Top 11 Interview Questions for Medical Assistants With Answers 2021

Top 11 Interview Questions for Medical Assistants and The Answers to Prepare

How many of you clicking on this article is a medical assistant trainee and/or graduate looking for tips on entering the job market? Despite the profession is one of the up-and-coming jobs in the health and healthcare industry –with BLS predicting that the number of medical assistants will increase by 23% from 2018-2028– the prospect of an interview will always be both exciting and nerve-wracking. That’s why the best way to go through this is by preparing and learning what Interview Questions for Medical Assistants.

Interview Questions for Medical Assistants

One way of preparing for an interview is familiarizing the interview questions and what type of answers will be suitable for each question. Here are some of the sample questions and answers for medical assistants:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

    • As you can tell, this question is probably the official introduction question of every interview ever. Despite that, the question can be tricky as the answers tend to be open-ended in nature. To avoid making your answers sound cliché, focus more on your professional and educational experiences and skills. The key is to exude confidence and professionalism. Here is an example answer: “I have just finished my study at College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) and received my certification. During my study at CHCP, I learned how to assists physicians by taking patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for their physician examinations, and documenting patients’ records. I particularly enjoyed my time communicating and helping the patients.”

  2. What made you choose to be a medical assistant?

    • How you answer this question depends on whether you’re a recent fresh graduate or an already experienced health professional. If you just graduated, then you can highlight your externship experience and what you learned there. If you’ve already worked as a medical assistant during a certain period, then try answering this question by highlighting your experiences at previous hospitals and/or clinics. This is an example answer if you’ve just recently received your certifications: “I was accepted for an externship at [name of the clinic]. This externship gave me valuable hands-on experience in terms of fulfilling my clinical and administrative duties. Essentially, this experience gave me a glimpse and the necessary introduction to the field I’m passionate about. I’m looking forward to finding a full-time job to apply all the medical knowledge and skills I’ve learned during my externship.”

  3. What are your strengths?

    • The key to answering general interview questions is to avoid using common phrases that make candidates sound rehearsed. So, when answering this question, you should list your strengths and follow with a factual statement that shows proof of performance. Citing an actual event (whether at college, internship, and/or work) will increase the credibility of your strengths. For instance: “My strength is my proficiency in clinical skills, especially phlebotomy. During my externship, I learned how to perform phlebotomy and was the intern charged withdrawing blood from patients and creating the reports on collected samples so that it can be further tested.”

  4. What are your weaknesses?

    • It’s probably not a secret that an option to answer this question is to select criteria of yourself that contain positive or neutral vibes, such as being a workaholic and a perfectionist. While these answers are valid, recruiters tend to see this answer as superficial and a false weakness. Be transparent with your answers but balance them with the set of actions taken to overcome this weakness. For example: “I still lack in certain areas of administrative duties, especially ones that involve the use of computer skills. However, I have taken online lessons and participated in workshops that teach how to work the administrative system. My goal is to be more confident and adept in administrative management.”

  5. What phlebotomy training have you received?

    • As this is one of the clinical duties of an assistant manager, recruiters will take their time to ensure that you are prepared and knowledgeable in performing the procedures. While having experience in phlebotomy is preferred, it’s not a compulsory criterion. Just make sure that you can adequately share your preparedness to take on the responsibility. Here’s an example: “As it is one of the core curricula, I received phlebotomy training at CHCP. I practiced how to be comfortable around blood, the correct and safe way to draw blood, and safely collect the blood. I also received field training during my externship.”

  6. Why do we need to hire you?

    • When answering this question, make sure that you include achievements, certifications, and/or other credentials that may help recruiters evaluate your compatibility to the job based on your actual skills. An important thing to note is that there are several computer skills proficiency criteria that will strengthen your candidacy, which are medical billing (including insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid), Electronic Health Records (EHR) software, Microsoft Office, and HIPAA protocol. Certifications in the medical field, such as CPR, first aid, and AED, will also increase your chance of getting accepted.  Here is a great way to present your answer: “I’m proficient and have experience in operating electrocardiograms (EKG). With these experiences, I’m looking forward to offering my expertise in using this software, such as to determine EKG readings and identifying the sets of waves.”

  7. Why do you want to work here?  

    • This is the chance for you to impress the interviewers with the depth of your research. Ensure that your answers focus on what part of the department aspires you to formally submit your application and your future contributions to the department. You can also draw a correlation between these things with your professional goals. (However, do not list your personal motivations, such as great salary and working benefits.)  Here’s an example: “I chose this department because I want to help patients complete their recovery journey, whether through physically assisting them or providing emotional support. I feel that this hospital/clinic’s department is especially dedicated to ensuring that all their patients receive the best care whilst feeling comfortable.”

  8. What’s your professional long-term goal in joining this department?

    • This is another question that gauges your preparedness for the interview as well as your capacity for foresight. Ensure that you walk them through your short-term, medium, and long-term career plan to show your commitment to staying with the department. Here is how you should answer: “One of the things I look out for in a job is the stability it offers. This is why I chose this particular field and department. I do hope that in the next 5 years, I’ve increased my professional knowledge and skills to be trusted to hold leadership positions, such as clinical office manager.”

  9. How do you handle an angry/upset/worried/scared patient? 

    • The purpose of this question is to gauge your ability to apply problem-solving and communicational skills to a case study. Another reason is to evaluate your ability to follow protocol, empathy, and compassion towards patients. Answer this question by highlighting the potential situation (or even past experiences, if you have any). For example: “At the time of my expertise, I saw a scared and anxious patient waiting for her examination. I helped her by reassuring her about the expertise of the health professionals as well as the safety of the medical procedures to build her trust.”

  10. How did you handle a difficult situation or a mistake in the workplace?

    • What recruiters and interviewers are looking for with this question is a candidate’s level of professionalism and capacity for problem-solving skills. Answer this question honestly and use a suitable experience as your example. The key to answering this question is to highlight the steps and the chronological order to keep things under control. This is the type of answer you should present: “During my externship, I made the mistake of scheduling the wrong appointment time for a patient. This caused some miscommunication to occur between the medical professional in charge and the patient. Later, the patient made a complaint to the front desk.  I decided to approach the patient and apologized directly. I shared with her that I was an intern for the clinic. I told her that this didn’t excuse my mistake, but I would like to help schedule another appointment for her and the physician. After explaining this, she agreed to schedule another examination, and I consulted with the physician to finalize the appointment. By initiating and offering a solution, the patient seemed satisfied.”

  11. Is there anything you want to ask or that you feel hasn’t been covered in this interview?

    • Before arriving at the interview, be sure to prepare several questions to ask the interviewers. Not only will this show how prepared you are, but it’ll also show how serious you are about accepting the potential job. However, avoid asking about salary and other work benefits as it will paint candidates in an unfavorable light. Alternatively, try asking about the departments’ work schedules, staff meetings, professional values, or the hiring process’s next steps. Here is how you can present your question: “Yes, I’m interested to know more about what you value and/or look for in your medical assistants? Thank you.”

That’s it for the top 11 questions that medical assistant candidates should prepare for and the suitable answers for each one of them. We’ll finish this article by giving a much-needed “good luck with your interview!” to you.

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Top 11 Interview Questions for Medical Assistants With Answers 2021

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