."
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Question 3 of 32
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?
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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.

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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"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."
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Question 4 of 32
What electronic medical records do you have experience working with?
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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.

Answer Example
"I have experience working on a couple of different systems. Currently, I use EPIC and transitioned to that from using Cerner. During the transition from Cerner to EPIC, I was able to pick up the new system quickly to help me better care for my patients. Documenting in the EMR is a vital part of my day to ensure that patient records are kept up to date."
Entry Level Example
"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. "
Experienced Example
"Through my years in practice, I've evolved from keeping paper records at first to using the state of the art EPIC system most currently. In every aspect that I've documented on patients, I have fully grasped and understood how important a well documented record is for the patient. With the newest systems, I fully utilize the dictation functions which help make my life much easier when working in the EMR."
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Question 5 of 32
Psychiatric providers are in high demand right now across the entire country. Why do you think that is?
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Question 6 of 32
Have you worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings? Do you have a preference of one vs. the other?
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Question 7 of 32
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?
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Question 8 of 32
Is there a particular patient population that you specialize in or prefer working with?
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Question 9 of 32
Talk about a time you had to deal with a crisis situation. How did you handle that situation and what was the outcome?
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Question 10 of 32
What do you know about our facility?
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Creators of Psychiatrist Answers and Questions

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Ryan Brunner
Ryan has over 10 years of experience recruiting in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries. Ryan has a long track record of recruiting, interviewing and hiring candidates at all levels of the organizations that he has recruited for. These include entry-level workers, professional workers, physicians and executive level leaders. Ryan has created and worked with many interviewing formats in the industries that he has recruited for and has reviewed resumes and cover letter's for all of the positions he has recruited for.
First written on: 09/15/2010
Last modified on: 08/30/2018

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Question 11 of 32
What kind of impact would you like to make here?
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Question 12 of 32
Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or both? Explain your answer.
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Question 13 of 32
How many other po have you applied to?
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Question 14 of 32
How do you maintain a professional composure during a session with a patient?
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Question 15 of 32
What is your availability?
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Question 16 of 32
What is important to you in life?
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Question 17 of 32
What was your most challenging patient?
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Question 18 of 32
What books have you recently read?
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Question 19 of 32
What areas of psychological psychiatry are of particular interest to you?
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Question 20 of 32
What areas of biological psychiatry are of particular interest to you?
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Question 21 of 32
What are your career goals?
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Question 22 of 32
Are you efficient with your time?
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Question 23 of 32
How do you handle stressful situations?
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Question 24 of 32
What is the most difficult part of being a Psychiatrist?
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Question 25 of 32
How would your former employer describe you?
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Question 26 of 32
What role do you think Psychiatrists play in the overall health care system?
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Question 27 of 32
What have you done in the past year to better yourself as a Psychiatrist?
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Question 28 of 32
Are you an empathetic person?
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Question 29 of 32
Why did you become a psychiatrist?
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Question 30 of 32
Do you have previous experience in this field?
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Question 31 of 32
Why are you the best candidate for us?
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Question 32 of 32
What is your favorite type of patient?
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About Psychiatrist

March 20th, 2017

Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. As a Psychiatrist your a medical doctor who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems. You treat problems such as a panic attacks, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing "voices." Some of your patients may suffer from more long-term issues such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control. You use a variety of treatments with your patients to include psychotherapy, medications, psychosocial interventions and other treatments, depending on the needs of your patients.

As a Psychiatrist you attend medical school, take a written examination for a state license to practice medicine and then complete four years of psychiatry residency. Your residency may take place in in-patient, out-patient, and emergency room settings. You'll also need to be re-certified every 10 years by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. You'll need to have compassion, effective communication and problem solving skills to be a successful Psychiatrist.

To prepare for your interview, you'll want to be dressed professionally, be on time, maintain good eye contact and greet the interviewers with a firm handshake. Be sure to use the interviewers name throughout the interview as well as take notes. Being a Psychiatrist you are told many personal things so be ready to share personal stories during the interview. Keep patient names and too many details out of your answers. It will be important to speak positively about the practice and the community. Make sure to be enthusiastic and show the interviewer that you want the job.

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