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TOPIC: Interview Questions

As a follow up question... how 17 years 4 months ago #251

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As a follow up question...

how does one answer the following typical interview questions without sounding like every other candidate?

1. why ortho
2. any questions about our program?

for q1, it seems that most of us are interested in ortho for similar reasons. After being one of hundreds of candidates interviewed year in-year out, how can you stand out?

in regard to q2, It seems that most questions can be answered by exploring the program, looking at the website, speaking w/ residents etc.
From what I understand, however, it is bad form to not have questions for the interviewer.
Does it end up that you ask questions that you pretty much know the answers to?
In which case the interviewer may find the questions shallow and assume that you had not properly explored the program before-hand.


h well:
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You will almost always be 17 years 4 months ago #254

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You will almost always be asked about what questions you have about "X" program. Obviously, do some research if it is indeed a program you are interested in. Most academic ortho programs are in some state of flux-new chair, new professors, ect. Ask how he/she thinks the program is headed in the next few years. If a chair is new, ask them or other professors how that chair is changing things/not changing things. Things like that tend to be good because it shows your knowledge of the program and it lets the person talk about their program.
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agree with acetabulum. Your answer 17 years 4 months ago #255

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agree with acetabulum.

Your answer to "why ortho" does not have to wow anyone. Be honest and describe what attracted you to orthopedics. Don't try to be unusual, eccentric or funny. Be sincere. There's no right answer to this question. They want to know if your reasons are genuine and not superficial.

As far as the questions, this was the most difficult part of the interview for me. I went on so many interviews, and after the first 3 or 4, I did not bother to do research on the programs cause i was just tired of the whole process. Ask generic and NONTHREATENING questions. Again, don't try to be unusual or unique. Ask standard questions that everyone else probably asks too, but look interested when they answer. I asked the same questions on every interview....multiple times on the same day.

Don't ask questions that would make the program or the interviewer look bad. For example, if you know they don't offer elective time, don't ask them if they do. If you know they're not heavy on research, don't ask them about their animal lab, etc.

I focused on 3 areas, and revised the question depending on where i was:

1. Research
2. Future direction (any changes they anticipate in the next 5 yrs, etc.. see acetabulum's post)
3. Strengths/weaknesses of the program
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Thanks, very helpful responses. 17 years 4 months ago #259

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Thanks, very helpful responses.

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lots of the usual stuff... why 17 years 4 months ago #260

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lots of the usual stuff...
why ortho?
what kind of practice do you see yourself in?
what strengths would you bring to this program?
why are you interested in our program?
what is the most important thing to you?
Tell me about yourself./ about your family.
What do your parents do?
Where did you grow up?
What would you do if you couldn't do ortho?
What are your research interests?
Why did you choose XX college? med school?

...to the more creative questions...

What are you most afraid of?
What do you want on your gravestone?
Why did you make a "B" in xxxx rotation?
What do you see in this X ray? How would you treat it?
What would you do with a EKG like this one?

...and, my all-time favorite:
Why aren't you married?
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For the "Why ortho" question, I 17 years 4 months ago #261

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For the "Why ortho" question,

I agree with the above: be yourself, don't make "weird" reasons just to be unique. That'll hurt you more than anything.

Now, my top 10 "textbook" answers to that question (and some may disagree):

I like ortho because,
1. Tends to be a young, healthy, and very diverse patient population.
2. People who are "sick", but WANT to get better.
3. The opportunity to FIX many of the problems encountered in practice.
4. [Instant] gratification from being able to fix those problems.
5. Ability to return both form and function to your patients.
6. Opportunities for continuity of care.
7. Biomechanical aspects of orthopaedics.
8. Personalities.
9. Relatively speaking, Orthopaedic research is in it's infantile (maybe adolescent) stage. There's a lot of things on the horizon in the realtively young research world.
10. Very challenging and dynamic field (I'll never be bored).

When ever I was asked that question, I usually ran off these 10 reasons, and my interviewers were unanimously pleased with them. Then at the end I also threw in that I'm a former college athlete and I would like to continue to work around athletes. This is probably my No. 1 reason, but it's a stereotype that many interviewers just don't want to hear as a primary reason. That's why I usually just threw it in as a footnote.
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