Whether you’re a recent graduate from medical assistant school or a seasoned professional medical assistant, before starting any job you will undergo a medical assistant job interview. Your preparation for this interview has a large influence on whether or not you receive the job, because there are almost certainly other qualified candidates applying.
The most important things you can do to prepare for a medical assistant job interview are to have a fully customized resume and cover letter, and to be thoroughly familiar with the position’s job description. However, since many other candidates will also have these things, an extra level of preparation that can seal the deal is to be ready with answers to some of the most common medical assistant interview questions.
If you review common interview questions and prepare your answers ahead of time, you are almost certain to have a smooth, strong interview your potential employer will remember. Some typical interview questions that medical assistants should be prepared to answer may include:
What is your educational background?
Because of increasing competition for medical assisting employment, having a formal educational background is important. Answer medical assistant interview questions about your academic background by first mentioning any degrees or credentials you have and what school you earned them from. Be sure to mention any academic achievements you have earned, and note any certifications. Summarizing all of this in a few seconds is a great response to this interview question.
What responsibilities have you had in your previous positions?
While your resume provides basic information about your past job duties, the employer is usually looking for evidence that your previous employer trusted you with responsibility. A good answer to this interview question discusses specific tasks you performed that demonstrate responsibility, leadership and the need for attention to detail. Performing direct patient treatment, handling patient data, working with medications, performing injections, and other sensitive tasks are all things you should discuss to leave the best impression for a question like this.
How do you handle difficult patients?
Sometimes this question will take the form of “Tell me about a situation in which you had to deal with a difficult patient.” These types of medical assistant interview questions are asked to see how your interpersonal skills are under pressure. Hopefully you will be able to tell the interviewer about a situation in which you handled a difficult patient with grace and professionalism, and you should go into detail. As with most job interview questions, a short, three-word answer is not the ideal choice here.
Why did you decide to become a medical assistant?
This is one of the less common medical assistant interview questions, but it may come up. Usually the interviewer is looking for sincerity and honesty, and will be turned off by a response such as “the money’s good.” A short response about your desire to help people, make a difference, or try to improve healthcare wherever you can is a good answer here. Try to stay away from a long, drawn-out life history.
Do you have any questions about the position?
This is another common interview question likely to be asked at the end of the interview. It’s a good idea to make sure you’ve thoroughly reviewed the position you’re applying for and have at least two or three questions prepared. You may want to ask questions about how long medical assistants stay with the practice, the scope of the practice or the position, or what they are looking for in a medical assistant. If the interviewer mentions particular medical assistant characteristics they are looking for, you can then point out those characteristics in yourself and improve your chances a little more.
When interviewing for any job it’s important to remember that the questions are designed to help your prospective employer learn about you. The interview is your time to shine and show your personality. By practicing the answers to some common medical assistant interview questions, you will be ready to give a memorable interview that may help set you ahead of the competition.