Tips and Tricks For Fellowship Interviews

Tell me about your program. How big is the hospital? Do you have a residency/fellowship at your program? Tell me about the internal medicine/cardiology experience at your program.

VUMC Cardiology Fellowship Interviews

cardiology fellowship interview questions

If you have done extra work, published another paper or volunteered in any project since submitting your application, have it handy on you to give it to the interviewer. If you have a specific publication where you are the first author, always keep a few printed copies with you, or in the zoom era, keep PDFs of them handy to share with the interviewers.

To familiarize with the video conference-based interview process, try to do a mock interview with a colleague or a friend. Moreover, consider filming yourself to reduce any embarrassment, refine your answers and identify and avoid any odd facial expressions or excessive hand gestures. You will be far more relaxed on the day if you get it out of your system!

Video conferencing for interviews raises a new paradigm in the interview process and a level of unfamiliarity for candidates and interviewers alike. Despite this, there are always useful “tips and tricks,” which remain the same regardless of the interview format. It is prudent to understand the dos and donts of the interview process.

Review the program and the division details the day prior from your interview date. Use the program and division webpages for this purpose and try to know specific strengths, weaknesses and unique aspects of the program. It shows the program that you have done your homework and come prepared. Consider seeking out current fellows from that institution for some tips and advice.

If you are provided with a list of faculty interviewing you, make the best of that opportunity and search for their interests (clinical, research and otherwise) on the program website or on online search databases like PubMed, Google Scholar or SCOPUS so that you can ask strategic questions or incorporate this into your answers where relevant.

cardiology fellowship interview questions

Although this is not an exhaustive list for how to approach fellowship interviews, I hope that this framework may provide some insight into some of the issues that I personally encountered. Best of luck! And remember, you are interviewing for a position you have dreamed of achieving—enjoy the journey, even if it is virtual!

In the era of COVID-19, general cardiology and subspecialty fellowship programs have moved to a virtual model for applicant interviews. While I applied to general cardiology fellowship in more traditional times, I have now gained experience both virtually interviewing others as a chief resident and virtually applying to interventional cardiology programs. The endpoint might be the same—securing a spot in the program of your choice—but here are my key tips for helping guide applicants embarking on this new journey.

Expect to dine virtually: To maintain a semblance of normalcy and give applicants a feel for the social culture of programs, many are holding virtual dinners or happy hours. While these are not necessarily a part of the formal interview process or even required, they are a crucial opportunity for you as an applicant to learn about the program from current fellows. You will be able to have open conversations without the program leadership listening in. I advise that you take the time to understand what life as a fellow is truly like. Some questions you might ask are:

Talk about research: Many programs advertise the ongoing research of their faculty on their respective websites. Be sure to bring up specific projects that interest you, as this can be a starting point for conversation and a way for both the faculty and you to better get to know each other. When speaking with current fellows, discuss the process for being involved in research and how the program is structured to allow for longitudinal projects throughout the fellowship. Also ask how fellows have adapted to the changed environment regarding virtual conferences and how the program has supported them in allowing for virtual participation.

Be well rested: On most interview days, you will be speaking with multiple faculty members, both in the morning and afternoon. Some programs on Eastern Time may have later sessions for applicants on Pacific Time, so inquire about this if applicable. Either way, get a good night’s sleep the night before to appear fresh and think clearly. And make sure to triple check the start time of the interview beforehand.

cardiology fellowship interview questions

This webinar discusses the implications of virtual interviews for the 2020 cardiology fellowship recruitment season and highlight best practices for the “Virtual Cardiology Fellowship Interview.” Covering topics to include virtual interview etiquette, best practices for the virtual interview, how to prepare, what to expect, and how to bring “your best self” for the interview. Discussion on how to enhance applicants knowledge of program attributes and culture and how to get a feel for the “intangibles” of the program without being able to visit in person this year. Highlighting best practices for clear communication with the program administrators/coordinators during virtual interview season and important tips from program coordinator/administrator perspective.

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