Sample Interview Questions

Department of Student Affairs

The following sample questions may assist you in preparing for residency interviews:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you interested in this specialty?
  • Why are you interested in this program?
  • What are you looking for in a program?
  • Where else have you interviewed?
  • What can you contribute to our program?
  • How prepared are you to begin as an intern?
  • Tell me about… you may be asked about something specific on your CV, such as research, time off, travel. Refresh your memory about what you included on your CV.
  • Which types of patients do you work with most effectively?
  • Describe how you make important decisions.
  • If you could no longer be a physician, what career would you choose?
  • How do you handle conflict? Pressure? Problems?
  • What do you think about what is happening in… (non-medical current event question)?
  • Teach me something medical in five minutes.
  • Tell me a joke (keep it simple and tasteful).
  • Can you think of anything I haven't asked you about that you want me to know?
  • Why do you want to relocate to this part of the country?
  • Why should we select you for our program?
  • How do you think future changes in healthcare will affect this specialty in the future?
  • Talk about a situation that has changed quickly and how did you respond? Would you respond the same way now? Differently?

Questions you might want to ask faculty/program directors:

  • What contact will I have with clinical faculty?
  • What are the clinical responsibilities of residents? What are the non-clinical, administrative responsibilities of residents?
  • Are there opportunities for research?
  • Have any residents left the program?
  • What is the accreditation status?
  • How are residents evaluated?
  • How do your residents do on their written/oral board certifications?
  • What is the financial status of the program?
  • How is faculty turnover?
  • What fellowships are available?
  • What percentage of residents pursue fellowships upon graduating?
  • How much elective time is available to pursue individual interests?
  • Are away rotations available for residents?
  • How is the didactic program coordinated? Are lectures given by residents or attendings?
  • Of the faculty, what percentage are clinicians/academicians?
  • Have residents left the program in the last two years?
  • What are the teaching opportunities for residents?
  • Do you foresee any changes in the program in the next three to five years?
  • What makes your program unique?
  • Are residents allowed to seek out "moonlighting" opportunities?
  • Are educational and/or food stipends available in the program?
  • What research opportunities are available?

Questions you should not ask or be asked (but probably will be asked):

  • Explain your benefits/stipend/vacation/maternity leave policies/arrangements.
  • What are your plans for a family? Are you married?
  • How old are you?
  • If you we offered you a position today, would you accept?