Updated August 22nd, 2018
| Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates, specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
How did you find this job?
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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.
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.
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 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."
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."
Tell us about a time you took on additional duties.
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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."
7. What is your ideal work environment? 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. Example #1: "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."8. What job skill have you learned in the last 6 months? 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. Example #1: "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."9. How do you deal with stress? 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. Example #1: "To relieve stress I do yoga each day for 30 minutes."10. You have an unexpected personal appointment and you need to leave early. You haven't pulled records for the next day, what do you do? 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. Example #1: 11. What experience do you have maintaining medical records? 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. Example #1: 12. Tell us about a situation or relationship which suffered from poor communication. What happened and how did you resolve it? Now is not the time to tell the interviewer how you and your significant other made up last night due to miscommunication. This of a time at work that there was poor communication and you helped bridge the gap. Was this situation between you and another employee? Did you step in to lend your advice on how an entire team could work better together? However you resolved it, show that it was a positive outcome. Example #1: "There was a time that one of my co-workers an I didn't necessarily have poor communication but a lack of communication. I invited her to lunch to get to know her more and show her that I was easy to talk to and that I'd like to get to know her not only professionally but possibly outside of work. She admitted to being a bit timid and shy in the office and that she found it difficult to form friendships. After sharing a few laughs over lunch we both realized we were very much alike. Because of this lunch outing it really helped her open up not only with me but with others in the office. She was less timid and more assertive at work too."13. Why did you apply to our healthcare facility? Now is the time to show the interviewer you did your homework. Does the facilities mission and goals mirror yours? Are you excited to work in a facility that has departments you've never worked in? Show the interviewer you did your homework on the facility. Know the number of beneficiaries the facility serves, their specialty clinics, awards they have won and how you want to be a part of the team. Example #1: 14. How do you manage a large workload? Calm, Cool and Collected....this is how you will answer this question. Depending on the size of the facility or office you are supporting you may work within a team or on your own. Now is your chance to tell the interviewer about your time management skills. Are you a list maker? Prioritizer? Walk the interviewer through a busy day as a Health Information Technician and how you manage your workload. Example #1: "Each day at 8 am my team and I set aside 15 minutes to discuss what each other has on their plates. We are able to hear each other's work load and offer help when needed. Working together we are able to divide and conquer and avoid an unmanageable workload."15. What do you think of your previous employer? Don't fall into this trap of negativity. You may or may not have enjoyed working for your last employer, but now is not the time to throw them under the bus. Avoid being negative. The best way to answer this question is with something that you learned from your employer. Example #1: "My last employer taught me the importance of effective time management skills. She was extremely deadline-driven. Her no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet deadlines I never even thought were possible. I definitely learned a lot from her."16. What is your greatest weakness? 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. Example #1: "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."17. What is your greatest strength? 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. Example #1: "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."18. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 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. Example #1: 19. What do you think of your previous boss? 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. Example #1: "20. Tell us about yourself. 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. Example #1: "“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."21. What qualities do you have that fit this role? 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.” Example #1: 22. When have you worked in an environment without a lot of supervision? 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. Example #1: 23. Tell me about your leadership experience. How would you describe your leadership style? 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. Example #1: "24. How did you perform in your medical coding classes? 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. Example #1: 25. Give me an example of how detail oriented you are. 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. Example #1: "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."26. Why do you believe you are the best candidate for us? 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. Example #1: "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"27. How well versed are you with the HIPAA laws? 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. Example #1: 28. How do you ensure your work is done flawlessly? Do you double check all of your work? 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. Example #1: 29. Briefly explain to me why it is important to maintain medical records? 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. Example #1: 30. How did you bring value to your last position. 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. Example #1: "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."
Writers for Health Information Technician Answers and Questions
Heather Douglass has over 20 years of experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 03/13/2016 Last modified on: 08/22/2018
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