Do you apply for a medical assistant job? We will guide you through the entire interview process. We will analyze personal, behavioral and technical questions, and show you how to make a good impression on your interviewers. We will discuss what decides the winner at the end of the interview session. Step by step, you will learn how to ace your interview, from start to finish.
Anita Stosur, Senior Recruiter at Medical Recruitment Agency, co-author of the website.
Short introduction – situation on the employment market
Medical assistants play a vital role in the functioning of every medical practice. The popularity of this career has been growing steadily in the recent years, which means:
- One can find many new job openings for MAs.
- There are twice as many applicants for every single position as they were ten years ago.
- The interview process became more difficult and sophisticated.
Let’s learn how to face this challenge!
What questions to expect?
Every medical assistant interview starts with several general, basic questions. Recruiters try to get an idea about your personality, motivation, goals, and asses your communication skills and some other abilities that are important for the role. They use the following questions in the first part of an interview:
Note: If you click on one of the question, it will redirect you to a separate page, where we analyze the question, explain the intentions of the interviewers, as well as their way of thinking, and provide you with a couple of brilliant answers.
However, I suggest you to firstly go through the list, read to the end of the page, and just then start analyzing one question after another. The reason is simple – before starting to prepare for particular questions, you should understand the nuances of this interview, how to approach it and what factors decide the winner at the end. It would be useless to practice answers without this knowledge. Success and failure depends on many other factors as well. . . .
- 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 skills, or attitudes, they will screen you out. Therefor, you should not underestimate this part of the hiring process. The key is to listen carefully, talk to the point, and show 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 you are applying for. To speak about your children is nice, but to be honest, recruiters aren’t interested in that. . . .
Second interview stage- behavioral questions
When the screening part of your interview is over, recruiters will progress to behavioral questions. They will inquire about your past working experience, about different situations that occurred during your studies, practice in the hospital/clinic/institution, and job.
You can recollect some past situations right now, to prepare for these questions. Try to think about conflict situation, time when you did something that was outside of your working duties, time when you went above and beyond for a patient/client, etc. The following questions should help you understand what to expect in the second part of an interview:
- 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?
Technical interview questions
The final stage of a typical MA interview process is about your ability to perform administrative and clinical duties (depends on the particular role you apply for). 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. It’s not easy to get this job. On the top of that, if you want to work in your city, you can’t afford failing many times. . . . 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 my e-book, Medical Assistant Interview Guide. It will teach you how to ace your interview from start to finish.
Thank you, I wish you good luck!
Anita Stosur, Your Personal Interview Coach