Use these sample questions and answers as practice
If you’re about to complete your medical assisting program, or have just finished, you’re probably busy applying for jobs. During an interview, your potential employer is likely to ask a broad range of questions. They’re trying to gauge your knowledge of and experience in the field, such as your office skills, training in clinical procedures, and familiarity with medical billing and coding. They may also try to gain an understanding of your overall work ethic and philosophy.
Here are some sample questions you might be asked and some suggestions to help you frame your own answers as you prepare for an interview.
1. “What medical assistant training and/or experience do you have?”
Hint: Talk about the knowledge you gained and the skills you learned during your course of studies. Share details about your externship experience, including where you completed it, the number of hours, and the tasks you performed such as office and/or clinical duties.
“I graduated from the Salter School’s medical assistant program in September 2017. As part of my training, I recently completed a 180-hour externship at the Hanson Family Practice, where I assisted the physician and nurses during patient exams, learned how to refill prescriptions, and gained experience drawing blood.”
2. “Why did you decide to apply for a position at this company?”
Hint: Always do your homework leading up to an interview, so you have an understanding of what the potential employer does. You can usually find the basics on their website. Keep your answer professional, and avoid responses like, “it’s close to my home” or “the salary is the best I’ve seen.”
“I’ve always wanted to help people facing challenges. Working at the Wilmer Cancer Center will allow me to do this, while putting the knowledge and skills I learned in school into practice. Also, I noticed that your employees support local fundraisers to support cancer research, and I love being involved in that type of activity.”
3. “Are you more comfortable in the office or in a clinical setting? Or both?”
Hint: Some medical assistants only work on the clinical side, and some spend all or most of their time performing office duties. You want to be aware of your preferences and find out what they expect for the position.
“I became a medical assistant because I thrive in situations that are fast-paced and people-oriented. During my training, I realized that I am most comfortable and engaged in clinical situations. I’d like to find a position where I spend most of my time preparing tests and assisting the doctors and nurses.”
You should also be prepared to answer questions about your:
- clinical experience (such as doing blood draws)
- comfort level working with software for electronic health records
- knowledge and understanding of HIPAA regulations
- professionalism and customer service, such as how you’d handle a situation in which a patient was upset about the wait time for an appointment or their insurance denying coverage for a claim.
Being able to effectively communicate your knowledge and experience is the most important part of an interview. So spend some time in advance thinking about what you want to say and how to say it clearly and concisely. Writing down your thoughts is a good idea, and then you can try out your answers on a friend or fellow student in a practice interview. Invite them to give you feedback!
Need some tips on what to wear? Here are suggestions for both women and men. Now go out and spend some time preparing, so you can give those interviews your best!
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!