BEST Residency Interview Questions

residency interview questions
Practice the Most Common and the BEST Residency Interview Questions and Get Ready For the Residency Interview Season - ERAS - Residency Match -

BEST Residency Interview Questions

If you are reading this post, then it’s probably safe to say it is because you are in the process of getting ready for your residency interview season and you want to know what are some of the most frequent and popular asked residency interview questions.

As you may already know, this process could be very stressful given the fact that you are competing against thousands of other applicants. However, you must simply understand that the main reason residency programs conduct these interviews is to get to know the applicants and their personality and also to measure their reaction toward certain questions and to see how applicants react under pressure.
residency interview questions
Do not forget that they are trying to ‘match’ to their residency program, so it is very important to be prepared, and have essential knowledge about what the program has to offer because you WILL be asked questions on that, and lastly, practice, practice, and practice. At the end of the day, you also want to be matched into a program that matches your personality as well.

The following are some of the most Common and the BEST Residency Interview Questions that we have gathered for you to practice:

  • Tell us about yourself.*
  • We have many good applicants. Why should we choose you?
  • Why did you choose to apply to this program?
  • What do you feel you could add to our program?
  • What have you learned about yourself from previous jobs?
  • How do I know you can show initiative and are willing to work?
  • What are your interests outside of medicine?
  • What are your major strengths?*
  • What are your major weaknesses?*
  • Why did you choose this specialty?
  • Tell me about your medical education?
  • Tell me about your previous clinical experience in (specialty name)?
  • Why are you so sure (specialty) is right for you?
  • Tell me about your experience with the USMLE exam(s)? (if candidate has so-so score(s) or failed attempts)?
  • Have you ever worked in an ICU (or other unit common to the specialty)?
  • Have you ever worked in an American hospital? Tell me about that experience.
  • How do you get along with nurses?
  • Have you ever taught other medical students?
  • Do you have any publications?
  • Are you interested in research activity? Please elaborate.
  • Have you ever made any presentations before a professional group?
  • Have you assisted in surgery? On what procedures? Tell me how you were Involved.
  • What are your long term goals?*
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?*
  • What are you looking for in a training program?
  • What books have you read lately? Tell me about that (book, article…).
  • Do you plan to practice in the program’s area or state?
  • Tell me about the latest treatment for disease X (a common disease treated by the specialty you are applying to). This is often called “pumping an applicant” and is not as common as it once was.
  • How would you describe your decision-making style?
  • Describe the most difficult decision you have ever had to make. How did you go about it?
  • Describe the worst or most disappointing clinical experience you’ve had so far.
  • Do you have any plans in case you don’t match this year?
  • To what other programs or specialty areas have you applied to?
  • What is your visa status (only if you are a foreign IMG)?
  • Describe a difficult time in your life and how you dealt with it?
  • Do you have any beliefs or convictions that might interfere with you willingness to deal with the kind of clinical situations you are likely to be presented with in residency training? (Usually asked if program director fears religious beliefs may prevent applicant from performing abortions, birth control, etc.)
  • What do you do to cope with stress?
  • Have you taken any CME courses? If not why not? (Asked to measure applicant’s initiative in seeking exposure to US-style of health care delivery)
  • Have you held any leadership roles? Elaborate.
  • What factors would lead you to rank a program very highly?
  • What factors would lead you to lower your ranking of a program?
  • What kind of personally traits do you find most difficult to deal with in co-workers?
  • What challenges do you foresee that will potentially affect this specialty in the next ten years?
  • What kind of patient do you find it most difficult to relate to? What tactics would you use to establish optimal rapport with such a patient?
  • What would you like to know about our program?
  • Do you have any questions about our program?*

Some of these residency interview questions are rarely asked but you should still be ready for them. The best thing to do is to practice these residency interview questions with someone until you are confident and your responses are delivered naturally.
residency interview questions

Questions to Ask the Current Residents:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the program?
  • What would you change about this program?
  • Do you feel that this program made you ready for the boards?
  • Would you consider the same program if applying again?
  • Why did you consider this program?
  • Is there an appropriate balance between service obligations and the educational program?
  • What has changed since you came to the program?
  • Is the program responsive to suggestions for change?
  • How accessible is the faculty?
  • Is the relationship with faculty collegial?
  • Do the residents get along with one another?
  • How do your residents get along with residents in other programs?
  • In what activities are you involved outside of the program?
  • How does your spouse/significant other like the city/area?

NOTE: Never ask about vacation time and your potential salary. Most programs offer answers to these questions on their website.

residency interview questions

Recommended Interview Books:


First Aid for the Match, Fifth Edition (First Aid Series) 5th EditionBEST Residency Interview Questions -
First Aid for the Match
How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview QuestionsBEST Residency Interview Questions -
How to Answer Interview Questions
Interviewing: 37 Ways to Have Unstoppable Confidence in Your Interview!BEST Residency Interview Questions -
The Successful Match: 200 Rules to Succeed in the Residency Match 1st EditionBEST Residency Interview Questions -
The Successful Match
The Residency Interview: How To Make the Best Possible Impression 1st EditionBEST Residency Interview Questions -
The Residency Interview
BEST Residency Interview Questions - DailyMedEd.comBEST Residency Interview Questions -
Tips for the Residency Match

residency interview questions

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