Common Interview Questions for a Medical Assistant

Common Interview Questions for a Medical Assistant

By Manhattan Institute
Posted in Medical Assistant
On September 22, 2017

You’re dressed for success and ready to dominate your interview, but there’s one thing you can never be fully prepared for - the questions. It’s impossible to know exactly what interview questions you will be asked during your interview, but reviewing some of the most common interview questions for a medical assistant will prepare you for the types of answers you want to give.

Tell me about yourself.

This is a pretty standard interview opener, and because it is so vague, it trips a lot of interview candidates up. Don’t start rambling on about your favorite Netflix series or passion for sunny beaches. Instead, show that you can stay on task by talking about your professional history, skills, and aspirations.

What software and computer skills do you have?

Technology is an important part of any job these days, and medical assisting is no different. Be sure to make note of any softwares that you have worked with in your training and previous jobs so that you can answer this question adequately. They will ask one way or another so be prepared to answer. If you struggle with technology or lack experience with computers and software, prepare for your interview by learning about appropriate softwares and computer skills online. Then, be honest about your limitations but explain your willingness to learn and what you are currently doing to make this an area of strength.

Do you have experience with medical coding and billing?

If you haven’t received medical coding and billing training, you should try to learn as much as you can online so that you can show you are a self-starter. Just explain what your experience is and once again show a willingness to learn.

What can you do to maintain HIPAA compliance?

Every person in the healthcare team is responsible for following Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protocol. This question is testing your HIPAA knowledge. Point to specific things like only using a patient’s first name or making sure the exam room door is closed before discussions begin so that the interviewer knows you understand patient privacy.

How would your previous employer/co-workers describe you?

This is one of those questions that seems so personal that it may catch you off guard, and you may not even know the answer. Consider asking a previous employer or co-worker that you are still in touch with what it was like to work with you. You may be surprised by their answer, but usually, if you’re honest with yourself, you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Focus on your strengths as a co-worker or employee and leave the personal stuff in the break room.

Describe a difficult work situation from your past and how you handled it.

The interviewer wants to know how you will handle high-pressure circumstances. Before your interview, think of a good example of a time when you were presented with something very challenging on the job and overcame it quickly and gracefully. When this question (or one like it) comes up, explain the situation thoroughly but focus on the steps you took to solve the problem.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

Job turnover is ridiculous, and your interviewer doesn’t want to hire you only to have to hire someone else in two months when you decide you don’t want to be a medical assistant anymore. If you have plans for continued education or career advancement, it is okay to mention them, but try to do it in the context of the job you are applying for. Also, be sure to mention a willingness to grow with the company or organization.

What is your least favorite part of being a Medical Assistant?

Answering the question about your FAVORITE part should be a no brainer, but what do you do when they ask what you hate about being a medical assistant? Don’t dodge the question, but phrase it in a way that highlights the parts you love rather than the part you hate. For instance, “I love working one on one with patients, and sometimes I wish I could spend more time helping them directly. Still, I know that record keeping and other tasks are crucial to keeping those same patients comfortable and healthy so I am grateful for the opportunity to do them even if they are less exciting than direct patient care.”

If you need extra help getting ready for your interview, you might be surprised how much career services can help. Plus, check out these resources for career advice.

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