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Autopsy Assistant Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 30
What is the hardest thing about being an Autopsy Assistant?
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How to Answer
This is a pretty emotional question and will definitely show the interviewer your passion in the career field. There will always be certain situations or types of patients that will be hard for you to work on. You're human so don't be afraid to show your sensitive side.
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Answer Examples
1.
What is the hardest thing about being an Autopsy Assistant?
This is a pretty emotional question and will definitely show the interviewer your passion in the career field. There will always be certain situations or types of patients that will be hard for you to work on. You're human so don't be afraid to show your sensitive side.

Heather's Answer #1
"The most difficult part of my job is seeing the people who die innocently. Ones who had no say about the end result and pass as a result of someone else’s actions."
Heather's Answer #2
"The hardest thing about being an Autopsy Assistant can be the aroma at times. After years of working within the career, ​I don't seem to notice it much but there are days that it takes me a bit to get used to it."
2.
Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
Working within the medical career field you are trusted with sensitive information each day. Don't fall into this trap and answer this question with a story containing confidential information, people will view your answer negatively and view you as not being trustworthy. If you choose to tell about a situation be sure to be vague and not use names or too many details.

Heather's Answer #1
"I'm trusted with confidential information every day. I make a point to leave my work at work and not discuss patients outside of the office. By not discussing confidential information about the patients I'm ensuring that I'm not breaking any rules and giving information to those that are not on a need to know basis."
Heather's Answer #2
"When I meet with family members of the deceased I keep the patient's​ information confidential."
3.
What do you do when your time schedule or project plan is upset by unforeseen circumstances?
Assure the interviewer that you are able to manage schedule changes and other unforeseen circumstances that may impact your day as an Autopsy Assistant. Tell the interviewer how you handle a high patient volume, a staff member being out sick or when you seem to need to be in two places at once.

Heather's Answer #1
"When my day unravels a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, I will take a minute to reassess my priorities. To ensure that I am not taken off schedule too much I'll ask for assistance."
Heather's Answer #2
"Death is never planned. When we have a full caseload it can be difficult to find the time to squeeze in another case. Because my team and I have great time management skills, we are able to discuss our schedule and re-prioritize if needed."
4.
How do you pform a full body examination?
This is a great question to be able to walk the interviewer through a day in your shoes. Tell the interviewer that you perform full-body assessments with the attending physician by examining, describing and recording external identification marks of the deceased body such as height, weight, hair and eye color, scars, deformations, blemishes, etc. You work well as a team to get the job done quickly as you are on a short timeline.
Heather's Answer
"The first thing I do in order to start a full body examination is to put on my PPE. I weigh and measure the body, noting the subject's clothing, valuables, and patient characteristics for my report."
5.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Interviewers are always looking for the candidate with the best potential to mold and grow within their company. The interviewer wants to know if you think or plan for the future. This role as an Autopsy Assistant requires strategy and goal-setting. Tell the interviewer what long term goals you have set for your career.

Heather's Answer #1
"I look forward to learning new skills and experiences from the attending physician. I'm eager to further my career by studying alongside my coworkers and becoming an all round expert and progress to a management position."
Heather's Answer #2
"I'd like to be here in a leadership position."
6.
Tell me about your attendance and punctuality.
The interviewer is asking you this question because they want to make sure you are reliable and dependable. Can they count on you to show up to work on time? If you are proud of your attendance record, go ahead and name drop your last supervisor so they can vouch for your perfect or near perfect attendance.
Heather's Answer
"I've never been reprimanded for my attendance but I have been late before. I'm always sure to give my boss a courtesy call if I'm going to be a few minutes late."
7.
Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
This question is asked in a way that it requires a yes or no answer, but don’t just say yes. The interviewer is looking for you to describe situations where you have worked under pressure and had to meet deadlines that you had no control over.

Heather's Answer #1
"
Heather's Answer #2
"I believe my ability to communicate effectively with my colleagues during these moments helps reduce my own stress during stressful situations. Effective communication allows me to work under pressure without getting discouraged, burnt out or make mistakes."
8.
As an Autopsy Assistant, what do you believe is your best asset?
When answering this question, think about what you bring to the table that others may not. Think your skills or qualities that make you valuable to the team. Struggling to come up with your best asset? Think about the common praises you received in past performance reviews, or ask a respected colleague for their opinion.

Heather's Answer #1
"My best asset is my ability to pick things up quickly. I'm a hands on learner and learn by just jumping in and figuring it out."
Heather's Answer #2
"My best asset is my ability to work with all types of people."
9.
What do you like about your present job?
The fact that the snack machine stocks Payday bars are pretty awesome....but in this case, the interviewer wants to know what makes you get up each morning ready to better yourself professionally. Tell the interviewer if you work with a great group of medical professionals, the fact that you are pushed to make decisions or that you feel you are respected and well liked by your co-workers.

Heather's Answer #1
"The one thing I love about my job is that every day is different. Each day brings new challenges and learning experiences."
Heather's Answer #2
"I love the people I work with. Everyone has a great sense of humor, professional and is very helpful."
10.
Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor?
You may despise your last supervisor but now is not the time to spill the beans. Word travels fast, especially negativity, so keep this answer upbeat. Tell the interviewer if you didn't see eye to eye with your last supervisor but that you respected and learned from them.

Heather's Answer #1
"In my career, I have had many different supervisors with different leadership styles. I did have one supervisor in the past that was new to being a supervisor. We may not have seen see eye to eye on everything but because of those differences we challenged each other and worked really well together."
Heather's Answer #2
"If I've ever had difficulty with a Supervisor I've been sure to address it professionally as soon as possible."
11.
Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
Your patients may not be going anywhere but you still need to make quick important decisions at the workplace. Tell the interviewer if you make quick decisions in regards to their examinations, when and who to contact during your short notice examination or how you've handled situations when you are the only one on shift.
Heather's Answer
"I've had to make quick decisions in regards to improvising when certain tools were not at my fingertips."
12.
Why are you the best autopsy assistant for us?
Skip repeating what is on your resume, the interviewer wants to know something unique about you that they aren't going to read on your resume. Tell the interviewer about a skill that isn't typical of an Autopsy Assistant or a characteristic you have that is important to the job.

Heather's Answer #1
"I'm a problem solver, motivated and am able to perform under pressure while keeping a positive attitude."
Heather's Answer #2
"I've been in the field for 10 years and have had the opportunity to work in large and small facilities. I've been working as the lead Assistant in my last position and look forward to the opportunity to mentor new assistants in this position."
13.
What is your greatest accomplishment as an Autopsy Assistant?
Be sure to go into the interview with both a professional achievement and a personal achievement. If your interviewer seems to be a rule driven, nose down to the questions type of interviewer stick with a professional accomplishment. If your interviewer has asked a few laid back questions with the intent to get to you feel free to answer with a personal achievement.

Heather's Answer #1
"My biggest achievement has yet to come. I'm always looking to achieve more tomorrow than I did today and am striving to improve myself all the time."
Heather's Answer #2
"One of my greatest accomplishments has been learning how to set up the cutting station for extended neuropathologic examination and other extended examinations so quickly. My supervisor knows they can count on me when we have a tight deadline."
14.
Do you have any questions for us?
Before you have your interview make sure you conduct research on the company and thoroughly review the job description for any clarification you may need on the position. Asking intelligent questions demonstrates to the interviewer your level of interest in their company and with the position. The best way to show you are prepared for this question is to bring a list of 3 prepared interview questions and jot down their answers after you ask them.

Heather's Answer #1
"Why did you choose to work here?"
Heather's Answer #2
"What is the first thing you would like accomplished in the first 60 days of employment?"
15.
You will need to lift up to 300 pounds. Will this be a problem?
As an Autopsy assistant, you receive bodies or remains from the scene of death for a full-body assessment and examination. Not all your patients are under 50 pounds so having some upper body strength will come in handy. No worries if you haven't hit the gym lately, tell the interviewer that you don't mind asking your coworker to assist you in moving the body.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have had to move large adults at off-site locations with out the help of electric tables and gurneys. I'm not one to struggle on my own so I'm happy to ask for help. I would rather ask for help and move the body correctly than struggle and end up damaging the evidence."
Heather's Answer #2
"Moving 300 pounds won't​ be an issue because I've been trained how to safely do so. Between electronic assistance and aid from colleagues, I'm confident that lifting 300 pounds won't be an issue."
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30 Autopsy Assistant Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What is the hardest thing about being an Autopsy Assistant?
  2. Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
  3. What do you do when your time schedule or project plan is upset by unforeseen circumstances?
  4. How do you pform a full body examination?
  5. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
  6. Tell me about your attendance and punctuality.
  7. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
  8. As an Autopsy Assistant, what do you believe is your best asset?
  9. What do you like about your present job?
  10. Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor?
  11. Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
  12. Why are you the best autopsy assistant for us?
  13. What is your greatest accomplishment as an Autopsy Assistant?
  14. Do you have any questions for us?
  15. You will need to lift up to 300 pounds. Will this be a problem?
  16. What is your experience with taking and developing x-rays.
  17. Does work affect your personal life?
  18. How would you solve any personal conflicts with co-workers?
  19. Why do you want a career as an autopsy assistant?
  20. When can you start working?
  21. What do you know about our department?
  22. How would you describe yourself?
  23. How would your last supervisor describe you?
  24. Explain how you removal foreign bodies and material for evidentiary purposes.
  25. Explain how you prep your autopsy room.
  26. How flexible is your work schedule?
  27. What is your greatest weakness as an Autopsy Assistant?
  28. By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.
  29. What makes you uncomfortable?
  30. Why should we hire you?
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