Situational Questions for a Residency Interview

30 Situational Residency Interview Questions and Answer Examples to Help You Prepare for Your Residency Interviews.

Situational Residency was written by on January 8th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How would you handle being asked to do a procedure or task that you were unfamiliar with and uncomfortable handling?

"I would come to your residency program confident in my medical knowledge and skills, but I also know that I will be tackling some new things that will be very new to me. When faced with this situation, I wouldn't hesitate to ask a senior resident or faculty member for guidance. My goal is to leave residency with all of the skills necessary to be a confident and competent physician and I greatly look forward to these learning opportunities with your program."

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30 Situational Interview Questions for a Residency Interview

Below is a list of our Situational Residency interview questions. Click on any interview question to view our answer advice and answer examples. You may view 5 answer examples before our paywall loads. Afterwards, you'll be asked to upgrade to view the rest of our answers.

  • 1. How would you handle being asked to do a procedure or task that you were unfamiliar with and uncomfortable handling?

  • 2. If you were in a situation during residency where you had too many things on your to-do list, how would you decide which to do first and which to postpone?

  • 3. You are consulting with a patient that has bruising from a fall. Her male companion answers questions for her, and she barely gives eye contact. What do you do in this situation to get the patient to answer independently?

  • 4. A colleague left their computer open with sensitive information on the screen. You are the only one in the shared resident office. How would you address this with them?

  • 5. What kinds of review questions would you ask yourself as a resident after dealing with a difficult or challenging patient situation?

  • 6. How would you handle a situation during residency in which a faculty member were to reject an idea you pitched?

  • 7. Give an example of how you may connect and find common ground with a patient to gain understanding.

  • 8. Describe a situation where it may be appropriate to use humor in the workplace as a medical resident.

  • 9. How would you handle difficult family members who disagree with the care that the patient agreed to?

  • 10. As a resident responsible for the direct care and treatment plan for your patients, how would you handle a patient that does not do what is necessary for their treatment?

  • 11. How would you handle someone asking you for medical advice or diagnosis validation outside the workplace as a resident?

  • 12. How would you handle a situation where you had ethical or philosophical differences with a patient?

  • 13. How would you change your communication style if a patient's family was having trouble understanding what you were trying to tell them?

  • 14. You will work with difficult and uncooperative colleagues at times as a resident. How would you handle an uncooperative colleague in an important situation?

  • 15. You are alone in a break room with two other residents who are talking about a patient. How would you respond?

  • 16. A recent patient survey comes back and you find out that you did not meet a patient's expectations for their care. What are the next steps you would take to improve?

  • 17. As a resident in our program, how would you explain a complex task to someone using verbal instructions?

  • 18. What tools or techniques will you use to remember difficult information or instructions given verbally only to you by our faculty when you are directly caring for patients?

  • 19. You are nearing the end of your 12-hour shift and you are exhausted from caring for eight high-acuity patients. As your colleague arrives to relieve you, tell me how you proceed.

  • 20. You are currently in a patient's room during rounds and although they are not due for another dose of pain medication for two more hours, they are complaining of increased pain. Tell me how you proceed.

  • 21. A triage nurse approaches you to let you know that a patient called asking for advice as he is having chest pains. Tell me what you direct the patient to do.

  • 22. Let's say you are in a situation where everyone on your unit is busy and you requested that the nursing staff bathe one of your patients earlier today. The patient has yet to be bathed and they are upset about it. Tell me how you proceed.

  • 23. You are performing a simple outpatient procedure and you ask the nurse to retrieve a bottle of acetic acid that can be used on the patient. After retrieving the bottle, what do you do upon receiving it from the nurse?

  • 24. As a resident in our program, let's say you are caring for a patient who is being prescribed an inhaler. Upon asking the patient if they know how to use the inhaler, they say, "Yes, I do." Tell me how you proceed.

  • 25. You just finished preparing IV medications for a patient with the nursing staff, and you thoroughly washed your hands before doing so. As you enter the patient's room with the medication, describe the first thing you do to prevent patient infection.

  • 26. Let's say as a resident that you are caring for a patient in our inpatient unit who is taking a turn for the worse. You decide you need to call the hospitalist physician on duty. Tell me how you would proceed.

  • 27. You are caring for a patient on your inpatient unit who is bedridden and unconscious. When the patient came to you, they already had a bedsore. How do you prevent this from happening again?

  • 28. You are caring for a patient who is three-years-old and are ordering a weight-based medication. When you look at the patient's records, you find the weight was documented in pounds by the nursing staff. Explain how you proceed.

  • 29. As a resident, how would you handle a situation where a member of the patient-care team clearly wasn't pulling their weight on the team?

  • 30. If you were in a busy day of clinic and a key piece of equipment failed, how would you handle the workload, patients and stress moving forward until a fix was found?