Some people believe that medical assistants are the most important people in hospital. I do not think so, but I believe they are equally important with all other staff members. A functioning clinic, or a busy hospital, is like an organism. And you, being a medical assistant, play a vital role in its functioning.
However, if you want to get this job, you should be prepared for a difficult interview. The popularity of this career has been growing in recent years, what means for you the following:
- There are more job openings for medical assistants.
- There are way more applicants for this positions.
- The interviews became more difficult and more sophisticated.
What questions can you expect?
Every interview for medical assistant starts with few general questions. Asking you these questions, interviewer (sometimes a physician himself, sometimes a specialized HR employee) tries to get some idea about your personality. He also tries to asses your communication skills, presentation skills, interpersonal skills and some other skills and abilities.
Many people are screened out in this stage already. The reason for it is simple. If the physician sees that based on your answers and style of communication he doesn’t feel good being with you, he screens you out. Therefor, you should not underestimate this part of an interview. Oppositely, you should approach it carefully, with patience and enthusiasm. I suggest you to show good listening skills (important for medical assistant), while listening carefully and speaking only to the point. And what exact questions are they going to ask you?
- Why did you choose this career?
- Tell me something about your working experience relevant for this job?
- What are your goals?
- What you believe to be your main duty as a medical assistant?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you and not somebody else?
You can get obviously many different questions. Interviewers can question your motivation, your preferences, your goals and so on. Some employers may alternatively give you only one question: Tell me something about yourself.
If it is a case, I suggest you to be honest, easy going, but speak about work related things only. You should talk about your education, experience, hobbies, attitudes and values, and all the other things that are more or less related to the job of a medical assistant. To speak about your children is always nice, but to be honest, it is neither interesting nor important for potential employer…
When this section is finished, interviewer jumps quickly to behavioral interview questions. These questions are inquiring about your past experience. Asking it, interviewers not only asses your personality and predict your actions, but also verify your experience. In order to get ready for it, you should spend some time thinking about your previous jobs.
Think about problems you had to solve. Think about conflict situations. Think about time when you did something that was outside of your working duties, time when you did something more… The following questions should help you to understand what to expect in a behavioral part of your interview:
- Give an example of you dealing with an irate client and what you did to fix the problem?
- Give an example of a time you made a point to go above and beyond with customer service?
- If a patient accuses you of a bad service, what would you do?
- Describe a time when you have effectively resolved another person’s request.
- What was the situation and what kinds of information did you gather to help assist in resolving this request?
- Give an example of time when you were overwhelmed with your work. How did you handle it?
- What was your biggest failure as a medical assistant so far?
There is one rule you should remember when answering behavioral interview questions. It is the following one: Always give an answer. Many people have a tendency to say: “I have not experienced such a situation yet.” However, this is the worst possible answer. Just think about it… How can an interviewer give you any positive points for your answer, if you do not answer his question at all?
Abilities/Technical Interview Questions
There are two types of medical assistant. Administrative and clinical assistant. Administrative medical assistant is responsible only for the administration, while a clinical one performs clinical duties as well. In both cases, you will be given some technical questions, related mostly to your working duties. Have a look at the list below, to understand what awaits you in an interview.
- How would you greet a visitor?
- Have you ever completed an insurance form?
- Here is a medical record. Can you describe me all sections on it?
- Can you prepare an invoice?
- What computer programs are you familiar with?
- Have you ever performed ECG?
- Have you ever performed phlebotomy?
- What do you imagine when you hear “assistance during physical examination”?
It’s not only your answers to interview questions
If you can deal with all technical, behavioral and general questions, your chances to succeed in an interview are more than good. However, in order to stand out from the crowd and be the chosen one, there’s something else you should know…
The physician spends lot of time with his/her medical assistant. Therefor, personal preferences play a huge role in his decision taking process. Knowing it, you should do your best to make the interviewer to feel good with you, especially if you are interviewed directly by a physician.
Keep smile on your face, be positive, be professional, but easygoing at the same time. Try to give some honest compliments, if applicable.
There are actually many things you can do, but describing it exceeds the purpose of this website, at least the free part of it. However, I believe that you have an idea what to do, based on your previous experience with making friends…
We wish you pleasant stay on MedicalAssistantInterviewQuestions.com, courage and good luck in your interview!