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Medical Assistant Interview

34 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Updated January 22nd, 2019
Question 1 of 34
Walk me through your daily work routine.
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How to Answer
The interviewer knows your responsibilities as a medical assistant, considering they may have even helped write the job description. They are looking to hear how you approach your daily tasks. Is your routine something you came up with or is it something you do based on doctor's orders? Start by explaining the first thing you do, including washing hands, getting organized, checking in with doctors, etc. Show that you are conscientious and perceptive.
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Top 30 Medical Assistant Interview Questions with Full Content
Walk me through your daily work routine.
The interviewer knows your responsibilities as a medical assistant, considering they may have even helped write the job description. They are looking to hear how you approach your daily tasks. Is your routine something you came up with or is it something you do based on doctor's orders? Start by explaining the first thing you do, including washing hands, getting organized, checking in with doctors, etc. Show that you are conscientious and perceptive.

Ryan's Answer
"Beginning the day, we double-check the schedule. Make sure the office would not have a long-wait time for patients. I double check the beds and make sure all of the tools and equipment is in place and sanitary. Then the first patient comes in and we began our day."
What would you do if a patient complained to you about a coworker's conduct toward him/her?
This question aims to test your knowledge of internal procedures used within healthcare establishments. While the exact protocol for this may be specific to the place you're applying, there are general rules that should be followed by all healthcare providers, no matter which facility you work in. It is important to explain that all complaints must be handled seriously and be directed to the appropriate member of staff so that appropriate action can be taken. Emphasise that patient concerns should never be ignored.

Ryan's Answer #1
"It is unfortunate that situations like this ever occur. However, when they do, patient safety and concerns should always be acknowledged. If a patient presented a complaint to me, I would notify my immediate supervisor and give him whatever information I have so that he can investigate the validity of any allegations and act accordingly."
Darby's Answer #2
"I've never had a patient complain to me about one of my coworkers. If I were to be faced with this situation, I would assure the patient that I will talk to my supervisor so that he can help address the situation. I believe it is important to let a patient know that any concerns will be addressed, but to not 'choose sides,' as this can make the situation worse. I believe that leaving the responsibility of investigating the complaint with my supervisor is the most appropriate action to take."
Being a medical assistant often involves physical exertion, as patients may have to be transferred or lifted, or equipment moved. Are you capable of meeting the physical requirements of this job?
The medical profession can be physically demanding. Standing and walking for long stretches, assisting in lifting patients and staying awake for long periods of time are some of the physical demands of the job. Being aware of the physical demands required of a medical assistant and knowing how to handle those tasks while protecting yourself is important. Tell the interviewer that you understand the physical demands and don't forget to mention ways that you provide self-care.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Through my career, I have spent many long hours on my feet and working shifts at non-traditional times. To be able to do this with ease, I have worked hard to be in the best physical shape that I can be by exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy and getting ample amounts of sleep each night."
Darby's Answer #2
"I understand that while working as a medical assistant I will be asked to perform activities that require physical exertion. I always practice good body mechanics to help prevent injury to my patients or myself."
What are your weaknesses?
Are you aware of your weaknesses? Interviewers understand that we have weaknesses, and they want to hear that you understand yourself. Think of an area of your life that you are proactively working to improve, and openly share it. Perhaps your weakness is that you get nervous speaking in front of large groups of people. The key to this question is ensuring that you acknowledge your weakness and that you are taking steps to grow in this area. It shows the interviewer that you have initiative. Think about ways you have stretched yourself to grow in your area of weakness. Did you sign up to speak at a conference to give yourself the opportunity to develop your public speaking skills? Tell the interviewer what you are doing to improve and grow.

Ryan's Answer
"My biggest weakness is my lack of experience in medical billing. I know that would be a huge bonus if I were better trained in billing to work at your office. I do plan on taking evening classes to become proficient in billing. I hope your office would have a need for that in the future."
How would you handle a situation if a physician was rude to you in front of a patient?
No matter what profession a person is associated with, there are times that tensions can run high. Although no one wants to be embarrassed or have someone be rude to them, especially in front of someone else, the interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining your composure and handling an uncomfortable situation in a professional manner. If you have experienced a similar situation, it is ok to share the event as long as patient confidentiality is not compromised.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If a physician was rude to me in front of a patient, I would act as calmly as possible and wait until we are not in front of the patient before trying resolve the situation. Overreacting or acting out in response to someone who is being rude can only make matters worse. Instead, I would continue with the care of the patient and when finished, ask the physician if we can speak privately. At that time, I can discuss my feelings about what has happened and try to come to a resolution to prevent another incident from happening."
Darby's Answer #2
"I had an incident like this happen when I first began work as a medical assistant. The physician I was working with raised his voice at me when I was talking to a patient. Although it upset me, I remained calm and assisted him with the rest of the exam. After the patient left, I told my immediate supervisor what happened and asked if we could schedule a time to discuss the issue with the physician. My supervisor told me that the physician had received some bad personal news that morning and was probably projecting his frustration toward me. She talked with the physician and later the physician apologized to me. I accepted his apology and told him if there is anything I can do to help lighten his load while he is dealing with other things, to let me know."
Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am not married and have no children at this time. So, I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the late shift, as I am a bit of a night owl. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."
Darby's Answer #2
"While I am not unopposed to working overtime or extended schedules such as holidays, I would like to have the opportunity to spend time with small children, as well."
If you could change anything about the role of a medical assistant, what would it be?
We all have ideas about ways to make things better. Whether it's ways to organize a home or office, or things that we can do to make the job easier, your opinion is important. Share your thoughts on things that could make the role of a medical assistant easier, or to help you provide care more efficiently.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I love being a medical assistant. I'm sure there are days that we all wish things would run a little more smoothly. For me, I would like to see my role as a medical assistant to be more clinical than administrative. While I am comfortable with the administrative responsibilities, like charting and communicating with outside sources, I really enjoy the one on one interaction that the clinical side allows me to have with patients."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am a new medical assistant and don't feel like I have enough experience to say what I would like to change for a medical assistant's role. I look forward to learning and growing in this role, and in time, bring some positive things to the healthcare team, as a whole."
What are your long-term professional plans?
Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would really like to find a position where I can really become established and work for the long-term. I have friends who became medical assistants with plans of continuing their education, but I am satisfied with my role as a medical assistant and want to continue along this path."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am a new medical assistant and am very excited about growing and learning in this field. At this time, I don't have any plans in the foreseeable future of going back to school or changing career paths."
Are you comfortable taking vital signs on patients?
The clinical role of a medical assistant often requires taking vital signs and documenting them in the patient chart, as well as reporting any abnormalities to the physician. The interviewer wants to know that you are comfortable with this important skill.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In the early clinical stage of my education as a medical assistant, I was taught to take vital signs and what the norms should be for different age groups. I am very comfortable with taking vital signs."
Darby's Answer #2
"Yes, I am comfortable with taking vital signs. In fact, I really enjoy working the triage area of the medical clinic where vital signs and patient history is taken. It gives me an opportunity to set the stage for what the patient can expect for the remainder of his visit, which is very important."
How would you handle a situation with an angry patient?
Knowing how you will handle a difficult situation will tell the interviewer if you have the the right attitude for this job. Being a medical assistant means you have to deal with people from very different backgrounds and with varying personalities. Give the interviewer an example of how you would handle an angry patient.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe acting calmly and speaking rationally is a great way to calm someone who is angry and I try to be the voice of reason without making someone feel that I am belittling them."
Darby's Answer #2
"I think it is important to try and find out what has made the patient mad. If it is something such as not being called as quickly as he had expected, a simple explanation regarding what caused the delay may help calm him."
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