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How to Approach Your PA Job Interview as a New Grad

Posted on November 29, 2017   |   by   |   Interview Questions for NPs and PAs, Job Seekers, New Grads

Interviewing for a job is nerve-wracking enough, but what if you’re a new grad going after your first physician assistant job? We have great tips to help you interview with confidence.

We’ve worked with many new physician assistants who successfully interviewed and transitioned to their dream jobs after graduation. We believe that the key to interviewing successfully is simply successful preparation.

1. Look at the interview as an intel mission

This is your opportunity to gather as much information as possible and learn whether it is the right job for you. Before the interview, take stock of what you already know. What details do you have from the job description about the clinical environment, job responsibilities, and reporting hierarchy? Now, what other questions do you need to ask to really get a clear picture of the role? Here are a few to get you started:

  • Can you describe the staff in this department? Will my colleagues include other physicians, Nurse Practitioners, fellows and/or trainees?
  • Can you tell me a little bit more about this role and its specific responsibilities?
  • What benchmarks and outcomes will you use to evaluate my success?
  • Can you describe your orientation and training process for new PA hires?

2. Accept that the PA role is new to you, and that’s okay.

Most new grad physician assistants don’t have previous work experience in the healthcare field. But, you can rest assured that no one expects you to be an expert. While your student clinical rotations exposed you to many areas of practice, they didn’t give you enough experience to gain clinical proficiency.

So, go ahead and acknowledge this fact in the interview. Then, focus on the attributes you bring to the role. This may include your passion, your ability to learn, your trustworthiness, and your communication skills. Use examples from previous work experience and your clinical rotations to prove that you’re a team player who can get up to speed quickly.

3. Look beyond this job, and see your future.

Through your clinicals, you probably have a short list of the practice environments you’re genuinely interested in. Does this job align with your desired career path? Because PAs have so many options, it can be tempting to apply for every job available at a hospital. Unfortunately, this lack of focus can actually work against you in an interview. That’s why we encourage you to know the clinical environments and specialty areas you want to pursue, and express this intention in the interview.

More Help to Master Your PA Job Search

We hope this information helps you navigate the job search process and put your best foot forward. If you’d like to talk through job opportunities and get help identifying the right job for you, feel free to send me an email at jill@melnic.com. We also invite you to create a free Melnic Profile. We’d love to help you!

This Week’s Top Physician Assistant Jobs

Our Melnic jobs board has PA positions at some of the country’s leading hospitals. If you are considering a change, take a look at some of these great job openings!

  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California has a great cardiac PA job opportunity to care for Heart Failure and Heart Transplant patients in inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital also has an opportunity for a PA First Assist in neurosurgery. Join the neurosurgery team at this full time, 8-hour days position, with no weekends, nights, holidays, or call.
  • In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Penn State Medical Center is looking for a PA in the adult ICU. Manage the medical pre-op and post-op care of adult thoracic surgery patients.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston has a role for a PA in the PICU to work in a fast-paced critical care setting, caring for children with a variety of injuries and acute chronic illnesses.
  • In Wilmington, Delaware, Nemours Children’s Hospital has a position for a PA in the CVICU to care for patients from newborn to young adults with congenital or acquired heart disease. This position has responsibilities on the inpatient floor and occasionally in the cardiac outpatient clinic.

Review our list of Physician Assistant jobs, then contact us today!

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