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Medical Assistant Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Medical Assistant interview, here are 34 interview questions and answer examples.

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Question 1 of 34

How long have you been a medical assistant?

How to Answer

Length of experience will help an interviewer determine what strengths you may have and what area your skills may be most well utilized. Rather than just giving a specific amount of time, also share what your primary responsibilities have been during that time.

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34 Medical Assistant Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. How long have you been a medical assistant?

      How to Answer

      Length of experience will help an interviewer determine what strengths you may have and what area your skills may be most well utilized. Rather than just giving a specific amount of time, also share what your primary responsibilities have been during that time.

      Entry Level

      "I just recently became a medical assistant. I love caring for others and am really looking forward to learning more and growing in this role."

      1st Answer Example

      "I have been a medical assistant for X years. The majority of my experience as a medical assistant has been working in a physician's office."

      Experienced

      "I have been a medical assistant for X years. I initially began my medical career as a medical secretary. While I did enjoy that work, I really wanted to find something that allowed me to have a more hands-on role with patients. I really enjoy being able to be actively involved with the care of others."

  • 2. Can you give me an example of one of the most difficult things you've faced as a medical assistant, and how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Medical assistants often perform a great deal of clinical patient care and, therefore, come across difficult cases. With this question, the interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling the stress that come with handling difficult situations. It's OK to share a personal experience/example, but remember to only use information that will not risk compromising the integrity of a patient's right to privacy.

      1st Answer Example

      "One of the most difficult things for me is when I am caring for someone who has no family or friends to visit or offer emotional support. Seeing patients who are sick and struggling is hard, but when they don't have anyone to visit or offer care and support to them, it often makes the situation so much harder. This is one reason that many patients seem to lose hope and stop fighting to become better. When I have a situation like this, I always try to prioritize my time and duties so that I can spend any extra time with those patients. Being able to offer support and show compassion to someone is a great feeling, and patients do appreciate the effort."

      Experienced

      "When I first became a medical assistant, I had a patient who came into the clinic thinking he may have pneumonia. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It was a very stressful time for the patient and his family. With the cancer being so far progressed when he received his diagnosis, his prognosis was not good. He chose not to attempt any treatment. I learned quickly that being a compassionate ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on are very important characteristics for any healthcare professional to possess. I spent as much time with him and his family as I could without neglecting my other patients. It was a very sobering experience for me as a new medical assistant to realize just how quickly a person's life can change with one diagnosis."

  • 3. Do you have experience working with electronic health records?

      How to Answer

      With the advances in medical management, employers like to hire employees who like to stay current with those changes. While you may not be required to have a knowledge of EHRs prior to being hired, showing an interest and willingness to learn is also a plus. If you do have experience with EHRs, be sure to mention some of the types of records you have worked on or training that you may have received.

      Entry Level

      "During my training to become a medical assistant, we used a simulation EHR software that contains many of the same elements as the commercially-used software. At my internship, the office used eClinicalWorks, so I had some exposure to that program, as well."

      1st Answer Example

      "I do have experience working with electronic health records. While different facilities may use different types of EHRs, overall programs are very similar. I have to say that I do like the fact that we can now use EHRs to store patient information. It makes it much easier to retrieve information and transmit it, when needed."

  • 4. If you could give advice to someone who is considering a career as a medical assistant, what would you tell them?

      How to Answer

      The old saying 'Hindsight is 20/20' is something many people say is true. This question gives you an opportunity to show how you have grown and what kind of wisdom you may pass on to someone who is coming into this career after you.

      Entry Level

      "I would have to say, 'If you feel like you want to specialize in one area and then change your mind, go with it. We all have that special calling in our life. We just have to listen for it.'"

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  • 5. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 6. 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 7. Have you ever had a patient be combative toward you? If so, how did you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Unfortunately, there are times when a patient may be more difficult to care for than others. The interviewer wants to know that, when faced with this type of situation, you will be able to maintain your composure and handle the incident professionally.

      Entry Level

      "I have not had a patient become combative toward me yet. I would like to think that, if/when I am faced with a situation like that, I will remain calm and try to get to the source of the aggression. Many times people act out in fear and if I can be patient enough to find out what is really going on, perhaps I can help my patient overcome that fear and be more at ease, not only with me, but with all of the care team."

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  • 8. Have you ever considered going back to school to further your degree?

      How to Answer

      One of the great things about working in the medical field is that there are almost no limits to the number of specialties one can work in. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The interviewer may ask this for more than one reason: Some employers offer incentives for employees who qualify to go back to school, others like to know what your education goals are so that they can place you in a position that would benefit you both while giving you an opportunity to pursue your education goals.

      Entry Level

      "I have always wanted a career in the medical field. I chose to become a medical assistant because it offered me the opportunity to have both administrative and clinical roles within the industry. At this point, I have no plans of changing my career path."

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  • 9. If you could change anything about the role of a medical assistant, what would it be?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 10. If a patient were to tell you that he does not agree with a doctor's orders, how would you respond?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will often ask a question like this to see your response. It is OK to have an opinion. However, it is best to be very careful with how you respond to a patient's complaints. Feeding into a patient's feeling of negativity could cause a bigger problem to result. Remember, always listen to a patient's concerns, and then direct your thoughts/concerns to the appropriate person in a supervisory position. This type of question gives the interviewer a chance to see how you may handle a conflict.

      Entry Level

      "If a patient were to tell me that she disagrees with a doctor's order, I would ask her what her concerns are and bring that information to my supervisor's attention. While the issue may be a lack of understanding on my patient's part, it is always best to have someone in authority be able to address concerns, especially in the event that the physician should be contacted and the order reviewed."

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  • 11. What would you do if a patient complained to you about a coworker's conduct toward him/her?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 12. Is there a type of patient or specific diagnosis that you find it more difficult to work with?

      How to Answer

      Behavioral issues and dual diagnosis, like a bipolar alcoholic, can make treatment extremely difficult. What can make treatment even more difficult are those who don't cooperate or follow through with the plan of care. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation or patient. Be sure to respect patient confidentiality when sharing any examples.

      Entry Level

      "I believe any medical professional will tell you, no matter what the diagnosis, if a client is not willing to learn about his diagnosis, ways to treat it, and to become active in a treatment plan, providing care is difficult. Clients make a choice daily whether or not to participate in their own plan of wellness."

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  • 13. Are you comfortable taking vital signs on patients?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 14. How do you protect the confidentiality of patients?

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer what confidentiality means to you. In your training, you learned that there are many ways you could accidentally breach the confidentiality of your patients, including talking with other coworkers about experiences with patients or sharing stories about patients to others outside of work. Express how you take great care when handling patient records. Explain your awareness of confidentiality laws.

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  • 15. What are your weaknesses?

      How to Answer

      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.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "First weakness, I see myself as too much of a perfectionist. To the point where, for example, when I'm working with a group on a project, the project could be done and at that moment it seems ok. Then when I take another look I'm like "hmm not quite, maybe we could add more". Then I try to add more to the point where it gets too much and that project doesn't look great anymore. Do you know how people say "put a cherry on top"? In my case, I put too many cherries on top and it knocks over the whole cup. I have gotten a lot better and understand the way I see things, is not always the same as everyone. I need to be on the same field and eye level as my team. Respect their opinions and decisions and trust them.

      My second weakness is I'm at times over helpful. I try to do more than I am asked to do when someone needs help. Like if a coworker asks for help, of course, I will but then at times I get too invested and take it too much upon myself and do more than I'm asked. I am working on knowing where the line is and when my help is sufficient enough and I am not overstepping."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      You've done a great job of detailing some of your weaknesses. Both of the weaknesses you mention can also be seen as positives in the right light, which is good. You've also effectively explained how you try to overcome your weaknesses. This shows that you are taking steps to fix these issues, which the interviewer will appreciate. Excellent response!

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  • 16. Walk me through your daily work routine.

      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. 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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  • 17. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a coworker. How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      In the medical field, you may find yourself shuffling quickly from patient to patient, interacting with a variety of personalities on your team. Some people are easier to work with than others. Give a REAL example. Breakdown what happened and how you handled it professionally. Focus on the solution, not the conflict. If you wish you would have done something different, share it. Showing you can learn from past conflicts shows maturity.



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  • 18. What patient population do you think that those working in the healthcare field may find the most difficult to work with?

      How to Answer

      Being a medical assistant means that you are caring for people, often at their worst. Diseases and disabling conditions often cause a change in their personality and outlook on life. The interviewer doesn't just want to know that a particular patient is difficult, but how you approach giving effective care to that patient.

      Entry Level

      "Some days are easier than others, no matter what type of patient I am caring for. I think one of the most difficult to work with are those who have suffered some kind of injury or illness that has left them paralyzed or unable to speak. It is difficult because it is obvious that these patients want to do for themselves, but some part of their body doesn't allow them to. I try to be encouraging and offer assistance as needed."

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  • 19. What is your favorite thing about being a medical assistant?

      How to Answer

      Medical assistants are cross-trained between administrative and clinical duties. This fact alone makes you a very valuable part of the healthcare team. Interviewers ask questions like this in an effort to get to know you, and your answer will likely tell him what assets you will be bringing to the team.

      Entry Level

      "I am a new medical assistant, so I don't think I have a 'favorite' thing yet. I enjoy getting to learn something new every day and learning to build relationships with patients that come into our clinic."

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  • 20. How would you handle a situation with an angry patient?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Entry Level

      "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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  • 21. What are some administrative skills you have that you think could be of benefit to you in this position?

      How to Answer

      As a medical assistant, your experience with administrative skills is a great asset. This is a good chance to give yourself a pat on the back, so to speak. Just remember, highlight your skills, but be prepared to follow through with proficiency if you say you are able to perform a particular skill.

      Entry Level

      "I took classes in business computer applications where I learned different computer skills and programs. I feel like I can use these skills to become an asset to the administrative side of this role as a medical assistant."

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  • 22. Can you give me an example of how a medical assistant acts as a patient liaison?

      How to Answer

      Many times, patients are more comfortable talking to a medical assistant or nurse than a physician. Medical assistants are instrumental in helping patients feel at ease in the physician's office. Tell the interviewer how you would personally act as a liaison to help your patients.

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  • 23. Healthcare careers are among the top stress-related careers. What do you do to help manage stress on the job?

      How to Answer

      Providing care for patients in any environment can be stressful. A hiring official needs to know that you can handle stress. Moreover, how you handle it, speaks volume. In an interview, be prepared to provide examples of how stress impacts you.

      Entry Level

      "I have always taken time to examine how I feel after a shift and deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I like to write, so I use that as an outlet for any feelings that need to be resolved."

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  • 24. What are some clinical skills that you feel proficient performing that could be utilized in the medical assistant role at our facility?

      How to Answer

      Not everyone is skilled in every single area of clinical care. However, whatever your strengths are, you should be able to highlight them and why you feel they could be of benefit to the employer. It's good to be confident, just remember to be humble rather than arrogant.

      Entry Level

      "One of my clinical skills is phlebotomy. I worked in a hospital lab for a while and still do some work, from time to time, at a local blood bank. I think my skills in this area could be helpful in my role as a medical assistant."

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  • 25. Tell me about a time you experienced a significant change in your workplace and how you handled it.

      How to Answer

      In any healthcare setting, change is inevitable. Technology, processes, leadership, laws and organizations change on a regular basis and with change at a high level comes changes in work processes. For this question, it is important to stress how you are open to change when it makes the end results better for, not only the patient, but for those who work with you. As a medical office manager, you should be able to recognize changes that are needed and be prepared to address them with employees and provide any training necessary. Talk about a specific change you had to endure in the workplace and express how you embraced the change.

      Entry Level

      "While I was in college, I worked at a large grocery store as a cashier. The company replaced their previous registers with touchscreen systems. Although it was very different from the older equipment, I learned the new equipment quickly and was even able to train other employees on how to use it effectively."

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  • 26. Have you ever received negative feedback from a supervisor, and if so, how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be something that leaves you feeling incapable of doing your job. The important thing to remember when answering this question is don't talk negatively about the person who gave you the feedback. Rather state what was said and how you grew from the event.

      Entry Level

      "I once received negative feedback when I was working as a tech in the ER. One of my patient's mother was very upset that her child was not being treated as quickly as she thought she should be and she complained to my supervisor that I was not doing my job. After talking with the supervisor, I asked if I could spend some extra time with the patient and his mother so that she could experience the good care that we give. Fear and uncertainty is often a reason that people lash out. Sometimes a gentle word is all that one needs to help relieve a stressful situation."

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  • 27. What made you choose a career as a medical assistant?

      How to Answer

      In almost every job interview, the interviewer will ask you why you chose your career path. This is the 'get to know you' part of the interview. Even if your chosen path is one with the potential to earn a large salary, do not mention that. Your objective here should be to show that you have a genuine desire to care for the health and well-being of others. If you have a personal experience that led you to this career choice, this would be a good time to share that.

      Entry Level

      "I initially thought that I would go to nursing school, as I wanted a career that would allow me to take care of people. However, I also enjoy the behind the scenes work, such as talking to patients on the phone and doing computer work. Knowing I could utilize some of my office skills and care for patients, too, led me to choose the medical assistant role."

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  • 28. How would you handle a situation if a physician was rude to you in front of a patient?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 29. Medical assistants often have to tend to nervous or frustrated family members, in addition to stressed patients. How do you approach offering support to your patient's loved ones?

      How to Answer

      Providing care to patients is, of course, the main objective of a medical assistant. However, family and patient supporters are naturally concerned and often anxious. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show an interviewer how well-rounded you are as a nursing aide.

      Entry Level

      "I know what it's like to be the family member who is worried about a loved one requiring critical care. I remember when my father was very ill. He had some nurses and nursing aides who were very kind and approachable. He had a few that were not so kind. I always try to remember how I felt when I was the one in need of support and to treat those family members with the same kind of respect and kindness that I wanted."

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  • 30. Do you feel like you have strong problem-solving skills?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer is aware of the importance of a medical assistant having strong problem solving skills. Each shift brings unexpected challenges and issues. Show your understanding and strength as a problem- solver. Further, explain how you know when a physician should be called in to help with the situation.

      Entry Level

      "I do feel like I have good problem solving skills. I like to think outside of the box and try to find the best way to resolve a problem. I also try to stay aware of the fact that, although my job requires skill, I am not expected to know everything. If I reach a place in care that I feel like I need to call a supervisor or the position to assist, I always set my pride aside and ask for help."

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  • 31. What are your long-term professional plans?

      How to Answer

      Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will allow the interviewer to evaluate two things: 1. What positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2 if you are interested in having a long-term relationship within the company. Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

      Entry Level

      "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."

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  • 32. What makes you feel you will be a good fit for our organization?

      How to Answer

      Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you meet and exceed expectations with their organization. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this particular job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

      Entry Level

      "I feel I have the education and skills necessary to become an asset to your organization and I believe, given the opportunity, I can prove that."

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  • 33. Tell me about one of your favorite patients.

      How to Answer

      As a medical assistant, you will have the opportunity to take care of many patients. There will most likely be at least a few who touch your life in a special way. The interviewer wants to know what makes a patient unforgettable to you.

      Entry Level

      "One of my favorite patients ever was an elderly lady that lived in a long-term care facility where I worked previously. Every morning she wanted her hair rolled and makeup done. It didn't matter if there was an activity or outing scheduled, or if she was just going to be 'home.' She said her mother always told her to look her best no matter what and that is what she did."

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  • 34. If you discovered that a coworker was violating a patient's privacy by discussing his information with someone outside of the care team, how would you respond?

      How to Answer

      Patient privacy is protected by federal law and anyone who works in the healthcare industry is required to understand and follow the law. Failure to do so can result in loss of employment, and possible criminal charges. The interviewer wants to know that you understand your role in protecting a patient's privacy and that you will make wise decisions if you feel a patient's confidentiality has been compromised.

      Entry Level

      "I would notify my team leader or supervisor right away. The law demands that we protect our patient's private information and our patients expect us to honor that."

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