Interview Techniques

It is unlikely that you will receive a job offer in medical physics without first attending an interview. The secret of a successful interview lies in preparation, so its worth spending a little time doing your homework.

Good employers understand the pitfalls of interviewing, such as the tendency of managers to recruit in their own image, but the process is slowly becoming more structured, sophisticated and fair. If you stick to a few guidelines, you'll have a good chance at your next job interview.

Before the interview
Sound preparation is essential. It may sound like common sense but many people, especially the less experienced ones amongst us, make the fatal mistake of not doing their homework before walking into an interview.

At the interview
You must make a good impression in the crucial first few moments, so be sure not to damage your chances before you begin:

Some interviewers try to provoke a reaction, often drawing candidates into an argument, or simply turning them into the proverbial rabbit in the headlights. Expect interviewers to throw a few trick questions your way. Some common ones include:

Remember, success here depends more on not getting flustered and thinking on your feet than having the right answer. Above all, be honest and give reasons for your past behaviour or responses. Medical Physics Departments want to hire scientists, not robots.

The style of interviews varies dramatically, but here are a few key points to remember:

After the interview
Take stock of your overall interview performance, learn from the experience and prepare for the next step. If you have a bad feeling about how it went or answered some questions incorrectly its not the end of the world. You can be the most competent physicist in the world but if you have an "off" day then you won't be selected. Take comfort from the fact that you got some useful interview practice and will do better next time.