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Old 26.09.2017, 18:32
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Assistenzarzt interview tipps

Hey there!

I will have a job interview for a first year medical residency position in Zurich in about a month and I would like to ask you guys for some tips please! What kind of questions do they ask? Should I wear anything in particular? What should I prepare? Thank you so much for your help )
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Old 26.09.2017, 18:50
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

Wear? Be clean, well-groomed, and wear no perfume, no perfumed deodorant or aftershave. Check that your teeth are clean, just before the interview. If you wear glasses, makes sure they are clean, too, lenses and frames. Check your fingernails. No T-shirts. No bright make-up or jewellery. Formal shoes. At least a white shirt with a collar and a non-flashy sports jacket. This whether you are male or female. If you are a man, you might consider a suit and tie, but only if you know that you can feel comfortable dressed this way.

Prepare? Have ready access, in your tidy lap-top bag or briefcase, to paper and a pen, in case you wish to jot anything down. Also have copies of all your documents with you. On paper, ready to give to anyone who needs them, and electronically, very easily accessible and ready to be mailed straight away to anyone who asks. You may well have submitted all these documents already, but they might be filed in some HR office, while a particular doctor interviewing you might wish to see some part of them.

If you can find out, beforehand, who will be interviewing you, or who is the head of the department, etc. then spend some time reading the papers they have published, or about their area of speciality, so you can say something intelligent about it, or ask a question about some aspect which genuinely interests you.

Altogether, be able to say what interests you about medicine.

Read up about all the departments of the hospital. Well before the interview, go and look at the hospital. Spend an hour or more walking through it, including the park and the cafeteria. Observe what you see so that, when the interviewer mentions something about the hospital, you can say: "Yes, I saw ... when I was here, yesterday."

Make 100% sure you are not late. Punctuality is regarded as very important in Switzerland. Be at the reception desk at least 15 minutes before the due time, so you can walk through all those long passages and still be at the right office in good time.

My main tip, though, is: If you cannot already speak German, then learn a few short sentences in German before you get here. Be able to say the basics in German: who you are, where you live, that you hope to get this job, that Zurich is beautiful, that these few sentences are just a start, and that you are very willing to put in the time to learn German.

Wishing you a good interview!
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Old 26.09.2017, 19:21
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

Thank you so much! You gave me so many useful tips, I will take into account all of your thoughtful advice

I'm a male Portuguese medical graduate, I have the B2 Goethe certificate, unfortunately I'm a bit afraid of the Schweizerdeutsch. But someone told me after a while you get used to it, what do you think of this?. About clothing my main doubt would be if I should wear a suit or not. I definitely don't feel very comfortable wearing one, so a shirt with formal trousers and shoes would be OK right?

Thanks again
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Old 26.09.2017, 19:33
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

Half of the doctors here are Germans anyway, so speaking regular German (quite unfortunately! For comparison, it would be as if half your doctors would be Spanish ) is quite the norm in hospitals. Don't worry about that. Just be yourself.
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Old 26.09.2017, 19:38
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

I've learned it's better to over dressed than under dressed in any business situation.

A suit might be a bit much for the interview , but a nice sports / blazer jacket & tie as others have suggested is probably about right.

Good luck!!
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Old 26.09.2017, 19:42
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

Thank you guys! Looking forward to traveling to Zurich
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Old 26.09.2017, 23:07
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

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Thank you guys! Looking forward to traveling to Zurich
Even if the interviewer is Swiss you can politely say that you speak high German only by now, but want to learn Swiss German, and that you spent XYZ years learning German. It is awesome that you have the B2, that works wonders in your favour.

Let us know how all went and good luck!!
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Old 26.09.2017, 23:12
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

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About clothing my main doubt would be if I should wear a suit or not. I definitely don't feel very comfortable wearing one, so a shirt with formal trousers and shoes would be OK right?
The doctors I know only put a tie on when giving formal lectures / public presentations - and even then they seem to do formal trousers + jacket, not a suit. So I think you'd be fine with shirt/formal trousers, formal shoes. Blazer type jacket plus tie would be good if you have one and feel comfortable in it.

Good luck!
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Old 05.10.2017, 01:58
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

@Jocalis
another thought: switch your mobile phone off, completely, before you enter the interview room. Pack the phone inside your bag, so it is completely out of sight and mind while you're with your interviewers. Don't take a watch, either, that receives electronic signals or transmits beeps or lights.

Do wear a watch, so you can track how the conversation is developing. If you are asked to speak about yourself, don't talk for less than 2 or longer than 10 minutes at a time. In general, try to answer any question from several angles.

Prepare your own list of questions, and be sure to ask at least some during the interview, to show that you are interested and not just dependent on their procedures.
Questions about salary should not be at the top of your list. You should have researched the salary scales before you get to the interview, as you may be asked what you envisage earning.
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Old 18.10.2017, 16:46
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Re: Assistenzarzt interview tipps

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Hey there!

I will have a job interview for a first-year medical residency position in Zurich in about a month and I would like to ask you guys for some tips, please! What kind of questions do they ask? Should I wear anything in particular? What should I prepare? Thank you so much for your help )
Hi Jocalis,

Firstly, I would say: I was in the same situation between Oct-Dec 2016 like yours presently. I was then Indian doctor with no hands-on hospital experience in Switzerland or anywhere in Europe. Also, my degree was not recognised and still not! Around that time, I had completed and passed my B2 German certification & was pursuing C1 course from Alemania, Bern.I didn`t take C1 exam because I had the job until the end of my C1 course.

It was an expensive time full of frustration and depression as I had applied almost 72 applications and at the end got 5 interview calls. More to it, nobody (including myself and all the interviewers) was knowing then how a non-EU doctor can integrate into Swiss medical educational/ working environment - without a recognised degree. After running pole to post, I gather all the necessary Infos about it. Presently, I am working at psychiatry department in SO.

My point is: If I can go through all this over a certain period of time without having any Infos including whole procedures. Surely, you could get through a (normal casually conducted) interview, which is not too difficult. So, just relax and chill for the time, you have presently left. Afterwards, time will simply fly away working at your "would be the new hospital".

Now coming to your questions.
I think "doropfiz" has written every aspect very well. I think you can heed to all of it if suits you well.

for my first Interview (things, which I didn`t do/ added Infos are written in bracket):
Appearance:
>clean shaved, normal haircut - (1 or 2 days before would be better), nails trimmed, (ears/ nose hairs trimmed- if you have).
>Be neat & tidy, organised and well presentable with smile..
Clothing: formal light blue full shirt (with a collar), without perfume/ Deo/ aftershave + formal dark charcoal grey pant + formal shoes (no tie/ suit/ Blazer). I wore in Oct-Dec 2016 just a casual winter jacket, which I handed over to Secretary office, before my interview. (I wore suit at one interview & I was not selected there & so far I haven't seen any JR/ junior resident/ assistenärzte in suit during last 1 year). So, I think suit with tie or sport/casual blazer would be exaggerating..!

The Content of Interview:
> In most of the cases (90-99%), It would consist of Chefarzt and one of the Leitenderarzt during your Interview. Normally, you will get the names of the Interviewers from secretary office through email correspondence. Oberarzt are normally not entitled to conduct the interviews of Assistentart in big hospital/uni - clinical departments
> If you have interest, you can read about their research papers/presented med. poster/ symposium etc - just show that you are smart. normally they will not ask you so high and so pin-pointed specific researched things. I had not done it because each one of them had around 250-300 articles (including relevant and irrelevant researches etc)
> Read your CV and job application/Bewerbungsschreiben +/- all other documents which you have submitted. In Switzerland, they ask you mostly, what you have done so far or past job profiles and positions looking at your CV. Prepare all the possible answers about these things

In my case, half of the Interview duration was almost always dedicated to Swiss law/rules and regulations about "how to work or to have an Assitenzarzt/ JR place without a recognised medical degree. For it, I always used to keep a handy tablet with open pages of Bundesamt für Gesundheit >> MEBEKO webpages. I guess you have already recognised your Portuguese medical degree with few Swiss MEBEKO's stamp for CHF 1500-2000...

>In my case so far (unlike in India), they didn't ask anything about medical / situational-fictional cases. (They can ask you very grossly about somethings- but it is more common in Germany than in Switzerland. For eg: If you are going to Internal Med. interview: how do you treat or role of Antiplatelets/ Antithrombotics in a patient with MI with DIC etc.)

>Don't be lousy at any moment after meeting the interviewers, as they are more interested in know your capabilities and how you can clinic/ hospital benefit from you (in short, you are best for the mentioned position). For this, I guess - you don't need to put so much effort exaggerate yourself.
> be loud and clear, what you speak in Hochdeutsch. In an interview, you will be expected to speak in German (swiss german is not expected), as in future - you will have to deal with the patients directly in all clinical branches. They all (=90-99% in germanic area) can speak in Hochdeutsch.
> You have enough German language (if you have passed Telc/Goethe certification exam) because MEBEKO has a regulation of minimum up to B2 for working EU & non-EU doctors & for recognising non-EU degrees.

As European with a recognised degree, I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to get a residency position in Switzerland.
(If they feel that your German is not good enough or because of the first job, they sometimes also offer you paid Unterassistent position for 3-4 months and subsequently upgrade you to Assistenarzt position (if they will have a vacancy until the end of your Unterassistent duration). I think you should immediately say yes because they could organise half paid "C1 kommunikationkurs für Mediziner" from local Volkhochschule & at the end, they will give you work experience certificate).

In general:
>be punctual: min. 15-20mins, even if you have to wait there. Most important of all.
>mobile or anything electronic that can disturb/beeps should be off or not in the room.
>See your hospital/ exact building location at least on google map and how to reach there, a day before. I had to go for my 1st one in SO. So, I saw on google maps than a personal visit!
> Keep all your documents (physically & electronically) available. I had it always- once during my 3rd interview, some documents were not printed but were mentioned in my CV. To cross verify, they asked me and I showed them the physical original ones and my application email as well. They asked the same from HR immediately.
In almost in all interview, I had to show the Swiss laws for non-EU doctors
So, point: keep all docx in mute laptop/tablet + 1 set in pen drive/ Harddisk/ on cloud storage for immediate transfer.

I guess I have written all that I followed or had experienced during my interview.

If you happen to live in Bern, we can meet with other foreigners at "meet up Bern" group at 7:30 pm every Thursday for improving German..

I wish you good luck for your interview & do let us know: how it was..!

Dr bond :P
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