Job Interview Tips for Doctors

These interviews were valuable experiences. I learned so much about the industry, made some important connections, and met some truly inspiring people. I was pretty bad at first – I showed up for my first two interviews completely unprepared and clueless; the only preparation I made was to look good.

Hi, pick me!

Needless to say, I did not get the job. I received feedback that I wasn’t confident, and this bummed me out.  So, appearing and being confident was something I really worked on for my subsequent interviews.

My preparation included:

  1. Sitting down and writing a list of my flaws and strengths
  2. Practicing my “speech” over and over, out loud and in my head
  3. Practicing confidence posture, in front of the mirror and in real life
  4. Working on myself (self-work) to gain genuine confidence (a lot of reading, journaling, and crying) and,
  5. Smiling non-stop the day of the interview.

My preparation worked and I did much better at the interviews and was comfortable enough to even build a rapport with some interviewers. One interviewer who turned me down connected me with her ex-colleague who was hiring at another company.

Two interviewers asked difficult and personal questions, among them was “What are the adversities you have faced in life?” I cried! I cried during both of those interviews, and they went well!  There were interviews which lasted two hours. Some interviews were conducted in Mandarin, others in English. The interviews were conducted in person or virtually.

I gave myself two months to “shop” around for a company where I could see myself working long-term. It took six weeks, and I managed to find two that I really wanted to work for. Those six weeks of not working and job searching were not easy emotionally and mentally as I was constantly worried about not being employed. I’m glad that I went through this process but I’m also glad that it’s now over.

Smile like you have never been hurt before
  1. Go for as many job interviews as you can

I was told by friends that it takes at least 3 months on the average for a person to secure a job in Malaysia. Job searching for many people involves applying for any position that they come across, and then getting called back only 20 to 30% of the time, if ever.

That is what I kept in mind as I opened my JobStreet app daily and applied for any aesthetic doctor role that I could find. It usually takes a few days to a week to get a callback, and any time beyond that likely means you’re not getting one. If that happens, be assured that rejection is completely normal in job hunting but don’t let it hold you back. Continue to keep applying for jobs. The more you keep applying for jobs, the better you’ll become.

More good stuff from Dr. Sabrina Cheong…

  • Interview Preparation

In an interview you will be judged for your appearance, demeanor, and speech, so plan ahead and practice how you want to be perceived. Plan your outfit, make up, hair, the way you hold your shoulders, and the way you smile and talk.

Standard interview questions include introducing yourself, reasons for leaving the previous job, reasons you applied for the job, your strengths and weaknesses etc. Give these some thought, choose answers that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, and keep practicing until you sound natural and confident. You want to be genuine and self-aware, also promote yourself in a positive light. Be reminded that these interviewers will compare you to other candidates, so remember to make yourself unforgettable.

I would usually prepare three responses for each question, except for my weaknesses (I never reveal more than two). I would also elaborate on each answer to give the interviewer a better idea of who I am. In my last few interviews, I became bolder and even prepared something funny for the interview.

  • Be confident

Confidence is the number one reason a candidate gets the job, according to the interviewers I met. This means looking calm and comfortable, smiling, maintaining a good amount of eye contact, having a good posture, and speaking loud and clear. Good preparation will boost your confidence during the interview.

My tip on confidence is just to start practicing it right away, every day. Check out articles and videos on improving confidence on the internet.

My journey towards better self-confidence involved a lot of introspection, self-help books, talking therapy, and crying. I came to realize that there was no basis for most of my self-limiting beliefs. I also realized that self-knowledge accelerated my progress. I took Google’s advice on how to be more confident, incorporated it into my life and would constantly remind myself to be confident. Self-work is hard but rewarding work.  

  • Ask questions

Always ask questions, show interest, be curious and informed. The list of things you should know by the end of the interview include:

  • The company/business (size, outlets, mission, culture etc.)
  • Training (assuming you are green like me)
  • Contract
  • Working hours
  • Salary
  • Probation period
  • Annual leave
  • Company benefits

An interviewer who evades questions or provides vague answers presents a red flag for me particularly if the company has a high staff turnover rate. Be extra careful if this happens to you, stay informed and do your research before committing to an offer.  

  • Nothing is confirmed until you get an offer letter

Once you have accepted a job offer, please do not blow off other job opportunities. Nothing is final until you’ve received an offer letter. There have been instances where the company/interviewer rescinds the job offer for whatever reason.

It is okay to inform your future employers that you are interviewing elsewhere and would need time to consider your options. If you feel unsure about a job offer, I suggest doing a bit more shopping around until you find an offer you can’t resist.

I never thought I would say this, but the interviews were the best part of the job-hunting process. I enjoyed meeting my interviewers and learning about their aesthetic practices. I felt validated to see all my hard work for interview preparation paying off. Nevertheless, it’s a great relief to have found a job and to end the search. I have a different journey to think about now…

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Wanting to explore the options you have out there? Do download Dr Selina’s Switching Careers for Doctors eBook here to get you started on your journey and don’t forget to catch our podcast and videos on our Spotify and YouTube channel

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