Three “Advanced” Tactics

In today's episode, John updates his tactics to help you ace your interview with 3 more items to consider. This topic was originally presented in PNC podcast episode 223.  

We'll explore three invaluable tips for acing your job interview and standing out from the competition. John, our expert in non-traditional job searches, offers his insights on these crucial interview strategies.

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This week's sponsor is the From Here to There: Leveraging Virtual Medicine Program from Sandrow Consulting.

Are you ready to say goodbye to burnout, take control of your schedule, increase your earnings, and enjoy more quality time with your family? You’re probably wondering how to do that without getting a new certification or learning a whole new set of nonclinical skills.

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Dr. Cherisa Sandrow and I discussed this in Podcast Episode 266. Cherisa and her team are now preparing to relaunch their comprehensive program for building and running your own telehealth business.

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A Recap from Podcast Episode 223

In Podcast Episode 223 from November 2021, interview essentials, whether in a phone, video, or in-person setting, and one-on-one or group interviews, were highlighted. These include basics like dressing appropriately, punctuality, carrying extra resumés, and presenting transferable skills and achievements from previous roles. Maintaining assertiveness without being pushy, proper body language, and steering clear of negative answers to questions, were emphasized.

Ace Your Interview

Applying these three new strategies, you can significantly boost your chances of acing your job interview and leaving a remarkable impression on potential employers:

  1. Building Personal Connections with Interviewers: Start by establishing a personal connection with your interviewers during downtime or waiting periods. A simple introduction, a friendly smile, and a genuine interest in common interests like alma maters or hobbies can go a long way in creating a memorable impression.
  2. Crafting a Compelling “Tell Me About Yourself” Response: Prepare a well-structured response to the classic question, “Tell me about yourself.” Use a framework that covers your past, present, and future, aligning each aspect with the company and job you're applying for. Thorough rehearsal will help you appear confident and articulate.
  3. The Game-Changing Question to Ask: When given the chance to ask questions, inquire, “When you picture the person excelling in this role six to twelve months from now, what does that look like to you?” This question reveals the employer's expectations and showcases your commitment to exceptional performance.

Remember that preparation and thoughtful engagement are key to your success.


John presents wise approaches to shine during your job interview. With his extensive experience and deep understanding of the topic, John equips you with a comprehensive toolkit for interview success. You'll gain the confidence and knowledge needed to ace your interview, blow away the competition, and leave a powerful and lasting impression on your potential employer.

And for those of you looking to take back complete control of your career, and quickly build your own freelance business, the quickest thing to do is create a telehealth practice. Learn how to do that in Dr. Cherisa Sandrow's 10-week comprehensive course by clicking right here.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode. 

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 320

3 Top Tips to Ace Your Interview and Blow Away the Competition

John: Okay, let's get into the three top tips for acing your interview. This is definitely a critical part of our non-traditional job search. You've narrowed your job search to a single job at this point. There may be others, but you're going to start with this one. And you've convinced somebody that you're qualified, at least to the point where they want to interview you. And so, then you've got that interview scheduled.

Now remember, interviews can be phone interviews, tele-video interviews, or face-to-face, and they can be one-on-one or they can be group interviews. And we can cover a lot of topics related to this. But just keep that in mind and review that previous episode that I talked about. I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

But I don't want to go back over the basics of doing an interview. As we discussed before, you need to address properly, arrive early, bring copies of your resume, prepare a list of selling points. Don't show them to them, but at least prepare them and rehearse them and study them. Those selling points should talk about the transferable skills and measurable outcomes you've achieved in previous jobs that you can then apply to the current job that you're applying for.

You should be assertive but not pushy. Use the proper body language and never go negative on any topic, especially on the topic of why you're leaving your current position. And like I said, these have all been covered in episode number 223, but there's three more tips I want to talk about today that I don't think I got into great detail on before and they could be very critical to putting you over the top.

They're simple tips, but they may not come naturally to everybody, and they're often forgotten in the midst of a potentially stressful interview situation. So, let me get right to it.

Here is the first tip. When possible get to know your interviewers personally before getting into the formal interview questioning if you can. I don't mean try to get to know them before the interview. In those periods of time where there's downtime where you're waiting or they're waiting for other people to show up, not only should you smile and introduce yourself, but you should actually try and connect with that person.

Let's say you're going to do a group interview. The first person is in the room, you're there and you do have a couple of minutes. It reminds me of somebody I once met. I actually still know he is kind of a friend, although we don't see each other very often because he lives in another part of the state. But I remember meeting him at one of the state medical society meetings. I think we had lunch together, and he was the most inquisitive guy I've ever seen or heard.

And in fact, he had no barriers to just asking whatever came to his mind. We'd be sitting there and he'd ask me, "Oh, well, where'd you go to med school? And where's your office? And what kind of practice are you in?"

And then I remember later on during the conversation, we're just walking down the hallway and he says, "Oh, are you married? Oh, you're divorced. Okay, you have kids. Okay, why did you get divorced?" Now that is a question. That's somebody that can ask a question, it took me aback for a minute because I'm thinking, "Whoa, he jumped into something pretty personal right away."

But it was weird because I wasn't really offended because I think it's some question that many of us have when we meet someone who's just recently divorced. And I guess he was thinking about going through a divorce himself, but it actually also made me feel like he cared about my life even though maybe he was just doing it to get his own information and to help strategize what he was up to. But it didn't matter. He was liked that about everything. He would ask all about different things that normally you wouldn't in a routine conversation.

I just bring that up because you'll be surprised that people will not be offended, particularly if you're asking really questions to get to know the other person. And it's a method of persuasion that many authors have written about. And to try to get to know someone, have a conversation, make it about them. So, you can do a little research ahead of time and use LinkedIn and Doximity if you know who you're going to be interviewing. Obviously Doximity will only help you if it's another physician that's interviewing you.

And again, try to get that done during the little breaks in between when you can get a chance to do that. And you can talk about are there common interests? Did you happen to go to the same school or know someone who went to the same school, same university, same medical school, et cetera. Maybe workplaces you may have shared or friends you might know or hobbies. That's one. Hobbies and interests because you might overlap in those areas without necessarily being physically, geographically close to where your interviewer actually lives. And maybe travel. Interesting travel.

There's other things I'm sure you can think of. But that's the first tip. Try and do something and have a conversation that will make you more familiar to the other person. And that will help put you ahead of other people that are being interviewed for that job.

It builds that bond with the interviewer. It raises their awareness of you because the memory of you will be linked through some of those interesting short conversations or other connections that you have.

Okay, let's move on to the second tip. Like a lot of things that I've told you in the past, you need to do some rehearsing and prepare things in advance. And I don't think I've talked about this one specifically, but you need to prepare to answer this question "Tell me about yourself."

Now, most of us probably would say, "Well, I can answer that right now." But no, because you want to prepare this answer in a way that seems natural, but that accomplishes a couple of things. Number one, it follows a framework that you use, that you develop so that you can remember the answer. Because sometimes you just shouldn't wing it, like I said. And you should use a framework and then you should rehearse it many, many times.

Now, there's multiple frameworks you can use. One of the frameworks you can use is to think about this in terms of the past, the present and the future. You can tell a story about your past, present, and future. Those three stories should all link together.

And the other thing is that the story should be relevant to the company and to the job that you're applying for. Of everything in your life that you could talk about, which you could probably easily write a book, you need to link them, maybe use this framework and then make it pertinent to the company.

I put together a little example that might help you think through this for yourself. And by the way, you should write this down, rehearse it over and over and over again. Rehearse it with another person and then rehearse it without having your notes. And when you really feel comfortable and maybe jumping even around in the story, what have you, then you know you're ready to go.

But let me give you an example that I've written down. I've not memorized this story, but let's say that I was working as I was, and this is from my life. It's not exactly accurate because it's playing off a different type of story and a point that I want to make. But let's imagine that I'm working as a medical director at a hospital, and then I'm going to apply to become the CMO of a hospital, or let's say a VPMA, which is what I actually started with before becoming CMO. And it could be at my own hospital or even another hospital, but I think the concepts will be the same.

I'm at my interview talking about what I did, I'm going over some things in my resume. And somebody says, and this is usually going to be pretty early in the process, but it'll set the stage for future conversations, different topics later. And they say, "Well, let's just start by you telling me about yourself, or you telling us about yourself."

Here is something that I might come up with. All right. Well, I obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry and worked for two years as a food scientist at Kraft Foods. And I'd been thinking about going to medical school. I decided to seek the degree, and I ended up getting in and attended the University of Illinois before completing my family medicine residency.

And right after that, I started in practice and became interested in nonclinical jobs such as physician advisor and medical advisor, or medical director. And partly it was because I wanted to moonlight and make some money, but I liked attending the QI committee meetings, the pharmacy and therapeutic committee meetings and other medical staff meetings. And I got interested in some of those things in leadership and management, but also in quality improvement and patient safety. I obtained a master's degree in public health while I was still in practice.

And during those years, I developed a lot of experiences that apply to the job I've applied for here. I was leading QI meetings, CME meetings, and I attended hospital board meetings as one of the medical staff representatives. I experienced a lot of satisfaction helping to improve quality and patient safety, reducing overutilization when I was working as physician advisor for utilization management. And I helped the board to understand the quality and safety measures that were being reported to it.

Later I had an opportunity to take leadership roles as chair of the committee on CME accreditation at the Illinois State Medical Society. I worked as the chair of the local board of health, and I was a board member of a local nonprofit hospice. I learned a lot of these leadership and management concepts.

And thinking about my future and why I was so excited to learn about this position that you're offering, I realized that I'm looking for an opportunity to help an organization like yours, a position where I can use my skills and experiences that I mentioned previously and others, to improve patient care, lead process improvement teams and improve outcome measures and patient satisfaction.

If given the opportunity, I'd love to join your team and lead process improvement efforts, eliminate "never events", reduce publicly reported mortality and complication rates, and basically enhance the organization's standing in the community.

That's my story that I might come up with. And I would rehearse that and rehearse that and rehearse that, maybe buff it up, make it go a little more smoothly and get to the point where I could rattle it off at least the major points without hesitation.

That's the second tip today which is to again, be prepared to answer the question "Tell me about yourself." Write it down, rehearse it and get to where it just becomes second nature.

Now, the third and final tip. Really this tip prompted me to go back and go over this topic today because I was glancing at a really highly renowned medical and leadership resource known as TikTok. It's kind of funny, I don't spend a lot of time on TikTok, but in this instance, I found something on TikTok that really struck me.

I've talked about something sort of like this in the past in terms of trying to anticipate what the CEO or your boss, whoever that's going to be, is expecting. You look through the job description, you really try and figure out what they're looking for and you try and be prepared to answer all the questions about your background and so forth.

But I heard this next tip in its most succinct form I've ever really heard it or thought about it when it was mentioned by somebody on TikTok who's a grant writer, and he puts posts about how to write grants. And his name is Eric Bruckbauer. I don't think he is very famous. I couldn't find a LinkedIn profile for him. But this was his advice that I'm going to share with you. And I think it is actually pretty profound. I wanted to acknowledge that it was him that did it. And I had a hard time finding out who it was because if you go on TikTok, he doesn't even have his name on the TikTok. You can't even find it.

Anyway, let's get to the point. He said this is what you should say on a job interview to practically guarantee you'll get the job. And here it is. When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, here is what you should say. "When you picture the person in this role doing an excellent job, six to 12 months from now, what does that look like to you?"

And that's perfect. Let me say it again. They're asking you, "Do you have any other questions?" And if you haven't already addressed this one this way, then when they ask you if you have other questions, I say, "When you picture the person in this role doing an excellent job six to 12 months from now, what does that look like to you?"

And you could put it in your own words if you like, but it's so perfect. It's a great question for several reasons. Number one, it tells you what they're really looking for in the job. It sometimes differs from what is written in the job description. You go through this long job descriptions, paragraphs and paragraphs of what you're going to be doing, and you're not really sure.

Well, what's prompting you to interview me for this job now? What's going on now? And that this person needs to comment, particularly if it's management or leadership. There's going to be a certain set of three or four goals that they want to accomplish in the next 12 months, basically when you're in a leadership position.

And so, number one, you get to hear what they're really looking for. And number two, it does inform you then, if you are hired, what you should be focusing on for that next year or so. Number three, when you ask that question, the interviewer will be wowed by the wisdom and the depth of the question, because it's such an important question. And the fourth thing is kind of related to these other things. It shows that you're interested in doing a good job. You really want to know what is the core responsibility and duties and goals for this person for you if you're hired and accomplishing that hopefully.

I'm getting a little excited here. But really that's the end of today's presentation. In addition to all the stuff that you should rehearse and all the background research you should do and the prepping, and make sure you wear the right clothes and show up on time and bring a copy of your resume and all those other things we already talked about, write that question down. Be prepared to answer it or by asking your question, which is the one that I said twice.

That's it for today. Don't forget to check out episode 223 with all those other tips at so you can get more on that topic. When you are interviewing, do not expect to be a perfect interviewee the first few interviews.

Now some people, if you do all these things that I'm talking about, you might just get that first job that you interview for, but most people don't and we all get better with practice. But you're going to be doing all the things I've been talking about today and on the previous episode.

By the way, if you don't get the job, you should circle back to the recruiter or the HR person, hiring manager, or even the person who you'd be their direct report and just ask them what you could have done better. Was it lack of training? Was it lack of experience? Was it your attitude? Was it the interview? Was it resume? Was it cover letter rather? Try to learn from each interview as you go along.

You can find related links in the show notes and the transcript for this episode at

I was going to go into my usual sponsor, but the reality is I only have one sponsor today. And that sponsor is Sandrow Consulting and its course "FROM HERE TO THERE: Leveraging Virtual Medicine."

And what I want to tell you about that is that the quickest way to jump off the healthcare hamster wheel, achieve more freedom, increase your income is to leverage virtual medicine. Sandrow Consulting is relaunching its comprehensive program for building and running your own telehealth business called "FROM HERE TO THERE: Leveraging Virtual Medicine" as I just said.

The program starts soon and there are a limited number of openings. So I encourage you to check it out at before the cap is reached on this because there's only so many students that she can accommodate. Now, if you do it quickly enough, there might be a webinar you can see. Otherwise you'll just go to their main page and it'll tell you all about this program and you can sign up there.

One thing I love about this program is that a freelance telehealth business can be a permanent solution or it can be a bridge to another non-traditional career because it's built on your existing clinical expertise. And you can quickly and safely create it using the insights learned by Dr. Sandrow's course. Again, learn more about it with no obligation by going to


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The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life, or business.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. I do not provide medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counselor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career.