Monday 23 January 2012

Red flags during a residency interview

Red flags during interview which severely hurt your residency application chances.

1. Overconfidence
No one wants to deal with or waste time talking to a smart-ass. If the applicant has a pretentious air about him and exudes extra confidence this may be a counter productive tactic. "I know all", "I can do everything", "I am capable of doing amazing things" are some tactics that one should avoid for a good measure. 

2. Boastfulness
Let your CV do the talking. There is a reason why they have invented the piece of paper called resume. Note down you accomplishments and let it do the talking. If there is a particular accomplishment you are proud of go ahead and incorporate in your discussion by all means. Be careful in not getting carried away and writing verbal checks that your responses cannot cash.

3. Talkativeness
One of the most annoying traits of a failing applicant are talkativeness.  Often a sign of nervousness and discomfort at not being able to deal with pauses, this kind of applicant takes conversation to a whole new level. You feel like you ended up wasting your time and you will end up wasting your time dealing with such an applicant. People with poor communication skills often feel the need to fill in every single pause with a related/unrelated word or two. These people are exhausting and I have personally dealt with a few folks who were like that and found it very exhausting to listen to them.
4. narration-CV discrepancy
This is a pretty bad red flag. If there is a discrepancy between your CV and your story or some point in your resume that you cannot explain. Then it looks very poorly on you. There is instantly a chance that you will not be trusted or you are making up your story.

5. Factor X
I call this aspect factor X because in spite of everything being perfect on both ends something does not click, then it is still a problem. The applicant is the best applicant in the world and is interviewing with the best interviewer in the world yet there is something that is missing. that's factor X. Can be construed as red flag

6. Morose affect
An applicant who sits in the office solemn and quite with out any smile. I definitely is red flag. This is not the time of the day or day of the week to be depressed. No matter how tough things are going with you in your residency journey, put your game face on and look happy. Even if your dont feel happy, make and attempt to look happy. Practice the fake smile. People who smile a lot make better impressions and have more positive outcomes.

7. Stance changer
This is another big red flag in my book. These applicant will essentially say yes to anything and everything you say in order to agree with you. They will even change their story one or twice to suit the tone of the discussion. While it is not necessary to have vociferous discussions with unyielding points of view, maintain your stance and present you point of view. You will come off as having someone with a belief or stand and not as a spineless jelly.

8. Lack of research
I am not talking about research experiences that candidates are often talking about. Lack of researching the program or institution can be very harmful. It portrays a sense of complacency and lack of initiative to study the place that you are going for an interview.

9. Solo player
Everything about a residency is a team effort. Running codes, managing an inpatient team, outpatient clinics, calls, morning reports everything. Hospital it self is a big team of different players who work in the microcosm. If the applicant stands out as a person who does not do well as a team, this is a big red flag for the applicant. Program directors are looking to build a good team that will work well with itself and allow for the program and institution to run smoothly. If you appear to be not a team player - you are out!

10. Blames other for failures
Bad things happen to everyone. Every person has a impressive failure story or stories that go with their resume. If however you appear as someone who tends to place the blame on everything else for your failures, it may seem as you are running away from responsibility. This is a big red flag! 

make sure you also read up about How to succeed at a residency interview

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