Improving interview skills for hospitalists

Standardized prep courses are helpful


Are residents generally prepared for fellowship interviews? Applications to the Fellowship Match through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Specialties Matching Service (SMS) are at an all-time high, but there is limited data regarding the preparedness of residents who go through the fellowship interview process, said Kelvin Wong, MD, a coauthor of research describing a new approach to fellowship interview preparation, which may be generalizable to hospitalists in applying for other positions.

“Applicants receive little to no feedback after their interviews and are thus likely to repeat the same mistakes throughout the process. Verbal feedback from our own fellowship directors indicated that residents as a whole are unprepared to interview,” according to an abstract written by Dr. Wong and his colleagues.

Dr. Wong wanted to investigate the effects of a standardized fellowship interview preparation course on resident preparedness. He and his coauthors developed a formal preparation course for the applicants in the summer of 2017.

Precourse surveys showed that only 17.65% of residents felt prepared to go on interviews; postcourse surveys showed a rise in this number to 82.35%. Immediately after their mock interview, only 27.78% of residents rated their overall interview skills as “very good” or “excellent,” whereas 87.5% of interviewers and 70.59% of observers rated their skills to be “very good” or “excellent.”

A final survey will be given to the applicants and the fellowship program directors once the applicants have completed all of their actual interviews.

“This demonstrates the potential positive impact that mock interviews and standardized interview preparation courses can have, which may be generalizable to hospitalists applying for other positions,” Dr. Wong said. “Specifically for teaching hospitalists in teaching hospitals, the institution of such fellowship interview preparation courses may improve resident preparedness for the fellowship application process.”


1. Wong K et al. A novel approach to improve fellowship interview skills [abstract].

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