Residency Interview Questions: The Complete List

Here at RIQ, our strategy is to prepare you for a limited number of core residency interview questions. From there, you will be prepared to answer any number of variations. While we are big proponents of excellent residency interview preparation, we also believe that you can overdo it. By trying to create examples and answers for every possible interview question, many applicants run the risk of seeming robotic and memorized. With all that being said, it sometimes is good to have a high level view of what’s possible.

Our Top 3 Questions You Have to Nail (Most Common)

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why choose you? What makes you unique?
  • What questions do you have for me?

Questions About Your Motivations and Intentions

  • Why did you become a doctor?
  • Why this specialty?
  • Why this program?
  • What are you looking for in a program?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years? in 25 years?
  • What is your ideal mix of clinical care, research, and teaching?
  • Do you plan on pursuing a fellowship? Why?

Questions About Your Personal Characteristics

  • How would your friends describe you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me some of your hobbies.
  • Tell me about what worries you most about residency.
  • What are things you would change about yourself?

Questions About Your Background and Experience

  • Tell me about this clinical experience.
  • Tell me about this research experience.
  • Tell me about a memorable patient case.
  • What’s your biggest accomplishment?
  • What’s your biggest failure?
  • What’s your biggest regret?
  • Tell me about the most influential mentors you’ve had.
  • What was the hardest part of medical school?

Questions About Red Flags

  • Can you tell me about this deficiency on your record?
  • Tell me what you’ve done between graduation and today to stay prepared?
  • Tell me about this failed Step test?
  • Tell me about this low grade in this rotation?

Behavioral Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had to be a leader.
  • Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict.
  • Tell me a time you lied.
  • Tell me a time where you had to compromise.
  • Tell me about a time where you did something you regretted.
  • Tell me a time when you did something nice for a stranger.
  • Tell me a time when you faced criticism and how did you handle it.

Curve Ball Questions

  • If you could not be a physician, what career would you choose?
  • Tell me a joke.
  • What are your favorite websites to visit?

These should cover 98% or more of the questions you’ll face. But, not all questions are equal. With the RIQ Video Course, you’ll get expert examples and strategies to nail your residency interview efficiently.