Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview for a position with a medical practice! Whether you’re applying to become a medical assistant or a practice manager, there’s a lot of competition out there, and standing out from the crowd can be a big challenge. No matter how good you look on paper, you need to ace the interview. Not only will employers be interested in your training and experience, but they’ll also be trying to get a read on how you’ll fit into the practice. No one can tell you how to answer interview questions because being yourself is important, but we can give you a few tips. Honesty is paramount, as well as a bit of charm and a big helping of confidence. Taking a bit of time to think about your answers before you walk into the interview will keep you calm and help you shine. Here are 10 job interview questions you’re most likely to encounter.
1. Have you assisted with any medical office procedures?
Even if you’re just out of school, you may have some experience from an extern program. Think about the details of each procedure you have assisted with so that you can go over your role in the experience.
2. How do you protect patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality?
Dust off those HIPAA regulations and study them hard before the interview. You want to illustrate your commitment to prioritizing patients’ rights and show off your understanding of the law.
3. Can you tell me about a difficult situation with a patient and how you handled it?
Positive framing is everything. It’s very important that you don’t make any disparaging remarks about the patient, and instead focus on your solution. They’ll want to hear about positive listening skills, patience, clear communication, and going the extra mile to improve patient satisfaction.
4. Can you tell me about a challenging situation with a co-worker and what you did?
Again, a positive tone is important. This is the kind of question an employer will ask to gauge what contribution you’ll make to the office culture. You can use a question like this to underline your best qualities of teamwork, integrity, and even your sense of humor.
5. What’s your biggest weakness?
Positivity pays off here as well, but don’t try too hard to come up with the perfect answer. The classic “I care too much about my job/I’m a perfectionist” answer is a bit glib and a transparent attempt at spin. You can be honest about something you’d like to improve, but focus on the active steps you’re taking, and talk about it as an “area of growth.”
6. What steps have you taken to become a better medical assistant?
Here’s where you can show your commitment to your profession, your quest for excellence, and your intellectual curiosity. Do you subscribe to medical journals? Have you taken extra courses and workshops to build your skills? Pick something that inspires you and share it with them.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question may be measuring your ambition, but keep in mind that they are probably also asking about your potential commitment to the practice. If you have plans to go back to school or relocate within that timeframe, it’s best to be upfront about it. Employers want people who will stick around, but they also value people with strong professional goals.
8. How are your computer skills?
You don’t need to be the next Bill Gates, but a solid foundation in basic technological competence is becoming more and more necessary for every industry. You may need to deal with Electronic Health Records and patient portals, a complex scheduling system, or even social media. A good knowledge of Microsoft Office is a minimum.
9. What schedule are you looking for?
Be clear about what you can and cannot do. Obviously, it’s a big plus if you express a willingness to do what’s needed and work extra hours when things are tight. But you’re setting everybody up for a tough time if you’re not honest about what kind of hours you can commit to.
10. Do you have any questions?
Prepare a few concise, intelligent questions ahead of time. Ask about the working atmosphere, advancement opportunities, training incentives, and the turnover rate. This isn’t just an information grab-it’s an opportunity to display the depth of your interest and your previous research about the position.
You can never be totally prepared for an interview, but you can take steps to prime yourself for a great performance. Devote a few hours to thinking about interview questions and answers, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
Let us know in the comments below your tips for preparing for interviews.