Residency Interview – Best Practices

Residency Interview Preparation Packets available, contact Melva Landrum or stop by MET Building, Suite 330E  Topics include:

  • Appropriate dress attire for interview day
  • Tips on “selling” yourself with a list of personality adjectives
  • How to handle difficult questions that may come up
  • Post interview topics including a breakdown of the “Thank You” note
  • Commonly asked residency interview questions
  • Questions you may want to ask during the interview.
  • Email Template to ASK FOR THE INTERVIEW from programs you have not heard from.
  • Tips in navigating the “Pre-Dinner” along with basic dinner etiquette Dos and Don’ts
  • Section on “second looks” taken directly from the new “Successful Match 2017”


  • Be engaged, authentic, positive, and polite in all of your interactions.
  • Do your homework before going to an interview: it will help you know what questions to ask and show initiative and enthusiasm on your part. Remind yourself why you applied to the program, and know the key points of the program.
  • Interviewing is about finding the program that is the best fit for you. If you are invited to an interview, the program already feels that you have the academic credentials that they want.
  • You never know who is evaluating you, so be respectful, gracious, and courteous to everyone from the secretaries to the attendings.
  • Present yourself as someone as whom people will want to work; someone who is interested, enthusiastic, flexible, and h You are going to become a part of the program’s “family.” The Residency Coordinator should be your best friend!

Social events

  • For informal events, avoid denim and stick with nice pants and a shirt or skirt and blouse.
  • Social events are a great way to meet residents, but they should still be considered interviews.
  • Keep it professional, because your behavior will be reported to the Program Director.
  • Even during seemingly casual dinners or lunches, keep proper etiquette and relationships.

Accepting, scheduling and canceling interviews

Do not panic if some of your classmates have received interviews and you have Some geographic regions of the country, and some specific specialties, will begin the interview process earlier than others.

  • Accept interviews quickly—it is best to respond within a couple of hours.
  • Even if you are not sure about a program, go ahead and accept the interview, schedule later in season allowing you time to make an informed decision.
  • If you are traveling to a city and would like to coordinate multiple interviews within a particular time frame, it is okay to call the program coordinator to try to do so as long as this is done in an appropriate, professional and timely manner.
  • Always notify the program if you plan to cancel the interview, both by calling the coordinator and emailing the Program Director. Give the program at least two weeks notice, and ideally more. Make sure that you save a copy of your correspondence documenting that you notified the program of the
  • Only reschedule if absolutely necessary…It is okay to reschedule, but do not do this more than once.
  • Be on time; give yourself plenty of time to get to the Schedule your flights in such a way that you won’t have to rush to or from the airport, or will not be jeopardized by flight

What to consider prior to your interviews

  • Let your application speak for you—not your dress code! Wear a conservative suit and comfortable dress shoes (dress flats are okay). Avoid short skirts, and low-cut tops; you want to inspire confidence by your appearance. Even if a program says business casual is okay for the interview day, it is best to err on the side of caution and wear a suit. Dress for the job you want.
  • Do not play on your phone during the interview!
  • Practice good hygiene. Wear deodorant, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and make sure you have ironed your clothing if necessary.
  • Set your Facebook profile to private! Google yourself and make sure there are no incriminating photos of you lurking in cy
  • Watch what you say on blogs; administrators might check those online conversations.
  • Review your ERAS application and CV before the i Be prepared to discuss anything on your application (research, hobbies, etc.).
  • Bring copies of CV and any relevant articles with you on interview day in case someone should ask you for the Do not offer articles unless someone asks.
  • Make a checklist of clothing items to bring

Expressing interest in your #1 program

  • When asked during an interview, “What do you think of this program?” respond positively and provide specific examples of what you like about the Be careful about saying a program is your number one choice, especially if it is early in the interview season. You will run the risk of appearing insincere unless you have very specific reasons for the program being your top choice.
  • At the end of the interview season, you may send a letter or email to the program director stating that the program is your top choice.
  • Do not tell more than one program that they are your #1 choice as that wouldn’t be a true statement.