This question is a great opportunity to put a positive spin on something negative. Don't answer the interviewer with something cliché – joking or not. Instead, try to use a real example of a weakness you have learned to overcome. Choose a skill as your weakness as you can learn skills. Avoid describing a characteristic as your weakness as it is harder to change someone.
"I’ve never been very comfortable with public speaking. Realizing this was a problem, I asked my previous employer if I could work the front desk to increase the interaction I would have with patients. Since then, my public speaking has improved, I've learned my job even better and my customer service skills are always improving."
Organization, attention to detail and confidentiality are just a few words the interviewer is looking for. Do you track patient outcomes for quality assessments? Are you sure to keep this information confidential? Do you color code your records? Think of a time you improved the maintenance of medical records, the impact it had and the outcome. Interviewers love to hear how you positively impacted the work place.
Your answer to this question will show if you are a team player. There will be times you and your co-workers will help each other out to get the job done. You could give the interviewer a scenario of asking your coworker to pull charts in exchange you will help her with the end of month billing. By offering your assistance to another coworker it shows the interviewer that you are a team player and that you work well with others.
We experience stress every day. Stress motivates some people and shuts down others. It's a great idea to tell the interviewer how you deal with work stress during and after work. If you find yourself in a stressful environment at work you may be able to walk away and go get a soda for a few minutes. Taking that quick breather could be all you need to come back and tackle the situation. Going to the gym might be your stress relief after work. Running on the treadmill might clear your mind and help you relax.
"To relieve stress I do yoga each day for 30 minutes."
This will be your chance to identify a skill that you either wanted to improve upon or have always been interested in learning. Be sure to incorporate how you are utilizing this skill now, how interesting it was to learn the skill and that you had fun along the way.
"I've used EXCEL for many years. After spending hours creating spreadsheets I thought there had to be an easier way to create them quicker. I did some research and ended up teaching myself how to create pivot tables. It's been such a time saver and so easy to use. I've been showing my co-workers how easy they are and almost the whole office is using pivot tables now."
Tell the interviewer about qualities and attributes of the people and environments that you thrive in. Are you motivated by the positive attitudes of others? Do you thrive when your boss empowers you by giving you autonomy over decisions? It's important to know what you need and what you want out of a work situation.
"My ideal work environment is one that fosters positive, professional working relationships. Mutual respect and an encouraging working and learning environment is my ideal work environment."
This question is to gauge if you could take on additional responsibilities if need be. If your co-worker is going on maternity leave for 7 weeks would you be able to take on her patient workload? If a manager was needed on the night shift could you take on the role? Share the leadership qualities with the interviewer that you have and assure them that you could step up to the plate if needed.
"Just last week I stepped up to cover an additional shift. My colleague called out sick and her shift needed to be covered. I know she would do the same for me."
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the company job posting or job description do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your personal work values.
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
The interviewer wants to be sure that they will be able to meet your needs and not use this position as a stepping stone to leave the job in a few months. Be honest, but be careful not to overshare. It is best if you can focus primarily on your future wish list vs. dwelling on what is going wrong in your current position.
"In my current role, there is a very little growth opportunity. The next position in line is held by the lead Health Information Technician so I truly have reached my peak there. I am very thankful for everything my current company has offered me the past 4 years; however, I would like to expand my horizons."
Now is your opportunity to turn the tables on the interviewer. Come prepared for this question by bringing in a list of 3 to 5 questions. Bringing a list will keep you from getting sidetracked and jotting their answers down will show your eagerness and attention to detail.
"What is the most important thing that I can accomplish in the first 20 days?"
The interviewer will typically ask this question early in an interview to see which recruiting method or platform being used is the most effective. When the employer understands what is working vs. what isn't, they can adjust and change to use the most effective method for their recruiting. If you found out about the job from a friend that already works in the facility, and you know they are a good worker, feel free to name drop. Getting a job isn't all about qualifications but who you know.
Take this opportunity to tell the interviewer about a strong character strength you have and how it positively impacts the workplace. Tell the interviewer about something that they won't read on your resume. Do you use your strength to help others do their jobs more efficiently or effectively? If you are unsure of your greatest strength, ask a coworker what they think it is. Sometimes you won't realize your greatest strength is some way that you impact your coworkers.
"My greatest strength is my ability to listen to people when all they need is an ear. I've found that some people don't want advice, they simply want to be heard. I have been told by many people that I'm easy to talk to and that they always know they can come to me."
This question is similar to 'Why are you the best candidate?' Think about the strengths and skills that made you an asset in your last position. Maybe you made changes that made your job easier. Think of your strengths in action! If you are reliable, talk about how consistent your work has been and how you are in constant support for coworkers. If you have a strong work ethic, share how you accomplished a project in the midst of harsh obstacles.
"The complaint amongst my coworkers that it took too much time to pull medical records. We brainstormed as a group to determine how we could save time. We implemented a new plan to assign each individual to pull 5 records throughout the day to eliviate the work load on one person."
As a Health Information Technician, maintaining records is one of your main duties. Explain to the interviewer the importance of filing the correct forms for the correct patient, pulling and putting records away correctly. As a Health Information Technician, you know the importance of the patients confidentiality. Tell the interviewer that you follow HIPAA regulations with each patient.
Attention to detail is a strength you have as a Health Information Technician. Tell the interviewer about a few duties that are imperative that you complete correctly. Tell the interviewer if you double check your work or if you ask a coworker to double check your work if necessary.
HIPAA is your middle name as a Health Information Technician. Securing patient information and only releasing it to need to know individuals is imperative in respecting the HIPAA guidelines. Tell the interviewer that you always brief your patients on the HIPAA laws, provide them with pamphlets and have them sign a waiver allowing you to release information based on their medical treatment needs.
Strike a balance between your technical and behavioral competencies to show that not only can you take on the responsibilities of the job, but you also have the right mindset and personality to fit into the role and/or team.
"Technically, I believe that my past experience has given me sufficient knowledge and skills to fulfill the role of the Health Information Technician position. Apart from that, I am also adaptable, analytical and efficient"
Explain your skills as a Health Information Technician using examples, and what qualifies you as a detail-oriented person in the workplace. Feel free to share a scenario detailing the steps you took showing your attention to detail.
"I am a detail oriented person. My patience and determination to explore the problem and all of its elements until the reasoning has been found so that it can be resolved accurately is how I approach each challenge."
Be honest when you answer this question, be sure not to tell the interviewer what they want to hear if coding wasn't your strongest class. If isn't your specialty you can refer to this as being one of your weaknesses and that you are working on it to become better. If you did well in your coding class go ahead and brag a little.
As a Health Information Technician, you'll have to be able to effectively communicate with Dr's to patients. While these people may not be your direct reports, a strong leader will be able to influence people at different levels in order to align everyone with the proper outcome. You may also be called upon to take the lead on a project with a number of team members. It is critical that you understand how to lead. Show the interviewer your flexibility when it comes to leading others.
As a Health InformationTechnician, you may or may not have direct supervision. If you excel working on your own with little supervision be sure to tell the interviewer this. Be careful not to tell the interviewer that you prefer or only want to work without direct supervision because it may show that you don't work will with a team.
Review the job description. Highlight your skills and traits that are aligned with what the position requires. Here is a sample answer, “This position requires knowledge of medical terminology and prior experience. Skill-wise, my previous job experience has provided me with sufficient skills to fulfill the responsibilities. But more than that, I have strong interpersonal skills and consider myself highly analytical. With those two combined, I believe that I will be able to work excellently with the stakeholders while providing useful insights.”
This question is one of the most common interview questions. Take this chance to tell the interviewer something that is relevant to the job, has a big impact, that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates and something they won't read on your resume. Tell the interviewer about your best characteristic, a relevant and impactful story. Have this question rehearsed but not boring. Avoid the chronological run down- they can read that on your resume.
"“I’m really energetic, and a great communicator. Leading a team of four Health Information Technicians helped me build confidence and taught me the importance of effective communication. I’ve also got a track record of success. In my last role, I prepared our office for our annual inspection which we passed with flying colors."
Don't fall into this trap with negativity. The interviewer is seeing if you are going to bad mouth your last boss. Remember, it's a small world and the person interviewing you may actually know your last boss.
The interviewer wants to know that you’re ambitious, career-oriented, and committed to a future with the company. Instead of sharing your dream for early retirement, or trying to be funny, give them an answer that illustrates your drive and commitment to working, learning and growing with the company.
Achievements aren't always something you can hang on the wall of your office. Sometimes an achievement is completing a difficult task and overcoming the obstacles that come up along the way. You have a couple ways you can answer the interviewer's question: Discuss an example of when you overcame obstacles to achieve something great, or share an accomplishment or award you received and talk about what was challenging about it. Either way, you are showing your determination and focus to reach your goal. Think of a situation that highlights your strengths and qualities that will be helpful for the job you're interviewing for.
Health Information Technicians, sometime referred to as Medical Records Technicians, work in the Medical Records Department of Hospitals. You are responsible for gathering, organizing and entering the health information into the computer database while verifying accuracy and maintaining the database. Your job may entail working within medical records, coding, billing and entering the data into the database. It is important for you to know your medical terminology and the medical codes associated with each term in order to keep all the Medical Records accurate.
Attention to detail is your best characteristics as a Health Information Technician. You assure all data entered into the database is accurate and secure. You follow HIPAA regulations to protect the information of your patients. You are organized, efficient and work well within a team.
During your interview you will want to have a few stories in your back pocket to share with the interviewer. Make your stories relevant to the job and highlight your best characteristics. Make sure you are familiar with Federal and State laws as you may be asked about them. As a Health Information Technician you may work in a small office or a large medical facility. Relay to the interviewer that you are flexible on where you work. You will want to assure the interviewer that you can work without supervision as well as within a team.