I remember this question vividly from my anesthesia training. I am sure you do too. And if you are currently in your training it’s probably coming your way.
“If you could have one monitor to perform an anesthetic, what would it be?”
Some of the debates that would ensue were comical as anesthesia providers defended their position fervently with physiology, citing articles and whatever else they could pull out of their bag of anesthesia knowledge. The discussions were good-natured and educational. But on a deeper level, it gave insight into how a provider thought.
Now what if there was only one question you could ask during an anesthesia job interview? What would it be? – No, not what is the salary? They will provide that. The question that would give insight to the makeup of the group. The question that would provide information about the working environment. The question that would help you determine why would you take a job with this anesthesia practice.
The One Question
I was interviewing for my first anesthesia job and the provider said something that made me pause. It made me wonder what the other members in the group would say. I needed to ask a specific question to everyone I talked to during the interview.
“What keeps you here?”
Individually their answers revealed what was important to them. However, when taking all their answers together as a group, a pattern appeared. The majority were basically all giving me the same answers and I knew what type of anesthesia group I could possibly be joining.
It’s a simple question to ask. “What keeps you here?” But for a simple one, it provides a wealth of information. The culture of the anesthesia practice, overall morale, opportunities for growth, the type of anesthesia providers in the group, and what works well for the anesthesia department are just some of the answers that you can solicit from this question.
It can even lead to revealing some of the insufficiencies of the practice. Some people feel the need to justify their answers when there are aspects of the job they do not necessarily like. They will include this information even though the question did not ask what they dislike about the practice.
As an example, “Even though we have not received a raise in three years, it’s because of __ I stay here.”
It’s a great open-ended question that needs to be in your repertoire for an interview. It often allows for thoughtful follow-up questions and can really keep the conversation flowing. You just never know where it will lead.
Now I know I posed the idea of only asking one question – what would it be? But like having multiple anesthesia monitors to safely provide anesthesia, you want to have multiple questions to ask during your interview to successfully discover if this is the anesthesia job for you. Just make sure to remember to ask “What keeps you here?”