[Infographic Guide] Win More Physicians: 6 Tips for a Best-in-Class Interview Experience


Physician recruitment can be a lengthy and costly process. A vacancy not only impacts your facility’s ability to care for patients, it also can have a detrimental effect on your bottom line. It is common to invest up to $250K in the candidate you ultimately hire, including marketing, interview expenses, sign-on bonus, and relocation stipend. One strategy for reducing your time-to-fill is to develop a best-in-class single, interview process. Learn six tips to create an interview experience that is effective at winning over more physicians.

Win More Physicians: 6 Tips for a Best-in-Class Interview Process

  1. Commit to a single, comprehensive on-site interview that is customized for the candidate.
  2. Designate key players in the interview process.
  3. Generate feelings of collegiality, excitement, and a sense of being welcome.
  4. Clearly communicate the shared values and mission of your organization.
  5. Tailor the community tour to the candidate and their family.
  6. Deliver an offer within one week of the interview – if not the same day or the following.

Visit our thought leadership page for more helpful presentations, case studies, and infographics.

Successful Culture Assessment

[Infographic Guide] 10 Steps for a Successful Culture Assessment

A good company culture can be the difference between recruiting and keeping the best healthcare professionals and a constant recruiting struggle.

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Mastering the on-site interview is the enduring challenge in physician recruitment. The first interview is a make or break moment for both the candidate and the hiring organization…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey


President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process that administrators and physician recruiters can follow to recruit more physicians after the first on-site interview.

Mastering the On-site Interview: Results from the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Mastering the on-site interview is the enduring challenge in physician recruitment. The first interview is a make or break moment for both the candidate and the hiring organization. More than 200 physicians responded to the 2020 Physician Interview Experience survey. Keep reading for insight on how to improve your interview process and win more candidates.



The enduring challenge in the physician recruitment and hiring process is to master the on-site interview. The first interview will continue to be the make or break moment in the hiring process for both the candidate and the hiring organization.

To help provide clarity on how today’s physicians feel about the interview process and the elements comprising an exceptional interview experience, Jackson Physician Search received completed survey responses from more than 200 physicians. The survey group represented a mixture of practicing physicians and 2020 and 2021 residents who had interviewed for a position in the previous 18 months. Physicians were asked to answer questions in regards to their interview experience corresponding with their current position.

The survey confirmed many elements of the interview process that have become standard industry practice. But the physicians’ responses also open a window into how they feel about interviewing and the important aspects of the interview that helped them decide whether or not they want to immediately accept a position.

Their insights provide valuable guidance in how to deliver the best-in-class interview experience that results in the physician deciding to accept your position – ideally – on their way home from the first interview with you.

What you may find surprising is that their feelings of excitement and alignment with your organization – and a well-planned community tour – are the factors that tip the scales toward that best-in-class result.

This survey demonstrates the vital role your interview team plays in establishing cultural fit and an overall outstanding interview experience to influence a candidate’s decision. The results will help you fine-tune your interview process and ensure you are landing the candidates who are best suited for your organization.

Executive Summary

Most organizations understand the high costs of conducting multiple interviews with a single candidate. Interviewing expenses and loss of revenue during a prolonged vacancy can add up to over one million dollars per physician. But it appears that few deliver the best-in-class interview experience that will improve their chances that the candidate will decide to accept the offer on the way home from the first interview.

According to our survey:

  • Only 27% of candidates decided to accept the position on the way home after just one on-site interview.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, another 23% never left an interview feeling confident, even though they ultimately may have accepted the job.
  • For the remaining 50%, it took a bit of time after the first interview to accept. Some even required scheduling a second or third interview to win them over to the point where they decided to accept.

Moving that large, undecided group toward accepting your offer after the first interview requires investing in a rigorous recruitment process and effective interview techniques.

The salient aspects of the interview experience for candidates who decided to accept on the way home from the first interview reflects the fulfillment of their needs at many levels: informational, alignment of values and emotional well-being.

Of those who decided to accept on the way home:

  • 89% said all their questions were answered at the interview
  • 61% received a written offer within the week
  • 80% felt excited
  • 82% felt welcomed
  • 2% or fewer felt confused, anxious, or stressed
  • These physicians also ranked their alignment with the organization’s mission and values at 9.2, with 10 being perfectly aligned

By contrast, a good number of those who were undecided after the first interview reported feeling excited (63%) and welcomed (76%). But, a concerning percentage left the interview with negative emotions:

  • 39% felt anxious
  • 23% felt stressed
  • 23% felt confused

Physicians need enough information, as well as positive feelings, to support their decision to accept on the way home from their first interview with you. Even if the candidates reporting negative emotions took the job, it’s easy to imagine that these feelings could linger and create challenges in the future.

Power of the First Impression

The survey results reinforced the power of the first impression. The majority (69%) of all respondents had accepted their most recent job after just one interview. Additional survey data indicates that the second or third interviews are not nearly as impactful as the first interview.

Multiple interviews do not necessarily increase the chances that the candidate will feel confident enough to decide to accept the position. But, multiple interviews do drive up your cost per hire, prolonging your time-to-fill and negatively impacting your interview-to-hire ratio.

As the survey showed, it is far more likely that the candidate will decide on the way home from the first interview (76%) than on the second, “third or more” interviews (12% for each). You will have better outcomes when you invest in a process that creates the first-time WOW experience for the right candidate.

Download the full survey results to get more insight and recommendations to improve your interview and hiring process almost immediately.


To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

About Jackson Physician Search

Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.

[White Paper] The Realities of Physician Retirement: A Survey of Physicians and Healthcare Administrators

One of the major factors of the impending physician shortage is the aging physician workforce. We recently conducted a survey including practicing physicians and health administrators to better understand the situation…

Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment ROI White Paper

[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

If you’re looking to reduce your cost to hire and optimize your return on investment when it comes to physician recruitment, this white paper is for you…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

On-site Physician Interview Tips: Expectations and Etiquette


Demand for physicians is high, and those beginning a physician job search should feel confident about their prospects. That said, physicians must still treat the physician job search with the respect it deserves, putting in the necessary research and preparation to find the employer and job for which they are best suited. As RVP of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search’s Eastern Division, my team and I work tirelessly to help physicians understand the job search process and walk them through what is expected each step of the way. 

One aspect of the process that candidates always have questions about is the on-site interview. Candidates conducting their first physician job search may have heard stories from peers about employers rolling out the red carpet for candidates. While this can and does happen to some degree, I always stress to physicians that while yes, they are being recruited, they still have to make a good impression in order to get an offer. That said, candidates should prepare for the interview and treat the process the same as they would if the job market was not in their favor. 

When counseling candidates on the physician interview process, I emphasize the importance of setting a timeline, following basic interview etiquette, and preparing to make a decision. 

Physician Interview Timeline for Residents

For residents embarking on their first physician job search, I advise beginning 18 months to two years before the completion of training, but this is not to say the job search will take that amount of time. On the contrary, it’s not unusual for residents, especially in high-demand specialties, to accept offers with a start date a year or more into the future. So, absolutely start early, but when you are ready to begin interviewing, accept interview invitations from only those opportunities in which you are genuinely interested. On-site interviews are time-consuming for both parties and expensive for the employer, so be judicious with your acceptance. 

While residents may feel like they have endless amounts of time before they need to make a decision, once they begin on-site interviews, the resident’s job search should be nearing its end. I advise candidates to aim to schedule on-site interviews with their top three choices over a condensed time frame — ideally no more than six weeks. This allows candidates to interview with the employers they are most interested in and easily compare each to the other before making an informed decision. The candidate who interviews with one employer in November, a second in February, and a third in March will have a difficult time comparing, and worse, if they decide the November opportunity was ideal, the job is unlikely to still be available in April. 

Of course, even when interviewing over a condensed time period, there are no guarantees that an opportunity will still be available even six weeks later. So, if a candidate really connects with an employer and feels this job meets 80% of his or her criteria, my advice is to accept the offer, even if it means canceling other scheduled interviews. 

Physician Interview Etiquette for All

Once I have assisted a candidate in setting up an on-site physician interview, I will schedule a pre-interview phone call to ensure they know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them. In most cases, I have been to the facility and experienced it in much the same way the candidates will, so I can be very specific about what to expect, who they will meet, and what questions they might have. I also go over what is expected of them, from how to dress to what to bring and what not to say. Some of what I say is obvious, but based on feedback I have received from clients over the years, I have learned not to assume! 

  • Arrive on time. If you have questions about your itinerary, ask them in advance. 
  • Dress professionally. While standards for professional dress have relaxed some over the years, candidates should err on the conservative side. Absolutely no scrubs!
  • Bring printed copies of CVs and a list of references. This makes it easy for interviewers to ask questions about your education and experience and shows enthusiasm for the opportunity.
  • Ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate you have done some research on the organization and the role it serves in the community. 
  • Be respectful and kind to everyone you meet, from the C-suite to the support staff. 
  • Think before you speak. Candidates must be self-aware enough not to speak or react in ways that may insult the interviewer. For example, if the facility’s equipment is older or less impressive than what you are used to, there is no need to comment. However, you should provide that feedback to your recruiter later. 
  • Do not discuss other opportunities or offers you may have. Employers know physicians are in high demand, and they assume you have options. 
  • In social situations, take cues from your peers. If other physicians are ordering a beer or a glass of wine, it is okay to do the same. However, practice moderation and use good judgment. 

Preparing to Make a Decision Post-Physician Interview

If an employer is impressed with a candidate, they are likely to extend an offer quickly, so candidates should be prepared to make a decision. For some, accepting an offer without exploring other options will be unthinkable, and that’s okay as long as they recognize the opportunity may not wait for them. 

Still, others may feel ready to move forward, but if they want to have an attorney review the physician contract, this can slow things down considerably. Before interviews, I ask candidates if they plan to involve an attorney. If the answer is yes, I advise them to go ahead and identify who they plan to hire and gain a commitment from the attorney to review and provide feedback quickly. I also remind them that attorneys will always find something objectionable, and they must decide for themselves if it is worth challenging. 

Most importantly, I counsel candidates to prepare themselves to make decisions and avoid “paralysis by analysis.” There is no such thing as a perfect job, and candidates searching for opportunities that match 100% of their criteria will find themselves waiting for something that is unlikely to come. Physicians are trained in decision-making, and when it comes to job opportunities, they must trust their instincts and be prepared to say “yes” or “no” without hesitation or regret. 

The on-site physician interview is an intense experience designed to give both employer and candidate a chance to get to know each other and determine if there is a good fit. With our guidance, physicians will know exactly what to expect at their interview and can prepare accordingly. 

Whether you are a resident seeking your first physician job or an established physician pursuing a new challenge, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search can help you assess the physician job market in your target location and prepare you for the next steps. Reach out today or start your physician job search online now.

About Neal Waters

Neal’s career began in retained physician search more than 15 years ago. Early on, he recognized the strain that an entire community feels when there is a shortage of physicians to meet patient demand. Since his first successful placement, Neal’s passion for identifying the best providers for each healthcare organization with which he recruits has grown.

Neal serves as Regional Vice President of Recruiting. In his role, he serves as a mentor to a growing team of Jackson Physician Search recruiters. He also enjoys collaborating with in-house recruiters who are dedicated to optimizing their physician recruitment and candidate acquisition strategies. Likewise, Neal specializes in helping physicians — especially residents and those early in their careers — advance their professional careers by finding the right fit.


Job Search Considerations for Psychiatrists and Other Mental Health Providers

With an abundance of mental health job options available, the psychiatrist who has a clear understanding of what he or she wants in a job will be better equipped to focus his or her search and increase the likelihood of finding a good long-term fit…

Medical Resident and Recruiter Take a Leap of Faith and Stick the Landing

Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller perfectly paired a midwestern orthopedic group with an orthopedic surgery resident a full two years before his training will be complete… 

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

How Physicians Can Evaluate Workplace Culture During Their Interview


With physician turnover potentially on the rise and a concerning number of physicians reporting burnout, there is increasing attention on the impact of workplace culture on physician retention. The good news is, employers are aware of the importance of a positive organizational culture. However, as a candidate, it can be difficult to discern if the way your interviewer describes the culture is a true representation of how other physicians experience it. 

Workplace culture is often a reflection of the organization’s values, or at least how well those values are embodied by its staff. This is one of many reasons most recruiters stress the importance of finding an employer whose values align with yours. They know what happens when a physician who wants autonomy accepts an offer from an employer known for micromanaging. When values are misaligned, no one involved in the relationship will be happy. 

The physician interview is your best opportunity to investigate an employer’s values and culture. Keep reading to find out how to evaluate an employer’s culture during the physician interview. 

Conduct Pre-Interview Research

Before you agree to an on-site physician interview, research the employer online and try to determine if it is a place you would like to work. Review the mission statement and values professed on the website. Look for news stories about the organization to see how it is viewed in the community. Follow the employer’s social channels to learn more. What kind of stories are shared about patients, staff, and leadership? Do you see photos of team-building activities or employer-sponsored service projects? What charitable causes does the organization champion? 

Keep in mind, an online presence is carefully curated, so it may not tell the whole story. Look for clues about what the organization values. It will be up to you to discern if those values are acted out in the organization’s culture. Your chance to do this is during the on-site physician interview.

Ask Questions to Reveal Culture 

In preparation for the on-site interview, think about what questions you should ask each of your interviewers. You know you want to learn about culture, however, asking your interviewer to tell you about the organizational culture will likely get you a regurgitation of what is posted on the website. Instead, ask questions designed to reveal specific aspects of the culture that matter most to you. If physician autonomy is especially important, ask leaders to provide examples of ways physicians are included in decision-making. Ask potential physician peers if they are free to order tests and procedures as they see fit. Request they share other examples of their clinical autonomy.  

If work-life balance and mental health are a priority, ask leaders about programs in place to prevent physician burnout. Ask about the average physician tenure, and if it seems low, find out why. When talking with physicians, ask if they feel they have adequate support and share examples of such. Does the department or clinic have enough nurses on staff? Is there a scribe on staff? How is the call schedule determined? Is management approachable when additional support is needed? When provided with answers, listen not just to the speaker’s words, but also notice how comfortable he or she seems when talking about the topic. 

Observe Workplace Culture

Of course, words are one thing, but actions tell a more complete story. Use your time on site to observe as much as you can about the culture. Do people seem generally positive and at ease? How do physicians interact with leadership and each other? How do they treat support staff? When discussing the patient community, is everyone respectful? 

Spend as much time as you can with people working at all levels of the organization and trust your instincts. If you see any red flags, keep digging until you get to the truth. 

Trust Your Recruiter

No one knows more about an organization’s reputation than a recruiter. They know from the candidates they’ve placed whether or not the organization follows through on the promises they make during the interview process. While it’s true that your recruiter is paid by the healthcare organization, it is in everyone’s best interests to find a candidate who is both a clinical and cultural fit for the client as both are strong predictors of long-term physician retention.

Leverage Multiple Channels to Learn About Culture 

Evaluating a potential employer’s workplace culture is a critical part of the physician job search process. Be sure to use every channel available to you to learn as much as you can. Conduct online research prior to attending the interview. Prepare thoughtful questions designed to reveal the aspects of culture that are most important to you. Tailor each question to the specific person you are meeting with, depending on their position within the organization. Observe the behavior of those you meet, as well as the surrounding staff and even the patients. If you pick up on any tension, do your best to find out more. After you have seen and heard as much as possible, ask your recruiter to share what he or she knows about the culture of the organization. The recruiter will want to ensure alignment between you and the client, so he or she should be honest and transparent. Use this information, along with your observations and instincts, and you are sure to make the right decision.

If you are searching for a physician job, it is extremely helpful to work with a recruiter who can offer insight into the cultures of organizations that interest you. At Jackson Physician Search, we have offices in four different regions, and our regional recruitment teams would be more than happy to share what they know about the employers in the area. Contact us today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook for everything you need to know to get started.


3 Things You Need to Start Your Physician Job Search

When “physician job search” is on your to-do list, it can be hard to know where to begin. So, in an effort to make it more manageable, we’re assigning three tasks to get you started…

rural physician


7 Reasons You Might Be Happier in a Rural Physician Job

For those seeking a better work-life balance, more time with patients, lower cost of living, and potentially higher compensation, one option is increasingly attractive–rural physician jobs…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Candidate Interview Gives Physician Recruiter Goosebumps


We’ve all been through the woes of the job hunt journey: sprucing up your resume, researching the pros and cons of your next move, filling out application after application, then finally navigating the arduous interview process. After a while, it can get tiresome.

And on the other side of the journey, there is an organization flipping through an array of cover letters, weeding out unqualified candidates, conducting multiple interviews, and still struggling to find the right fit for its open position.

The addition of a physician recruiter can help to seamlessly bridge the gap between the two. Not only do they know the ins and outs of the needs of the organization they’re working with, but they also work with potential candidates to find physicians like you the opportunity of your dreams.

One private Orthopedic group in St. Louis found itself in need of help after deciding to expand its worker’s compensation program by bringing on an Occupational Medicine physician. The group’s administrator turned to Jackson Physician Search to help find the perfect doctor.

When Jackson Physician Search Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller originally took on this client, she knew she had her work cut out for her – there are very few dedicated Occupational Medicine residency programs, and not every Internal Medicine or Preventative Health residency program provides as much experience in Occupational Medicine as this position would require.

Not only did the ideal candidate need to have the necessary clinical know-how – he or she also needed to have a bubbly, charismatic personality that could forge strong relationships with the institutions and companies in the area so the practice could continue to grow its worker’s compensation care services.

It wasn’t until Katie found Dr. W that the seemingly difficult search started to improve. Read on to learn why this placement gave her goosebumps.

A Unique Career Path

Dr. W originally was a chiropractor who later became a doctor. In addition to completing an Internal Medicine Residency and a Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency, he also brought significant “real world” business experience to the table. Reflecting on the recruitment process, Katie credits Dr. W with making it very easy for her to successfully position him as the ideal candidate for her client.

First, during his initial call with Katie, Dr. W. was able to outline his primary goals clearly: 1.) to provide the highest standard of care to his patients 2.) to practice in an environment that appreciates physician autonomy and independence; somewhere he could really make an impact both on the lives of his patients and the growth of the business.

Second, he shared a customized cover letter with Katie that explained why he was interested in speaking with the Orthopedic group she was recruiting for. Many times, a recruiter’s most difficult job is to convince a practice that a candidate with no ties to the city or region is legitimately interested in their position, so Dr. W made sure to leave no doubt that he was highly intrigued by the professional opportunity.

Taking all of this into account, Katie was able to present Dr. W to the Orthopedic group with the utmost confidence. She recommended they move ahead expediently by bringing him to St. Louis for an in-person interview. After several of the physicians and the CEO of the practice met Dr. W in a virtual interview, they did not doubt that it was worth bringing him on-site.

Sealing the Deal

Katie, a St. Louis native, coordinated with the group to organize a community tour for Dr. W and his girlfriend, as she knew that selling the location was almost as important as the position itself.

Dr. W had never considered St. Louis as a city he’d want to settle in, so Katie’s personal experience and knowledge of the city helped her determine the best highlights to showcase on the tour. She even went so far as to set up the doctor with a real estate agent to help him figure out potential housing options and researched nursing schools for Dr. W’s girlfriend.

That night, Dr. W attended a sit-down dinner with all 10 partners of the Orthopedic group. They were all blown away by his shining personality and his business savvy – two qualities that made him stand out among the rest of the candidates in their hiring pipeline.

After that night, the group knew the choice was clear, as did Dr. W. In fact, Katie spoke with each the next day and she said, “I had goosebumps after hearing the level of excitement from both parties. I knew that this was the perfect fit for Dr. W and my client.”

The Secret to Success: A Dedicated Physician Recruiter

Through constant communication and collaboration, Katie was able to find Dr. W an incredible, unique opportunity in mere months. Dr. W’s concerns and questions were answered thoroughly every step of the way, and with Katie’s expert knowledge of St. Louis, she was able to help him picture his new life in the city.

It just goes to show that establishing a relationship between a recruiter and physician built on trust can make all the difference for your career search.

If you are seeking a new physician career and want a partner who will listen to your specific needs and wants, and will find you the best job opportunity, contact us today.

[Infographic Guide] Physician Dos and Don’ts for the On-site Interview and Community Tour

Congrats! You’ve landed the coveted on-site interview and community tour. To make the most of this important part of the process, learn the Physician Do’s and Don’ts…

The Right Recruiter Can Make Your Physician Job Search Stress-free

The results of our recent Physician Retention Survey show that 54% of physicians are planning to make an employment change due to COVID-19. Of those, 50% are considering leaving their current employer to work for another…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

[Recruitment Guide] How to Deliver an Exceptional On-site Physician Interview


Physicians continue to express interest in new job opportunities despite the continuing pandemic. With an annual turnover rate of 6-7%, two out of five physicians reaching retirement age, and a physician shortage now projected at 139,000 by 2033 per the AAMC, strategic physician recruitment must carry on.

Wired for adaptability, hospital and medical group administrators and physician recruiters have found creative ways to continue recruiting knowing 2021 staffing plan goals must be achieved. But for those physicians who are interested in a particular role and deemed a strong clinical and cultural fit, the on-site interview may bring a wave of anxiety not previously experienced.

The “new normal” means air travel is more stressful, mandatory quarantines in some circumstances make it difficult for a physician from one state to interview in another within a reasonable time frame, and the opportunity for a community tour may be limited. Additionally, gone are the days when you can expect a physician to return for a second interview. Now, you have to nail the physician interview experience the first time and give the candidate that “wow” experience.

To help, we’ve assembled a step-by-step recruitment guide on how to deliver an exceptional on-site interview experience. Download it to put your organization in the best position to reduce your time-to-fill, increase your interview-to-hire ratio, and maximize your recruitment ROI.


Why is it so Important to Nail the First Interview?

It comes down to the power of the first impression. It may seem counterintuitive, but follow-up interviews do not necessarily increase the likelihood that a physician will accept your offer. Plus, multiple interviews drive up your cost per hire, as well as impact your ability to meet patient care demands and revenue goals.

No two physician are alike, and neither are their needs when considering a new position, especially when it includes a relocation. A highly customized experience is essential. Every on-site interview should include two parts:

  1. Interviews with all key stakeholders.
  2. A personalized community tour.

After you’ve done everything in your power to identify a physician who will fit in your culture and is interested in the opportunity, you’ll want to create a welcoming interview experience that reflects your organization’s unique strengths.

Start by planning the interview for greatest impact. Structure a comprehensive, well-organized interview that leaves no questions unanswered, and have your A-players demonstrate alignment with organizational mission and values.

Healthcare administrators and recruiters who coordinate a well-planned, efficiently delivered, on-site interview experience will be more successful in influencing a candidate’s decision to accept the job offer. You’ll also position your organization to:

  • Rise above the competition.
  • Earn the trust of the physician and spouse.
  • Become their number one choice.

Also, most organizations understand the high costs of conducting multiple interviews with a candidate. But since only 27% of candidates we surveyed as part of our 2020 Physician Interview Experience White Paper decided to accept the position on the way home from the first interview, it appears that few deliver an interview experience that will improve speedy offer acceptance.

Candidates who decided to accept on the way home reported:

  • 89% had all questions answered.
  • 61% received a written offer within a week.
  • 80% felt excited and 82% felt welcomed.
  • Ranked alignment with the organization’s mission and values at a 9.2/10.

Download the Recruitment Guide to learn more about the two parts of an exceptional on-site interview experience and to review a helpful interview checklist.

To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process…

How an Act of Kindness Helped a Rural Medical Group Recruit Its Newest Physician

Find out how a Women’s Health Center in a community of 30,000 people in western North Dakota recruited an OB/GYN by ‘wowing’ the candidate with an act of kindness and a customized community tour…

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

The Physician Interview: Looking Beyond the On-Campus Meetings


When considering a new position, physicians should evaluate the opportunity though two lenses: career and lifestyle. A good fit with both is essential for professional achievement, staving off feelings of physician burnout, and creating a happy life for yourself and your family.

In the first part of our Physician Interview series, we provided you with the tips and tools to help you have a successful on-site interview. However, meeting with the leadership team and your potential colleagues on the healthcare campus is only part of the equation. To ensure that you are contemplating a job opportunity that will set you up for professional success and personal happiness, also examine everything that lies outside of the facility.

Depending on your family situation, there are different considerations for you in deciding if the opportunity being presented is the right one. Ideally, as you prepared your “game plan” ahead of this process, you also took the time to layout the essentials for your life outside of the workplace. Let’s dive in.

Family Matters

Before arriving for your on-site interview and community tour, hopefully, you have conducted a little research. While in most cases, you can’t accomplish everything online, you can develop a pretty strong understanding of the things that will impact your family the most. Additionally, include your spouse or significant other in the community tour.

Housing Market

Clearly, finding a place to live is an important aspect of any potential move for a new job opportunity. Physicians who are preparing for an upcoming interview and community tour should research the housing/rental markets in and around the community where you would be residing. Spending time on a site such as NerdWallet.com can provide you with an understanding of how your future cost-of-living might compare to your current city. Another online resource, Realtor.com, contains detailed breakdowns of how much it costs for groceries, utilities, and other financial impacts of living in a new community.

Another factor that must be examined when scouting out a real estate market is a breakdown of the most recent and relevant crime statistics. Visiting www.city-data.com provides you with a snapshot of your potential new locality, including crime statistics, income and education levels, primary occupations, and even household sizes.

School Systems

For young families, one of the most important things to look for is the educational support system within a community. Fortunately, there are many online resources to help you gain an understanding of how school systems are performing in districts across the country. The Department of Education has a myriad of data to help parents find critical metrics on K-12 and secondary education performance. Other sites such as greatschools.org and schooldigger.com can help you dig a little deeper into the makeup and effectiveness of more than 120,000 K-12 schools across the United States.

Fun and Games

The last bit of digging before going on your physician community tour is seeing what the area can offer you and your family in terms of recreation, culture, and other activities outside of school and work. Using your favorite search engine is the easiest way to learn what a community has to offer. Use simple searches, such as:

  • [City name] event listings
  • [City name] parks and recreation
  • [City name] golf courses

Now that we have covered a few things about preparing for your community tour, let’s shift our attention to your actual time on the ground.  If you have done some homework, you already have an idea of what to expect once you are off-campus and experiencing your potential new surroundings.

Employer-sponsored Activity

Even in a competitive job market, a physician has enough job options available to allow for some discernment when weighing offers. As documented, more physicians are choosing to work in environments that are a better cultural and personal fit than working for an employer with which they do not feel aligned.

One way to measure that fit is by looking at the interview experience in total. For example, proactive employers are putting forth an effort to ensure that a physician community tour is an experience, rather than a formality. Aside from the actual interviews and meetings with potential staff and colleagues, consider whether they have an agenda that reflects your personal interests and needs.

While no one wants every minute of the off-campus visit to be pre-planned, activities relating to your individual and family situation should be evident. If you are out on a community tour that has not been tailored for you and your family, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it is worthy of additional reflection. We learned from our recent Physician Interview Experience Survey that 82% felt the community tour had a positive influence on their decision to accept the job, so you’re in good company to expect an experience worthy of your time.

Spend Time in the Community

The competitive physician job market may add a slight element of urgency for you to decide should you be offered a position. Knowing this, making the most of your time on the visit becomes even more critical to an informed decision. And since nearly 69% of physicians only go on one on-site interview, you’ll want to be sure you’ve gathered enough information to make a wise choice.

If a realtor is accompanying you to a variety of housing developments, be sure to take enough time to explore outside the home also. Don’t hesitate to chat with a neighbor who is out watering the lawn. Or stop by the local soccer field to see the community “in action.” Even strike up a conversation with someone at the local coffee shop or the person next to you at the gas station. You might be surprised how easy it is to measure the friendliness of your neighbors. Remember, the inside of a house makes it comfortable, but it is the community that makes it a home.

Never underestimate the value of a well-coordinated interview and community tour when it comes to your ultimate satisfaction with a new position. Involving your loved ones in the process is a vital component of making a smooth transition should you accept a job offer. Smart administrators know this and will ensure that your off-campus activities are given the same importance as your on-campus meetings. While you are meeting with administration and future colleagues, having someone take your loved one on a guided tour is often the key to closing the deal.

Establish a Strong Relationship with a Recruiter

Another way physicians can improve their due diligence is to have an established relationship with a trusted recruitment professional. A seasoned physician recruiter will have relationships with key administrators and provide you with valuable insight into the organization, the staff, and the local community. The recruiter has also toured the community and can help you fill in any holes that will aid in deciding to accept or reject a job offer.

Your recruiter can also help you identify vacancies with a healthcare organization that shares your values and meshes with your personality and skillset. Having an open and honest relationship with a trusted recruitment professional should never be underestimated in your search for the perfect practice opportunity.

Jackson Physician Search employs a team of experienced healthcare industry professionals with an established network of relationships across the country. Our recruitment professionals can help physicians identify the organizations and the vacancies that fit your individual needs and career goals. Contact our team today, and learn how we can make a difference in your physician job search.

Nail the Physician Interview to Land the Job – Preparation is Key to Success

The on-site physician interview is a pivotal moment for physicians seeking a new job opportunity, and it signifies that you’re one step closer to receiving a job offer….

Learn about compensation and benefits to get the most of your job search

Looking for Your Next Job? Understanding Physician Compensation, Benefits, and Bonuses

Read about the different types of compensation packages and feel more confident in negotiating an offer that is fair and aligns with your personal and career priorities….

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

The Power of the First Impression: Delivering a Winning Physician Interview


The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping healthcare in nearly every conceivable way, and that includes how physicians are being recruited. But the enduring challenge in the recruitment and hiring process remains: mastering the interview – whether on-site or virtually – to deliver the first-time WOW experience for the right candidate.

Why is it so important to nail the first interview? It comes down to the power of the first impression. It may seem counterintuitive, but follow-up interviews do not necessarily increase the candidate’s feelings of confidence about the job and the likelihood that an offer will be accepted. Plus, multiple interviews drive up your cost per hire, prolong your time-to-fill and negatively affect your interview-to-hire ratio, ultimately impacting your ability to meet patient demand and revenue goals for your practice.

To uncover the specific elements of the interview process that are most important to the physicians you want to recruit, Jackson Physician Search recently commissioned the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey.

We learned that the salient aspects of the interview experience for candidates who decided to accept a position after the first interview reflect the fulfillment of their needs on three levels: emotional well-being, informational and alignment of values. Specifically, we found that the majority of candidates who decided to accept their jobs felt:

  • Welcomed and excited about the organization and community
  • Assured they had all information in hand and all their questions answered
  • Aligned closely with the organization’s mission and values

Download the 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

Create a Welcoming Interview Experience

A community tour tailored to appeal to candidates and family members is critical to helping them imagine living in your community and reducing any anxiety that comes with being the “new people in town.” Learn as much as possible about their background, family situation, interests and lifestyle to create an experience that makes them feel welcomed and excited.

Even if travel is not possible during the pandemic, an organized “virtual” agenda for spouses or significant others is an essential aspect of the interview experience. Take the time to understand what they may be looking for in a career and offer to arrange networking opportunities.

Just before the interview, send a gift basket of items that represent their interests and what your community has to offer.  Share a highlight video about your organization, local culture and popular attractions. Your realtor can arrange virtual home tours and provide a curated list of desirable neighborhoods and schools, favorite restaurants and relevant community activities.

All of these gestures demonstrate that the whole family is important to your organization. With the help of technology and creative ingenuity, you can spark excitement about your practice opportunity and a sense of being welcomed to the community.

Plan the Interview for Greatest Impact

Physicians are attracted to organizations that have well-planned, efficiently delivered recruiting and hiring processes. Responses to the survey make it clear that you can differentiate your organization and positively influence candidates’ decisions when you structure a comprehensive, well-organized interview that leaves no questions unanswered.

This is your best opportunity to demonstrate what it will be like to work there. Interview participants who appear distracted, or who show up late or not at all, represent a red flag to candidates. Instead, include stakeholders with high emotional intelligence who can pick up on – and help resolve – any feelings of anxiety, frustration or doubt. Gather feedback from candidates by inviting them to complete a post-interview survey.

Most physicians like to have a structure that allows them to keep moving forward; they are easily frustrated by the appearance of wasted time and energy. If the interview is virtual, be sure the technology is buttoned-up and have a back-up plan ready.

Keep the process moving by quickly producing an offer of employment, so it can be accepted before the candidate receives competing offers. It works: the survey reported that 61% of the candidates who accepted right away had received a written offer within seven days of the interview.

Tap Your A-Players to Demonstrate Alignment

As physicians have more choices in practice opportunities, they are more often inclined to seek out organizations that are culturally aligned with their values. This is borne out overwhelmingly in the survey responses from candidates who accepted immediately after their first interview.  These physicians ranked the alignment of organization’s mission and values with their own as 9.2, with 10 being perfectly aligned.

To achieve this level of alignment, put your “A-Players” on your interview team. Include senior leaders who can sell the vision and demonstrate by their presence that they place a high priority on physician recruitment and retention. Also include peers who embody the organization’s mission and values by offering examples of how these are reflected in their practice and daily work. This will help candidates recognize their own level of alignment. In fact, everyone on the interview team must be at the top of their game to clearly make them feel welcome as partners and assure their support in the family’s transition.

In summary, candidates want to feel welcomed, excited, well-informed and closely aligned with your organization’s values. The first interview is the make or break moment to engender these feelings with a best-in-class experience that results in the physician accepting your position right after the first interview.

To speak further about your interview process or for help with your physician and advanced practice provider recruitment needs, contact Jackson Physician Search.

Physician Recruitment Amid Coronavirus - Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plan on Track

Physician Recruitment Amid the Pandemic – Keeping Your 2021 Staffing Plans on Track

For administrators who are understandably stretched thin during the pandemic, taking their eyes off physician recruitment could put their 2021 staffing plan at risk. Let’s take a deeper dive….

[White Paper] 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Interview Experience survey and provides a best-in-class recruitment and interview process….

Need Help Recruiting Physicians?

Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.