A dermatologist has a few options in where they can work; it can be at the hospital or a healthcare organization. Regardless of the location, you can expect to get a few personal questions in the interview.
This does not mean that the employer doubts your prowess, your twelve years of studying did not go to waste. The interviewer may ask this question to assess if your expectations meet theirs.
As a dermatologist, your work will involve treating any skin, hair, nail, and mucous membrane diseases. There are a few common questions you are likely to answer during the interview. Here are some of them;
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
Often than not, we apply for jobs as it helps pay our bills. Of course, the interviewer does not want to hear this. They often ask this question to assess your intentions.
This is a great question for the employer to see if your expectations align with theirs.
Who would not want to work at Company X? I have always dreamed of working for one of the biggest health care facilities. Being an active participant in treating and caring for patients has been my long-time dream.
Furthermore, I believe that my great communication skills make me a great fit. With my skills, it will be easy for me to relate with my patients.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Dermatologist?
The interviewer may ask this to assess if you understand your responsibilities. Ensure your answer correlates with the roles outlined on your resume.
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My role as a dermatologist requires me to offer skin consultation. I’ll also evaluate the patient’s skin by screening for any disease. If they have an illness, I’ll prescribe them the right medication.
If need be, I’ll perform non-invasive procedures on the patient’s skin. If their case requires a check-up by an advanced specialist, I’ll refer them to the right one.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Dermatologist Need To Be Successful?
This is a common question that most employers tend to ask. The reason is that it helps them assess what makes the candidate special.
This is a great opportunity to showcase your impeccable skills.
Having a medical degree in dermatology can help propel you towards your success. But I believe one particular skill that surpasses the degree is communication skills.
Do not get me wrong; I’m not saying the degree is not important. There is no way studying for those many years can be of no relevance. But what I mean is that you may have the degree but not know how to relate with the patients.
This is where communication skills come in. I took a course in communication skills, and I have seen a positive difference with my patients’ feedback.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face In Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
To some, this may seem as if the interviewer is trying to set a trap for you. Which in reality, this is not the case. Every career has its own challenges, and dermatology is no different.
The employer understands this. The main reason why they may ask this question is to assess how well you handle challenges. It will be of benefit if you include a real-life example while giving out your answer.
While I was working at hospital X, I had the chance to treat a difficult patient. The patient had come in earlier with bad acne which I later recommended her to use some medications and ointment.
Two weeks later, she came in, highlighting that the medication I had given her had made her acne worsen. I asked her if she followed the prescription I had given her, and she said no.
She continued to say that one of her friends had used the medications and advised her on how to take them to hasten the healing process. She, however, blamed me for her misfortune.
I allowed her to let out her frustrations and did not take them personally. Once she was calm, I gave her another prescription and advised her to follow the guidelines. I also told her that healing takes time, and it is not right to hasten the process as it has its side effects.
After two months, the patient came back with much-improved skin. She apologized for her behavior, and later on, her skin got better.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Dermatologist?
The interviewer may ask this question to assess how you prioritize your activities. While answering, avoid including activities such as taking lunch or breakfast.
Once I clock in the office, I check my email to see if there are any patients that might have been contacted. If there are, I’ll take the chance to reply to their queries. Most of my appointments start at 9:30 am.
I prefer having my appointments in the morning. If there are any non-invasive procedures, I prefer doing them once I’m done with my appointments. Which is often late in the afternoon.
Most of my evenings, I dedicate them to resident teaching clinics. I enjoy the visits as I get the chance to teach both the residents and patients.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
This question helps assess if you have relevant experience for the position.
Once I completed my three-year dermatology residency, I was lucky to get a position at hospital X.
I have worked at the hospital for five years. During the years, I have had the chance to gain a couple of skills, such as active listening skills. I also took a short course in psychology.
Which has helped me know how to help patients that I diagnose with cancer.
7. What Kind Of Mindset And Strategies Is Required For This Role?
This is a type of question that helps the interviewer assess the kind of mindset you have as a dermatologist. It will be of help if you include real-life examples while giving out your answer.
A mindset that I often abide by while dealing with my patients is not to take anything personally. I have had the chance to interact with several clients. Some were easy to relate to, whereas some were hard.
There are those that even insult me. I try my best not to allow their ill manners to get the best of me.
A strategy that I stick to while practicing dermatology is being an active listener. I always want my patients to feel heard. This way, I always incorporate active listening skills in all my consultation sessions.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?
Life presents its own challenges. The challenges may be work-related or school-related. When the interviewer asks this question, they understand that there are challenges you’ll go through.
They may ask this question to see how prepared you are to handle the challenges.
I believe one challenge I foresee in this job is delivering sad news to my patients. It is often sadder telling a teen or a kid that they have skin cancer.
But with my psychology course, it will be a bit easier to tell them and advise them on how they can cope. My psychology course will also guide me on how to make the teen and the parents accept the situation.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
You do not want to say that money motivates you to work. This is not the answer an interviewer wants to hear when they ask you this question.
Instead, look deeply and assess what drove you to be a dermatologist.
What motivates me in my work is seeing my patients healed. It is often a great feeling when a client who has acne or cancer comes to tell me they are better.
Seeing them happy gives me great satisfaction which motivates me to work harder.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson Learnt?
Failure is an important part of any successful life. It is okay to fail; I mean, how else will you learn. The question helps the employer assess if you are an accountable person.
It is not a trick question as they know everyone fails once in a while.
While I was working at company X, I misdiagnosed my patient. What happened is that his symptoms were similar to Vitiligo. At the time, I had a long waitlist of patients that wanted to see me.
I rushedly gave him some medications without carefully assessing his situation. One week later, he came back, and his skin was worse. After doing some tests, I realized that I had misdiagnosed him.
I told him this, which greatly frustrated him, and he asked me if he wanted to see another doctor. I respected his wish and referred him to another specialist.
This mistake almost cost me my job as the patients sued us. From then on, I learned the importance of being keen on detail. I also chose to always do tests before giving a diagnosis to ensure that my conclusion is accurate.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Most Suited For This Role?
The interviewer may ask you this question to assess what makes you stand out from the rest. Take this chance to market yourself.
With my five-year experience, I have picked up several skills that have geared me to my success. I have failed a couple of times during these years, and I have learned a lot.
I have loyal clients who I’m willing to bring with me when I get this role. With my great communication skills and my diploma in psychology, I believe I’ll do a great job.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement?
The interviewer may ask this question for them to see what you have to bring to the table.
During my fourth year working at hospital X. I received an honorable mention as the dermatologist of the year.
The recognition brought in more clients for me, and the hospital was glad that I was one of their employees.
13. What Do You Know About Our Company?
Avoid answers such as “I don’t know anything about your company.” This will reduce your odds of getting the job. It is advisable that you do some research before the interview.
This is a great chance to butter up your employer.
Well, I know that you recently won an award as the best hospital in the state.
I also know that your company volunteers at X every month. This inspired me to want to work with you. I was happy when I found out there was a job opening.
14. What Are Your Salary Requirements?
Most candidates find this question a bit tricky. You do not want to have a situation where you are lowballing yourself. At the same time, you’d not want to lose the position because you gave out a high salary range.
With this, before the interview, it is advisable that you research and see how much an office clerk gets paid. This will give you a gist of the amount you will say.
With my experience as a dermatologist, I have an understanding of the salary range. My salary requirement is between $306,000 to $410,700. I believe the salary range fits my experience and talents.
Although, I’m open to discussion.
15. What Kind Of Work Environment Do You Like Best?
The hiring manager may ask this question to assess if you’ll fit well in their work environment.
I perform my best when I have a certain level of freedom to do things. Rules are great, and I love it when the rules given to us also gives us the freedom to think outside the box. This is the kind of environment I love working in.
16. What Field Of Dermatology Would You Like To Specialize In?
While answering this question, it is best that you highlight a field the hospital is offering. Saying that you have not yet decided on which field to specialize in is also a viable answer.
Your hospital specializes in cosmetic dermatology, and it is a field I’d love to specialize in. I read an article highlighting that you are the best cosmetic dermatology clinic.
This is why I’d like to work with you and learn from the best.
17. Which Invasive Procedures Have You Done Before?
This is a particular question that will help the hiring manager assess your experience in dermatology.
I have done a couple of minimally invasive procedures like; dermal fillers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. The other invasive procedures I have done are; body lift, facelift, breast augmentation. And not to forget fat reduction.
I have included a portfolio for you to see my work.
18. How Do You Determine When A Mole Needs Further Examination For Skin Cancer?
This is a dermatology-related question that will help the hiring manager assess your competency.
There are a few warning signs that a patient would tell me for me to consider doing a screening. One sign is if the patient tells me that the mole has changed in size, then I’ll request for a screening.
If the mole changes in color, I’ll urge the patient to go for screening. Also, if the height or the texture of the mole has changed, I’ll screen the patient.
Also, if the patient complains that the mole is itchy, I’ll need to examine it. Lastly, if I notice the mole is oozing blood or pus, I’ll evaluate it too.
19. What Would You Do If You Have A Patient Who Is Not Following Your Advice?
There are those people who hardly follow the doctor’s instructions to the latter. The hiring manager knows this. When they ask this question, they want to assess how well you deal with difficult patients.
While working at hospital X, I had a patient who I had advised her to wear sunscreen. I also told her to do only indoor tanning. She did not heed my advice.
During her next appointment, I noticed that her condition had not improved. I learned that she was doing the opposite of what I had told her.
I proceeded to tell her about the effects of not following my advice. I also showed her photos of how her skin would end up if she continued doing it her way.
To ensure that my advice hit home. We did an ultraviolet light test to see the sun damage on her skin. From the test, she noticed that her skin was in bad condition and promised me she would follow my advice.
After a few weeks, she came back in, and I noticed that her skin had become better.
20. How Would You Rate Your Skills With Working With Patients?
While answering the question, it will be of help if you include systems or methods you use while treating your patients.
I often try to see every patient as a unique person. I often try my best to ensure that my patients feel at ease with me. Patient education is an important aspect for me.
Anytime I treat my patients, I usually take the time to teach them a thing or two about their skin. I also help them understand the risks of the sun on our skin.
Make sure when the interviewer asks you any question that you do not keep quiet. Confidence is key, and it will help you stand out. Best of Luck!