Locum Tenens Tips

5 Ways to Prepare for Physician Phone Interviews

Man talking on the phone at homeYou only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so why leave anything to chance when you’re trying to land locum tenens jobs?

When it comes securing a contract, your first chance to impress a representative from a contracting facility, urgent care center or private practice is often during the physician phone interview.  This conversation adds personal insight just like a traditional job interview, which is why it deserves careful attention and preparation.

Review documentation

When’s the last time you reviewed your résumé or CV? Well, the representative with whom you’re about to speak has looked it over very recently. Reacquaint yourself with your career highlights. That way if you’re asked specific questions about a job or task, you won’t be caught off guard. The same applies to assignment details. Review the contract data, which should include important details like start/end dates, locations, shifts, and call responsibility. Even better, have all these documents in front of you during the call, as well as the hospital’s website.

Make time and space for the call

It’s hard to say exactly how long a phone interview will last, but don’t try to squeeze it into a day that’s jam-packed with other appointments. A general rule is to plan for a 30-minute minimum, which should allot for time before and after the interview. Give yourself a few minutes to gain composure before the call so you don’t sound rushed and out of breath. Also, spend a few minutes afterward to assess the conservation and consider whether you’re well-matched for the assignment. Choose a quiet and private location to avoid any distracting background noises and unnecessary interruptions.

Write down reminders

Remember, this is as much of an opportunity for you to interview the representative about the temporary position as it is for him or her to interview you. Jot down things you’d like to ask more about, such as:

  • Why are you hiring a locum tenens physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner?
  • Have you used locum tenens providers before?
  • How would describe the unit’s personality, such as staff relationships or pace of workflow?
    • What are the top qualifications you’re looking for in a locum tenens physician?

Speak with a smile

This suggestion may sound silly for a phone conversation and more applicable to a video interview, but literally smiling while you speak can help convey a positive and enthusiastic tone. However, don’t exaggerate, which can come off as sounding insincere. If you’re unsure how you might sound on the receiving end of the call, record a mock interview that you can play back, and ask a friend, family member, or colleague to assume the role of the interviewer. Above all, be professional by speaking clearly and choosing appropriate words.

Know what not to do

Figuring out what you shouldn’t do during a phone interview can be as important as what to do. For example, don’t talk on and on and on. At the same time, don’t be too brief in your answers. Gauge the interviewer’s tempo and fall in step with it. Don’t stray off topic, and don’t over-complicate answers. While it’s good to have a few questions, it’s not beneficial to ask too many questions –which could signal you’re unprepared that you didn’t listen when the interviewer discussed the facility and contract specifics.

If you have other questions or concerns about locum tenens phone interviews, discuss them with your Weatherby Healthcare consultant.

About the author


Anne Baye Ericksen

Anne Baye Ericksen is a journalist and locum tenens subject-matter expert with more than two decades of experience. She was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler and Healthcare Staffing and Management Solutions magazines.

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