Preparing ahead of time can lead to confidence and success during a job interview
If you’re enrolled in a training program to become a medical billing and coding specialist, then you've studied terminology and memorized procedure codes. You may be getting ready to complete an externship where you've observed how to process insurance claims and maybe even helped to process some yourself. You’ve probably worked on your resume and written a cover letter. Now what?
Once you've applied for several positions, it might be only a matter of time before you receive a request for an interview. If this is your first interview for a medical billing and coding job, of course you want to make a good impression. We’ve got some suggestions about how to prepare:
1. Do your research
Gain some basic knowledge about the company. Spend some time on their website to familiarize yourself with the services they offer. You can learn about the general “personality” of the company. Is the website written in a friendly, conversational tone? Or is it straightforward and businesslike? This can be a good indicator for what the work environment might be like.
2. Think about questions they might ask
Your potential employer will ask you questions to test your knowledge, gauge your experience, and get an overall sense of your professionalism and work ethic. Here are some possible questions to think about:
- Why did you decide to become a medical billing and coding specialist?
- What two skills that you learned in school specifically relate to being a medical billing and coding specialist? How?
- How do you go about the steps in processing a claim?
- What types of insurances do you have experience billing? (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Workers Comp)
- Do you have experience with certain specialties? Which ones?
- In your externship experience, did you ever process a full day's worth of claims?
- Are you trained on how to use an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system?
- What computer and software experience do you have?
- How would you handle a situation where a claim that you submitted was denied?
- How do you plan to stay current on industry changes and certifications?
Work environment-related questions
- If you’re given a strict deadline, how do you plan to meet it?
- Have you had a work-related experience where you made a suggestion that was then incorporated by the company? What were the details?
- How would you handle a situation where you must deal with a patient who is dissatisfied?
- While in school, how did you manage your academic work and life outside work, such as extracurricular activities or home responsibilities?
- If I asked one of your friends, fellow students, or teachers to describe you, what three words would they use?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
- What challenge, either at school, work, or personally, have you had to overcome? What has that experience taught you?
These may seem daunting at first, but once you think about them, you’ll realize you probably have plenty to say. Just remember to keep your answers relatively short and focused.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Being nervous is normal, especially if it’s your first professional interview. Practicing your answers ahead of time can lessen the nervousness, and help you exude confidence during the interview. Write down your answers then have a friend, family member, or fellow student act as the interviewer so you can answer the questions out loud. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be—even if you get a question you didn’t expect!
You’ve been preparing for this day since you started your career training program. Get a good night’s sleep the night before, have a good breakfast, and hold your head high. You’re taking the next step toward your new career!
This article is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School. We offer several different professional training programs at our campuses in Malden and Fall River, MA. Reach out to us today for more information or to schedule a campus tour!