Congratulations! You have completed your medical assistant training, and you are now ready to begin your exciting, new career. You just landed your first job interview and you want to do well.
Perhaps you are changing jobs and moving from an office with one specialized practice to another, or from a small physician’s practice to a large hospital. Whatever the case may be, the job will usually go to the person who is best prepared for the job interview process.
The key to success in a medical assistant job interview is – no matter what questions they might ask – to match your answers to suit their specific needs and to be seen as a good fit for their practice.
The first step in interview preparation is to find out as much as you can about the practice, office or hospital you are interviewing with. If you know the exact skills they seek, you can craft your answers and be more confident as you speak.
You can expect questions that are very technical, some that are situational, and questions designed to test if you are a good “cultural fit” for the office. Employers are increasingly asking these cultural fit types of questions in order to determine if a candidate will be happy working in their practice.
There are some typical interview questions, but there are no fixed answers. The best thing to do is to be honest and to answer with confidence in yourself, your training and your abilities. It is a good idea to keep your answers brief and on-point, as employers will not appreciate long, rambling answers to simple questions.
Here are some typical questions that you can expect in the interview:
- Tell me about your qualifications, skills, and experience.
List your school and any certifications you have earned, as well as any internships you may have completed. If you have previous medical assistant experience, also list your responsibilities at your prior job.
- What makes you a good fit for this position?
This is where a little research about the employer will benefit you. Show you are knowledgeable about the specifics of the practice and how your training or experience will make you an asset for them.
- Tell me about your computer skills and training.
List your training and point out any specific strengths with technology that you may have. Show you know where it is required (i.e., appointments, medical accounting, filing fast and accurate reports) and where your strengths can specifically fulfill those needs. This is another question where knowledge of the office’s specific character will benefit you.
Expect situational questions based on the specific challenges for medical assistants. For example:
- This is a very busy office at times. How would you deal with an impatient and angry patient?
Ensure them you will not argue, but you will show empathy and compassion. Explain that you understand patients are there because they are in distress, and you will not add to it.
- Some people feel this is a stressful career. How do you handle stress?
You can mention taking a five-minute break to walk around the building, or deep breathing exercises. Mention any outside activities such as exercise or meditation that you use to balance your life. You can include a specific, short example from your schooling or past employer.
In an office with several doctors, you may be asked how you prioritize your workload. Use an example from your schooling or past employer to illustrate how you used your strengths in prioritizing and decision-making to accomplish multiple tasks under deadlines.
If you are coming from a previous employer, you may be asked about your likes and dislikes from your past job. If you truly love the procedures you will be doing most often in the new practice, your confidence and passion will show, which will greatly increase your chances of being hired.
If you have any other questions about job interviews or preparing for your first position in your new career, simply contact us, and we will be happy to help.