Surgeon Interview Questions & Answers

Surgeons are physicians who treat diseases, injuries, and deformities by invasive, minimally-invasive, or non-invasive surgical methods, such as using instruments, appliances, or by manual manipulation. Surgeons specialize in the treatment of injury, disease, and deformity through operations.

Using a variety of instruments, and with patients under anesthesia, a surgeon corrects physical deformities, repairs bone and tissue after injuries, or performs preventive surgeries on patients with debilitating diseases or disorders. Although a large number perform general surgery, many surgeons choose to specialize in a specific area.

Whether you're a job seeker preparing to be interviewed for the role of Surgeon or an employer preparing to interview candidates for Surgeon position, these Surgeon interview questions will help you prepare yourself for the job interview session.

Surgeon Interview Questions

Below are a list of some skill-based Surgeon interview questions.

  1. Can you describe the strategies you use when trying to communicate medical terminology or complex procedures to patients who are unfamiliar with medical language?
  2. What do you think is the most important aspect of patient care during surgery?
  3. You are doing surgery on a Jehovah's Witness child who is in danger of vascular collapse from hemorrhage and are faced with the dilemma to either give blood or withold it for religious reasons; what would you do?
  4. During surgery you call for a certain instrument that you're told isn't available, and this adds time to the surgery that otherwise would have been much shorter; how would you address this problem?
  5. You are doing surgery alone with a technician assisting you when you start to feel faint. What should you do?
  6. How important is continuing education to you?
  7. How has your manual dexterity helped your surgical skills in theatre?
  8. If you were assisting a colleague on surgery for a gun shot wound and he set a removed bullet aside as a souvenir, how would you respond?
  9. In what ways do you try to exceed a patient's expectations?
  10. If a patient needed a surgery you regularly perform, but the patient’s medical history made the surgery more challenging, how would you prepare?
  11. If you were preparing to do an elective surgery on a child who had some difficulty with intubation (with possible aspiration), how would you proceed?
  12. Can you describe your techniques and strategies for calming and supporting patients and their families?
  13. What would you do if a surgical procedure took longer than expected and another patient was waiting for surgery?
  14. What is your most preferred surgical procedure to perform?
  15. How do you feel about purely elective cosmetic surgery?
  16. What preoperative procedures do you follow when treating a patient?
  17. Can you tell me about a time a patient complained of additional pain or symptoms following a surgery? What did you do?
  18. How would you describe your impact on the surgical team that you're currently part of?
  19. Have you ever started performing surgery only to realize you misdiagnosed a patient’s condition? How did you respond?
  20. We want to improve our surgery wait times. How would you structure your day to maximize the number of surgeries you complete each day?
  21. How do you communicate with a patient’s loved ones before and after surgery to keep them at ease?
  22. Have you ever encountered a situation in which you started surgery and discovered that a patient had an additional problem or potential diagnosis?
  23. There is a risk of infection when performing a surgery. How do you prevent infections from occurring during your procedures?
  24. How do you feel about medical, non-surgical treatment for appendicitis?
  25. Which surgical specialties are you most interested in pursuing?
  26. Describe your experience with using surgical robotics and other advanced technology in the operating room.
  27. Provide an example of a time when you had to perform a surgery you had never done before. What was your process for learning the procedure and how did you prepare your patient?
  28. We want to be known for having surgeons who are kind and compassionate to our patients. How would you describe yourself in this regard?
  29. Can you describe a situation in which you had to give a patient, or family members of a patient, bad news? What approach did you take, and would you act similarly if you were able to have the conversation again?
  30. What would you do if you noticed a fellow surgeon making a mistake during a surgery?
  31. If you order a blood transfusion of two units of packed cells and your patient stabilizes after the first, should you or should you not give the second unit?
  32. How do you ensure sterility in the operating room before an operation?
  33. How long have you been working as a surgeon?
  34. There is a risk that a patient may not survive a surgery, but the surgery is necessary. Would you perform the surgery? Explain your answer.
  35. How would you say you communicate with other members of a medical team?
  36. What would you say are the most valuable lessons you learned during your medical residency?
  37. Can you describe a typical work week in your current position?
  38. What process do you follow when examining a patient with a deformity?
  39. Have you published any scholarly articles or text regarding specific surgical procedures or outcomes?
  40. Do you have experience in managing or leading a team?
  41. What is your process for determining whether a patient needs emergency surgery?
  42. What procedure do you follow when performing emergency surgery?
  43. How important do you feel the art of triage is in Surgery?
  44. What do you feel is the most important part of a surgeon's job?
  45. How often do you perform routine maintenance on your surgical equipment?
  46. If a patient had a reaction to the anesthesia during a surgery, what would you do?
  47. Do you have a process for managing stress and maintaining your composure during surgery?
  48. Provide an example of a time when you had to make a decision during a surgery that was not clear-cut. What was the outcome of your decision?
  49. Has there ever been a time in which you disagreed with another surgeon regarding a diagnosis, procedure, surgical technique or any other aspect of patient care? How did you handle it?
  50. How would you describe the relationship between a surgeon and a patient?
  51. What are the most common types of surgeries you perform on a regular basis?
  52. Are you comfortable working with patients who are in pain and under stress during a surgery?
  53. What makes you the best candidate for a surgeon position at our facility?

Surgeon Interview Questions and Answers

Every interview is different and the questions may vary. However, there are lots of general questions that get asked at every interview.

Below are some common questions you'd expect during Surgeon interviews. Click on each question to see how to answer them.

  1. Tell Me About Yourself
  2. What is Your Salary Expectation?
  3. What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
  4. Are You a Leader or a Follower?
  5. What is Your Greatest Strength?
  6. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
  7. Why Do You Want This Job?
  8. Why Should We Hire You?
  9. Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?
  10. What is Your Greatest Weakness?