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Dermatologist Interview Questions

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  1. What steps do you take if you have concerns about a patient’s skin rash or lesion? See answer
  2. How would you conduct a full-body skin exam on a new patient at your dermatology clinic? See answer
  3. What methods and products do you use to protect your skin? See answer
  4. What are your thoughts on the use of fillers and other anti-aging products? See answer
  5. Can you tell me about a time when you had to deliver bad news to a patient? See answer
  6. What are some important skills to have when working with patients as a dermatologist? See answer
  7. Can you tell me one of the most important things you have learned in dermatology and cosmetology?
  8. Can you tell me a time when you realized you initially misdiagnosed a patient and what steps you took to remedy it?
  9. What are the typical characteristics of a cancerous mole?
  10. What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?
  11. What is the most effective and least invasive way to treat skin tags?
  12. How do you treat warts?
  13. Can you tell a time when a patient was being defiant in following your suggestions and how you handled the situation?
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6 Dermatologist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What steps do you take if you have concerns about a patient’s skin rash or lesion?

A:

This question tests the dermatologist’s knowledge of suspicious skin conditions, and it also assures you that the candidate knows the appropriate steps for handling the types of skin complaints you see frequently in your office. You’ll learn whether the dermatologist is skilled in the latest exam techniques and technologies, and you’ll understand more about whether he or she follows a conservative or a more aggressive approach to diagnosis and treatment. What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s knowledge of diverse skin conditions
  • An approach to treatment that matches yours
  • Experience with newer technologies for exams and treatment

Example:

“I would examine the area with a magnifier and photograph it. If I had concerns about cancer, I’d perform an immediate biopsy of the rash or lesion.”

Q:

How would you conduct a full-body skin exam on a new patient at your dermatology clinic?

A:

The full-body skin exam is one of the most common screenings that people receive from a dermatologist. Since the candidate would be performing many of these exams, this question lets you know whether they could be a good fit for your practice overall. You’ll discover how the candidate might adapt the exam for different ages/skin concerns and whether they can work well with a diverse patient population. What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s knowledge of varied exam methods
  • Ability to adapt exam for specific ages/health concerns
  • Candidate’s approach to establishing patient rapport

Example:

“After obtaining patient consent, I’d inspect their face and gradually move down the body. Whenever possible, I drape the patient to protect their privacy.”

Q:

What methods and products do you use to protect your skin?

A:

While the exact products that the candidate uses aren’t necessarily relevant to a hiring decision, this question gives you insight into their communication style and how they might talk to patients when they’re recommending products. You can get a sense of whether their approach to skincare matches the overall philosophy of your practice. What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s personal skincare approach fits with your practice
  • Ability to explain skincare in a conversational manner
  • High-level understanding of skincare needs

Example:

“I use sunscreen daily and wear clothing with built-in SPF. I use organic skincare products; my daily routine includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums and oils.”

Q:

What are your thoughts on the use of fillers and other anti-aging products?

A:

This question gives you a window into whether the candidate’s views on anti-aging products align with the values of your practice. You’ll learn what type of approach the candidate takes to dermal fillers so that you can consider if it matches the needs of your patients. Their response provides an opportunity to get a sense of how they’d communicate with colleagues and clients. What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate’s philosophy aligns with yours
  • Ability to know when fillers are/aren’t needed
  • Explains treatment options effectively

Example:

“I take a conservative approach to anti-aging treatments and start with topical options. I only recommend fillers/injections where it’s clinically indicated, and I consider patient preference.”

Q:

Can you tell me about a time when you had to deliver bad news to a patient?

A:

This question establishes whether the candidate has a compassionate, professional bedside manner. You’ll learn if the applicant is able to explain complex conditions in a way that the patient can understand and that suits the patient’s age and emotional state. Observing their demeanor when they talk about a time when they had to deliver a potentially frightening diagnosis can give you insight into their ability to manage their emotions and act appropriately. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to explain complex, difficult information
  • Knows how to reassure the patient and discuss next steps
  • Experience with diverse patient populations

Example:

“I made sure that the patient’s family member was there. After gently breaking the news, I reassured the patient, discussed treatments and answered his questions.”

Q:

What are some important skills to have when working with patients as a dermatologist?

A:

This question is effective because it can help you gauge a candidate's depth of knowledge, their ability to empathize with patients and their values in patient care. An ideal candidate will reveal that communicating with patients and understanding their concerns is primary to an effective diagnosis. Additionally, an applicant should show a need to be understanding of the patient experience and provide some insight into the needs of the patient beyond a diagnosis or treatment.

The candidate's response should focus on:

  • Good listening skills
  • Depth of knowledge
  • Confidence in practice

An answer to this question may look something like this:

Example:

"Many times patients come to see a dermatologist because they have an established concern. Patients can be anxious, nervous and feel very uncertain. I think good listening skills and patience are the two most important aspects of my job. It is important to listen carefully to patient concerns and ask clarifying questions to understand the full set of symptoms they are experiencing and gain a grasp of the patient's lifestyle. Complete background information helps to ease patient worries because their concerns are voiced and this builds a strong rapport.

The most information possible gathered from the patient coupled with the office exam provides a comprehensive medical history and allows for the strongest and most accurate diagnosis. Whatever the prognosis, a patient who sees that I invest my time as a dermatologist to understand them will be more compliant with a suggested course of treatment. Patient compliance leads to a higher likelihood of treatment success."

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