The 3 Most Important Residency Interview Questions to Nail: Part 2

Welcome to part 2!

In part 1, we talked about the best way to nail the “Tell Me About Yourself” question. In part 2, we’re going to tackle a residency interview question you’re going to get.

The question is: “Do you have any questions for me?”

We here at Residency Interview Questions, truly believe this question is a great opportunity to connect with your interviewer and elevate your rank list position. Too often, we see our clients gloss over this residency interview question. Too often, we see our clients get caught off guard and simply say “no”.

I have interviewed thousands of people and hired hundreds. I can tell you that one of the most memorable things for me in terms of the interview is the quality of questions I received. It really distinguished candidates that took the time to learn about my company or program, and then came up with thoughtful positive questions that made me think more highly of them.

Here at Residency Interview Questions, we have some important rules for this question.
Make it positive. This is not the time to try to dig up dirt or figure out negative aspects of the program. Your sole job here is to rank higher on their list. Questions about problems at the program, or things that should change are not going to help your cause.

Don’t ask questions that you can answer with a 5 minute Google search. This includes how many residents are there, where do they go for their future, etc. These kinds of questions are superficial and do not serve your cause.

Have multiple questions to ask. The worst answer is “I don’t have any questions.” The second worse is that you only have one good question and there is 5 minutes left on the interview clock.

The Best Strategy

The Residency Interview Questions strategy for “what questions do you have for me?” is pretty simple. Use this as an opportunity to ask a positive and insightful question that your interviewer is delighted answer. Reflect the answer back to the interviewer and accentuate parts of your background and future goals to indicate how strong of a fit you are for that program. We can’t emphasize how effective this strategy is. This question is almost always asked at the end. Thus, you leave the interviewer with an extremely positive last impression of you as you sign off.

Great Examples of Questions for Residency Programs and Residency Program Directors

Now, we have some absolute favorites – these are shared in our Video Course with deeper analyses.
What is your single favorite aspect of this residency program?

We love this question because they interviewer can easily pick out what they love most. This maybe the culture, the supportive residents, or the professional development aspect of a program. This then allows you to reflect back how amazing that is and how you’d take full advantage of it or how you thrive in those kind of environments.

Here’s another one we love.
What kind of resident excels here?

This is another one – every interviewer and faculty member has a “favorite” resident. This means a resident that goes above and beyond. This may be a recent graduate that did a ton of service. They will reflect that back in terms of a description of characteristics. Then, it’s easy for you to say those values back and connect that to aspects of your own professional accomplishments and goals. Ending with statements like “and this is why I feel like I would be such a strong fit here” help you in your goal to be ranked as highly as possible.

Another one that is great.
What is the thing that makes you most proud of this program?

This is a variation of the top one – but this allows you to reflect back how amazing that feature is. You can then make statements about how you would live up to espouse that accomplishment.

Lastly, sometimes you may get a curveball where the interviewer will ask you to give them a question that is not program related. This may come in the form “Outside of the residency program here, what questions do you have?”

This is a good opportunity to ask them this question.
What is your favorite part of living here?
What do you like to do here that not everyone knows about?

In general, everyone will be able to muster a good answer for what they enjoy. You can then say you’re excited to check that out.

David and I view questions as a reflection of your preparation, inquisitiveness, emotional intelligence, and investment in the program. Having positive, solid, and clear questions where you then link back to your qualifications gives you a boost and helps distinguish yourself from others.

We hope this helps! In Part 3, we’re going to talk about the 3rd most common and important residency interview question – “why choose you?”.