Candidates succeed in job interviews when their answers match employer expectations. In a medical assisting interview, employers ask questions that reveal the candidates’ skills and whether they are a fit with the medical facility.
Medical assistants should take updated copies of their resume, relevant certificates and licenses to the interview. They should also have researched the medical facility interviewing them.
Interviewers ask questions common to all jobs apart from those specific to a medical assistant interview. Here are seven of the most common questions asked during a medical assisting interview:
Question #1 – Tell me about yourself.
This is an open-ended question intended to help interviewees relax. However, candidates should not talk too much, especially about their personal lives. Instead, they should mention a few interests relevant to medical assisting, such as volunteering, or focus on their professional skills or academics.
Candidates can discuss their employment history, including number of years, locations/facilities worked, as well their various responsibilities as a medical assistant. If asked to elaborate, they can mention taking patient vitals, medical histories, etc. If this will be the candidates first job after graduating, the candidate can talk about relevant work experience and how they work with people offering quality customer service. Candidates can also talk about their externship during the interview and hands-on experience gained while attending a vocational school.
Question #2 – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
While discussing strengths, candidates should avoid boasting. Ideally, they should share some job-related skills they are strong in, along with a few people skills or instances of academic excellence.
They should avoid using use the word “weakness.” Instead, they must talk of “areas that need improvement,” which can be perceived as a positive too. For example: “I am obsessed with completing all daily records diligently.”
Question #3 – Do you like being around people?
Since people skills are very essential for medical assistants, candidates should try to show that they love interacting with others and truly enjoy helping them.
Question #4 – What schedule do you hope to work? Do you have any scheduling restrictions?
Candidates can agree to work whenever needed, on the hope that once they get the job, they might be able to adjust the schedule. They may however refuse to work late hours, overtime or weekends, citing genuine unavoidable reasons.
Question #5 – How do you protect the rights and confidentiality of patients?
Candidates’ answers should focus on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training they received and how they apply it by being discreet in their dealings with patients and their records.
Question #6 – Describe a difficult situation at your workplace and how you handled it.
Candidates should talk about a real experience, where their actions helped resolve the situation. They should also share the positive aspects of the experience, without blaming others.
If this is their first job, they can refer to instances from their training, externship or even from their personal lives.
Question #7 – What do you like most about being a medical assistant, and what do you like the least?
Although many candidates might say that they like everything about the job, it is better to say what they specifically like and why. Candidates can be open about what they find difficult, which would help employers to provide training or support in those areas.
Usually, interviewers close the interview by asking if the candidates have any questions for them. The answer should always be a “yes,” followed by at least one question — maybe about the possibility of future advancements or training. However, if interviewers have already covered everything, they can ask a general question about the working atmosphere or locality.
Did learning about medical assisting interview questions interest you? Ready to work with colleagues who want to help their patients stay healthy? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.
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