Residency Interview Basics

Understand the basics and background of the residency interview and some important tips and tactics to do well and score high!

Residency Interview Basics
Ready to Publish
Ready to Publish
Publish Date
Oct 12, 2021
Long Form
Blog Ideas
Video Recording
Video preview

TWO things you need to know 1. Empathy (Mindset) 2. Practice (Skill)
Empathy - The most important skill and hardest to teach
Ask yourself; if you were to interview someone, what are the skills that you would need in that person and how will you be able to evaluate it in a 15-minute interview?
Practice - Skill requires practice! So, Practice! Practice! Practice!
We interview to assess your personality and to decide if you are fit for the job.
Medicine is a skill that requires practice and so does interviewing.

Let's Start with Empathy (Mindset) first?

Remember, there is a 90% chance that you will be ranked if you got the interview!
The question is not "if" but "how high?"
It's a match and not a lottery!

What is the program looking for? A Good resident!

Defining a good resident - The AAA-Team Qualities
Available = Response + able = Responsible
Agile = Respond changing environment (external trigger)
Adaptive = Consistently able to change oneself, malleable mindset
Team Player = Works well with others

What is the Purpose of an interview? Find a Good resident!

How do you define a residency? That is the Interviewer Mindset!
Defining the Job!
Clinical Job
Clinical Training
  • Clinical Job
    • Team player
    • Resilient
    • Hardworking
  • Clinical Training
    • Empathic
    • Learner
    • Resourceful

Why a Video or in-person Interview?

  • We communicate more with body language than words!
  • Because medicine is a team sport, communication is key!

Interviewing is a Skill; Rather a Combination of Skills!

  • Research - Make sure you know the job you are applying
    • In terms of specialty
    • In terms of program
  • Prepare - Know thyself!
    • Know your own application, personal statement
    • Backup (equipment)
  • Communication - It is more than words
    • Body Language, Tonality
  • Listen - Answer the question that is asked or get clarification
    • Pause - Do not be afraid of pause or dead space
  • Confidence - It is a match, not a lottery
    • There is a difference between arrogance and confidence
    • Tactful self-plug
  • Show interest - Show excitement that you are going to be a Neurologist
      Ask program-related questions to show interest!
      • If assuming attention and hard work, after graduating do you think I will be prepared for the real-world challenge of being a neurologist?
      • What are the program's strengths?
      • Where do you think the program can make improvements
        • Education [interest of person and faculty]
        • Experience [procedures]
  • Dress Code - Dress professionally from head to toe.
    • Anything can happen that would require you to get up.
  • Be Punctual - Sign up on zoom at least 5-10 minutes before the interview starts.
  • Be polite - Have a genuine smile on your face
    • Be polite with every person you encounter during the interview.
  • Addressing people - Address them with their last name
    • Use their last name unless they invite you to call them by their first name
  • Follow up - Keep a list of names, email,s and one topic that can be a memory trigger
    • Neurology Application Dashboard

Other important Points!

  • Do not use your phone while giving the interview
  • Make eye contact during your interview
    • Please stare at the camera during your interview
    • Put a small pointer or a mark next to your camera to help you focus on the camera
  • Sit professionally
    • Don't cross your legs or lean back on the chair
    • Don't put your feet on the desk
  • Pronounce the name correctly
    • Please ask the Program Coordinator beforehand if you don't know the pronunciation
    • If you miss out the chance to ask the program coordinator, you can always ask the attending, the correct pronunciation, politely.
    • Because there are so many genders nowadays, you cannot just assume someone's gender and it is always better to ask them how they would like to be addressed
  • Don't make inappropriate comments regarding the faculty's dress color or how they look.
  • Do not boast about your qualities without having any good examples to support your claims
  • Be very cautious when questioning the authority because it can come off in a very negative manner
  • Don't play the entitlement card (like from the same city/country/college)
Smile 😄
Show your body language & enthusiasm for program and specialty
Junaid Kalia MD

Written by

Junaid Kalia MD

CEO | Founder | President NeuroCare.AI - Advancing Digital Health Ecosystem in Emerging Countries!

    Sign up to receive Digital Health and Virtual Care content!