Interview Questions to Ask an Optometrist

Oct 11, 2019
4 min read
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Are you in the process of hiring a new optometrist? You'll want to make sure that they're a good candidate for your practice. These questions will help you to determine whether they're not just a good worker, but a culture fit, as well.

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When interviewing an optometrist for a potential position at your practice, it is important to ask questions in the following three categories, those pertaining to their personal life, personal interests, and their professional goals. Since the individual conducting the interview will have submitted their resume, it is unnecessary to ask questions with regards to credentials. However, questions are important to get a feel for the overall person that the interviewee is.

Personal life and professional interests will tell you whether that person will be a stable candidate, and personal interests will be most telling about the candidate overall. Professional goals will help better gauge if the optometrist could add value to the practice outside of comprehensive patient care. Asking the right questions in these three categories will give a good idea of whether or not they will be a valuable asset to the practice for years to come.

Questions about their professional goals

The final and probably most relevant set of questions to ask would be with regard to professional interests. It is important to first know what you are personally looking for in the candidate, to better guide the questions you’ll ask. Some examples would be about practice interests.

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
  • Are you solely looking to do comprehensive exams or is there an area of interest, i.e., Ortho-K or disease management?
  • Do you have any specialized training in a specific field of optometry?
  • If you completed a residency, what did you learn that could be of interest?
  • How can you bring value to the practice? Would you be interested in administrative work, i.e., billing out assignment plans or marketing for the practice?

Questions such as the ones above can provide valuable information about the interviewee’s future plans and professional personality. It is important to know what the interviewee’s interests are professionally in order to best mentor them and help them build a rapport with your patients. This information will give the best insight into the potential of the candidate and to how they could possibly add value to your practice.

Questions about their personal goals and working style

If you are looking for a potential practice partner or a candidate for buyout, this will be especially important. Asking the right questions about a candidate’s personal goals could reveal a lot about their long term potential with the practice.

  • Are you willing to work on the weekends or do you have reservations?
  • How much time off do you foresee yourself needing annually?
  • What does your ideal workweek and workload look like?

This question will be important especially if you are looking for someone to work on Saturdays or Sundays.

Questions about their interests

These questions are important to get the best idea of the interviewee’s personality. These will also break up the monotony and allow you to share a little bit about yourself as well.

  • Are you involved in any organizations?
  • Have you ever been on a medical mission trip?
  • Are you involved in any charities?
    • Do not directly ask about religious charities unless the patient freely elects to share this information

These outside organizations could potentially help build the practice as well. In addition, ask the candidate about their hobbies.

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What is your favorite sports team?
  • Do you value your personal fitness?
  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?

These questions are most suitable to new optometrists seeing as how, generally speaking, most are younger in age. Asking subtle questions will give you a look into the life of the person behind the professional.

Since no two practices are the same, it is important to customize interview questions with regard to your personal goals when hiring a new graduate optometrist. It is crucial to embrace questions with regard to their personality and their personal life, as well as their passion for their professional goals. However, it is important to review state law interview guidelines prior to conducting your interview. Per law, there are certain questions you cannot ask an interviewee depending on your respective state. To be safe, shy away from asking questions about race, religion, or sexual orientation. To conclude the interview, remember to always ask the interviewee what questions they may have. If you keep these things in mind, you will have a comprehensive idea and can make the most informed decision for the future of your practice.

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About Gabrielle Szwajca, OD

Gabrielle M. Szwajca, OD is graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned her Doctor of Optometry at Illinois College of Optometry.

While in optometry school she was a member of SVOSH and currently she is an active participant in OneSight humanitarian missions and travels globally to provide eye care to underserved populations.

She loves all aspects of optometry but especially enjoys working with children and providing pediatric eye exams in her respective city of Chicago. Outside of optometry, Dr. Gabby loves competing in the marathon and triathlon, painting, traveling, and spending time with her fiancee, family and her Welsh Corgi, Stanley.


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