On this page, we will have a look at the entire interview process for medical assistants. We will analyze personal, behavioral and technical questions and outline winning interview strategies. At the beginning, we will introduce the position and analyze the current situation on the employment market. It should help you to ace your interview. Welcome!
Medical assistants play a vital role in the functioning of every single medical practice. The popularity of this career has been growing steadily in recent years, which means for you:
- One can find plenty of job openings for medical assistants.
- There are way more applicants for every single position as ten years ago.
- The interview process became more difficult and much more sophisticated for every single job seeker.
What questions to expect?
Every medical assistant interview starts with several general, personal questions. Recruiters try to get an idea about your personality, motivation, goals, and asses your communication skills and some other abilities important for this role. They use the following questions in the first part of an interview:
- Why did you choose this career? (What do you want to accomplish on this position?)
- Tell me something about your relevant working experience?
- What are your goals? (Where do you see yourself in five years time?)
- What do you think is your main duty as a medical assistant?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you and not someone else?
- What motivates you in job? (This job is repetitive. What would help you to keep doing it well for a long time?)
Quite a few applicants are screened out at this stage. If the interviewers don’t feel good about you, if they do not like your communication or attitudes, they will screen you out. Therefor, you should not underestimate this part of an interview. The key is to listen carefully, show respect and enthusiasm for the job.
However, some recruiters will ask you only one personal question: Tell me something about yourself.
In this case, I suggest you to be honest and speak mostly about work related things. You can 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 nice, but to be honest, it is not important for the recruiters…
Second interview stage- behavioral questions
When the screening part of your interview is over, recruiters will progress to ask behavioral questions. They will inquire about your past working experience, about different situations from your studies, practice and jobs.
To prepare for this stage, it is good to recollect some situations. You should think about conflict situations, time when you did something that was outside of your working duties, situations when you did something more… The following questions should help you to understand what to expect in a behavioral part of the interview process:
- Give an example of you dealing with an irate person 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 accused 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 mistake as a medical assistant so far?
There is one thing to remember: Always answer their question. Many people have a tendency to say: “I have not experienced such a situation.” However, this is a bad answer. Just think about it… Recruiters could hardly give you any positive points for that, because you did not answer the question at all.
Abilities, or technical interview questions
The final stage of a typical MA interview process is about your technical skills. There are two types of medical assistants, administrative and clinical. The first one is responsible for the administration only, while a second one performs clinical duties as well. In both cases, they will ask you few questions related to your working duties. Have a look at the list below:
- How would you greet a visitor?
- Have you ever completed an insurance form?
- Here is a medical record. Can you describe the 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”?
What to say at the end?
Over-saturated job market, plenty of applicants and many difficult questions. Well, it’s not easy to get a job of a medical assistant. On the top of that, if you want to work in your city, you won’t have too many chances… You should do it right in your very first interview. If you do not want to underestimate anything, if you want to learn brilliant multiple answers to all twenty-two most common medical assistant interview questions, have a look at our Medical Assistant Interview Guide. It’s your chance to outclass the other applicants… But will you take it?