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Pre-Interview Visits

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Do your homework and see as many people as you can.   It is important that yo see if you really want the job.  Do you want to work within this department and with the personalities?  Will you be happy?

The only absolutes to see are:

  • Chief Executive
  • Medical Director
  • Clinical Director 
  • Lead Clinician 

Pre-interview hospital visits are more or less an obligation, especially if you have been shortlisted.

They not only enable your future colleagues to see you in a more "relaxed" manner, they also enable you to see what the environment is like and whether you would be a good match.  Although a lot of people are over the moon when they get the job, they sometimes regret it once they have joined the team as they feel uncomfortable or disappointed with either the nature of the job itself or the people.  Use this opportunity to see if you really really want the job!

They also enable you to find out lots of information about the place.  At the end of the interview, you will most certainly be asked if you have any questions.  If you have visited, you should not have any !  

What should you do? 

Find out everything you need to know about the job? If there are any aspects that you would like to clarify in terms of the sessions that you would be expected to do, this is the time to ask. 

Kake yourself fully familiar with the activities of the department in terms of research, audit, teaching, new services, reconfiguration etc?  Look up every one you will be meeting on PubMed/Medline to see if they have any special interests.  Google them.

Are there any current topics that are particularly relevant to the department that you are joining e.g.,
 the hospital might have recently become a Foundation Trust.  You might want to ask what prompted them to do this, how things have been going since, etc.  That way, you will also know if there are sensitive issues that you should not get into.
Choose and Book was introduced in January 2006.  If this is relevant to your specialty, you might want to ask how they are coping with it, what they think, etc.  Again this will give you good clues for the interview and will make you look keen during the visit.

MMC is also a big topic.  U se the opportunity to ask them what they are doing in their department and how they expect this will impact on your position.  Use this opportunity to demonstrate how keen you are on teaching and getting involved in managerial issues such as assessments/appraisals.

Pre-interview hospital visits provide plenty of opportunities to show off but you should be really careful not to appear arrogant and cocky.  Showing off will put you in a difficult position if they want someone who is just expected to toe the standard party line to start with.  

DONT FORGET, the interview starts at the pre interview visit.  You need to create a good impression at that time to ensure that when you turn up for your interview they already have a good idea of what a nice person youreally are.  If you say anything you shouldn't say, you may never be able to make up for it.  Play it safe.

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