Visions of the future

The dumbest questions sometimes are the most obvious ones. When I was interviewing for a job after residency, I interviewed with a few private practice groups. They were a mix of very, very eager to mildly indifferent. Their questions mainly centered on the most obvious issues: will you stay with us?

They got to the point in a multitude of ways. One interviewer wanted to know if I had family in the area, or what I thought of their city, or whether I liked their local sports team.

The dumbest question I got though was a common residency interview question: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Now, this seems like a good question, right? But really, when you're interviewing for private practice jobs, there's no such thing as advancement, just partnership. If they hired me on, I'd be doing the same thing in five years, but hopefully as a partner. It'd be like asking retirees where they see themselves in five years: hopefully not dead, hopefully still retired.

My reply? "Umm... working for you?" I didn't know what he wanted me to say. Did he want me to say, "Well, I thought I might meet the girl of my dreams while wandering the clean streets of your fair city, and we'd fall in love, attend performances by the local symphony orchestra, and have a child who will one day attend the local university."

Maybe he wanted a more truthful answer: "I hope to be the first person to have full season ticket packages in baseball, football, and hockey all at the same time." Or perhaps something better? "I see myself driving a BMW and eating fruit off the breasts of a $10,000 hooker." I just don't see the point to his question.

I think the nice thing about private practice interviews is that people can talk straight, no bullshit. For example, one place I interviewed at handled the question like so: "Alright, you seem like a good guy. If we take you on, are you gonna stay here, or are you gonna leave after 2 years?" If only all intereviewers could be this clear.

1 comment:

Helen said...

And honestly, who actually knows. I mean, 5 years ago, I thought I'd be a qualified metallurgical engineer by now. 4 years ago I thought I'd be halfway through my vet degree. Heck a year ago I thought I'd be doing masters in Scotland right now.

Really, asking people is as accurate as using a horoscope, even if they tell the truth!