30 Questions and Answers Written by Heather Douglass
Updated on August 30th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates, specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
How would your co-workers describe you?
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How to Answer
The interviewer knows that you are capable to do the job- they can see that by your resume. What an interviewer is looking for is your personality. Can you play nice at work with others? When an interviewer asks this question they might be doing a little detective work to see if THEY want to work with you! Don't bore the interviewer with organized, good time management and rule follower- you already listed those in bullets on your resume.
Here is an example answer: "Creative, well-liked, dependable, always willing to help out and knowledgeable."
"Creative, well-liked, dependable, always willing to help out and knowledgeable."
"My co-workers would say that I'm organized and approachable."
A solid answer to this common interview question will set you apart from the other candidates. It is important to research the company website. Familiarize yourself with its history, Board of Directors, products, mission, and current projects. Mention professional awards and honors received the by the company as well as future projects that illustrate your interest in where the company is headed. Discussing the future of the organization is a win-win because it also establishes your interest in professional longevity.
Tell me about a time you disagreed with your boss.
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Even though you may have a great relationship with your employer, there may be times where you don't see eye to eye. Think of a conflict or disagreement you had with your boss where you responded well, either by suggesting a compromise or taking a calm, relaxed stance when you could have responded in a heated tone. Compromise puts you in a great position with your boss, because it shows your desire to work together and highlights your creative problem-solving abilities.
"One of the physicians and I disagreed on the way patients should be scheduled. I wanted to spend time training him a bit more. My director wanted to terminate him immediately. I presented to my director that it would be more expensive to replace him than to re-train. He agreed and we came to a middle ground."
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 one of the owners 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."
6. How would you describe your work ethic? 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. Here is an answer example: "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."7. Share a time you willingly took on additional responsibilities. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."8. Are you efficient with your time? Time management is an essential skill in any workplace. As a Medical Receptionist, you have to prioritize your work and use your time wisely each day. Using your time wisely also means determining what tasks need to be done first, how to avoid distractions and how to get things done when new priorities pop up. Tell the interviewer how you prioritize your day. Here is an answer example: "I can't stand to have too much downtime at work. In between patients I'm learning or helping my colleagues. I'm efficient with my time because I feel there is always something to do."9. What is your greatest strength? This is one of the most common questions asked during an interview so you need to have your answer memorized. To determine your strengths, think of the job-related skills that others compliment you on. Are you a patient person? Good listener? Provide amazing customer service? Here is an answer example: "My greatest strength is my ability to build professional patient/customer service relationships. Patients confide in me, respect me as the face of the clinic as well as a person."10. What is your greatest weakness? This is one of the most common interview answers so you need to have this one memorized. Don't choose a weakness that will make the interviewer hesitant to hire you but a weakness that can be improved upon to make it a strength. Here is an answer example: "My greatest weakness as a Medical Receptionist is being able to say no. I always want to help but I've found that its a great way to put too much on my plate. I'm working on saying no to helping at that moment but offering to help once I've completed my own tasks."11. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."12. Are you comfortable with training new employees? Once you become the go-to person for the office will you be ready to share your knowledge with the rest of the staff? Let the interviewer know of a time you were personally requested to train new employees or train staff on a particular topic. Why did the requestor choose you? Was it because of your public speaking skills? Your ability to keep your audience engaged? You're allowed to tell the interviewer that you're awesome! Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I am comfortable training new employees. This past week I was requested to train employees on a new system for third party billing. My instruction was well received and all questions were answered."13. What task do you feel will be a challenge for you in this job? This could possibly be a sneaky way the interviewer is asking what your weakness is. Not a problem because you already have that answer memorized. For this particular question think back to the job description. Was there anything that stood out and made you scratch your head? Did they throw in a name of a software program you've never worked with? Are you used to working on your own and the position will have you working more independent? Whatever the challenge is, own it. State the challenge to the interviewer but spin it in a way that it will become your newest strength.
Here's and example answer: "I'm familiar with the accounting system you all use but haven't used it in years. I do know that I can reference the user guide and my fellow co-workers so I know I will catch on quick. I like to take detailed notes, screen shots and just dive in and do it. I'm up for the challenge and excited to learn something new." Here is an answer example: "I'm familiar with the accounting system you all use but haven't used it in years. I do know that I can reference the user guide and my fellow co-workers so I know I will catch on quick. I like to take detailed notes, screen shots and just dive in and do it. I'm up for the challenge and excited to learn something new." Here is an answer example: "It can be challenging learning a new computer system. I've worked in three clinics over the past 7 years, all with different systems. It took me just a few days to become efficient and not need assistance."14. 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "I've learned how to use our third party insurance system and scanner that was introduced to our office. I caught on so quickly that I was asked by my supervisor to be the POC and teach my fellow co-workers how to use it."15. What motivates you at work? If I got paid to watch netflix and eat ice-cream all day that would be motivation enough. But sadly that job isn't what you are applying to so you need to think on your toes. Are you motivated to give 110% to satisfy the patient? Do you look forward to your weekly mentoring sessions from a fellow co-worker that is helping you identify your goals? Do you set personal goals to see how you can improve your efficiency each day? Maybe your learning a new software program and your desire to be programs go-to person in the office is your driving force? Whatever motivates you, do your best to relate it to the position you are interviewing for. Don't be afraid to be passionate about it- the interviewer will love it. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "The satisfaction that I've helped a patient is what motivates me each day."16. Have you ever used a hospital intercom system? Now you may fumble over answering this question a bit but be sure to let the interviewer know you don't fumble during your overhead announcements. Let the interviewer know that you write down every detail that needs to be announced. You stick to your script and are sure to pronounce the providers name correctly and provide an accurate call back number. You can assure the interviewer that after your overhead page you will be waiting by the phone with a notepad and pen ready to take notes when the requested person calls back. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I haven't ever used a hospital intercom system. I'm very efficient and comfortable using the telephone so I'm sure it wouldn't be much different."17. How would your boss describe you? Ok, let's skip using the word team-player. The interviewer is looking for something better. How about respectful, tough, diligent, hardworking and honest. Think of a time that a boss recently praised your work and share it with the interviewer. Still insisting that you convince the interviewer that you are a team player? Try this:
"My last boss would describe me as a team player. My boss noticed my co-workers were always looking to me for guidance and instruction. My co-workers respected my opinion and would regularly come to me for assistance. Because of the rapport with my colleges my boss asked if I would lead the team on a big project. The process ran smoothly and everyone respected me as the team leader. We were very successful in completing the project." Here is an answer example: "My last boss would describe me as a team player. My boss noticed my co-workers were always looking to me for guidance and instruction. My co-workers respected my opinion and would regularly come to me for assistance. Because of the rapport with my colleges my boss asked if I would lead the team on a big project. The process ran smoothly and everyone respected me as the team leader. We were very successful in completing the project." Here is an answer example: "My boss would say that I'm an eager and quick learner."18. What is your dream job? This can be a tough question to answer. Stare off into space and talk about your dream of riding dolphins in the ocean might make your interviewer stand up, thank you for your time and move to the next candidate. But this is your chance to be true to yourself and share your passion and dream. Once you've announced your dream job to the interviewer back it up with what you are doing to achieve that dream. Are you taking college classes? Are you volunteering? Talking about the progress your making to get to that dream job will show the interviewer that you are motivated and passionate. A characteristic that they want in their office. Here is an answer example: "My dream job would be to become a Nurse. I've always loved helping people and customer service seems to come naturally to me. I started taking some nursing classes and am really enjoying them. It might take me twice as long to get there but once I set my mind to complete something I follow through." Here is an answer example: "My dream job would be working in a fun and challenging environment."19. Where would you like to be in your career in 5 years? Your interviewer knows that this is your stepping stone to your dream job and that's ok. Since 5 years isn't too far away try not to make your goal seem too unrealistic. Stick to an answer that is in the same wheel house as the job you are interviewing for. Talking about a plan that is out in left field might make the interviewer wonder if you are going to put in your 2 weeks notice next week. Here is an answer example: "With my three years of medical receptionist experience and education I'm hoping to become an office manager within the next 5 years. I love working in the medical field so it would be ideal if I could move within this facility." Here is an answer example: "I'd like to enroll in a nursing program in 5 years. I love helping people and think this is a great career path to take."20. How do you deal with stress? We experience stress everyday. 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. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "My hobby is gardening. I enjoy spending time in my garden after work with my family. It's very relaxing and helps me dissolve any stress iI may have."21. Tell me about a conflict you had with a co-worker and how you handled it. A perfect time to share a short story about a time you experience conflict and how you handled it. Be sure not to ramble and get off track. No need to add names and company names to your story. By making it too personal it may come across to the interviewer that you are still bitter about the confrontation and haven't let it go. First things first- tell your story calmly. It's important not to get too animated and caught up in the story as it might suggest you have a fiery temperament. If the wound is too fresh stay away from a personal story and keep it short and sweet. Do your best to tell of a situation from a past position that is similar to the position that you are interviewing for. The interviewer wants to be sure that you could handle conflict in your new position.
Here's an example answer: "My co-worker and I were pulling charts for the next business day. I asked my co-worker if she would mind grabbing the phone since it was ringing next to her she slammed the records down and stormed out. I answered the phone, pulled my last two charts and headed back to talk to her. I thought that the 10 minutes between her outburst and me going back there would give her time to cool down. After confronting her and asking if I could be of help she opened up about stress at home and apologized for taking it out on me. To this day we have a great working relationship." Here is an answer example: "My co-worker and I were pulling charts for the next business day. I asked my co-worker if she would mind grabbing the phone since it was ringing next to her she slammed the records down and stormed out. I answered the phone, pulled my last two charts and headed back to talk to her. I thought that the 10 minutes between her outburst and me going back there would give her time to cool down. After confronting her and asking if I could be of help she opened up about stress at home and apologized for taking it out on me. To this day we have a great working relationship." Here is an answer example: "I was able to get the attention of my supervisor to just stand by and be a bystandard. I listened to my co-workers concern, explained my side of the story and was able to come to a resolution."22. A patient insists you billed her incorrectly for services. How do you defuse this situation? The most important thing to relay to the interviewer is that you are going to handle the situation calmly. Raising your voice to match the patient won't get you anywhere...but in trouble. Calmly listen to the patients concern, allow her to point out what she feels is wrong and ask how you can assist with the situation. Let the interviewer know that you want to take the time to pull her up in the system and verify that you have all of her insurance information correct. We are all human and her information could have been entered incorrectly at one time resulting in her being billed incorrectly. Let the interviewer know that you would consult with the appropriate staff for a second set of eyes if needed. If you realize the investigative work will take more time than expected take the patients name and number down and give them a time you will contact them with more information. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I would ask for her ID and pull her up in our system. I would go line by line with the patient to find out the discrepancy. If we made the error I would apologize and correct it. If it was the patients misunderstanding I would explain it in detail until she was satisfied."23. Your child is sick and you need to leave early. Leaving early won't allow you do pull charts for the next day. What can 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 co-worker to pull charts in exchange you will help her with end of month billing. By offering your assistance to another co-worker it shows the interviewer that you are a team player and that you work well with others. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "Because I'm leaving early for the day I would have a few hours to make up. I would ask my supervisor if I could come in an hour early to make up the time and pull the charts then."24. The patient checking in does not speak English. How do you help this patient? If you have a personal story to share on this topic with the interviewer definitely share it. Be sure to include how you solved the issue and were able to check in the patient. Chances are most everyone understands a genuine smile and the "hold on a second" finger. This will buy you some time to contact the office that maintains the translator list for your facility. It's always best to line up a translator for the patients safety. Here is an answer example: "hold on a second" Here is an answer example: "I would quickly assess the situation and determine if we had a staff member that could help out until I could contact someone from our translator list."25. The phones are ringing off the hook! What do you do? Hopefully your new office has some great HOLD music because your patients might have to sing along a little longer during your busy times of the days. When answering this question it is important that you do so calmly. This will show the interviewer that you work well under pressure. You can politely ask the caller if they would like to hold. This gives them the option to call back when it is more convenient for them. Being organized and not getting flustered is key to managing a high volume phone situation. Getting flustered may cause you to take down the wrong information or book an appointment for the wrong person. Let the interviewer know that your calmness and attention to detail will allow you to tend to the phones without getting sidetracked or flustered Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I would quickly answer each line and politely ask them to hold."26. What experience to 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. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I'm new to the career field and haven't had much experience maintaining medical records yet. I am very organized at home and with my school works so I'm convinced that maintaining records will be easy for me."27. A drug rep has come by offering to buy lunch for the office in exchange for talking to the providers for a few minutes. What do you do? I know Chinese take-out, a year supply of pens and sticky notes are tempting but there will be times you may have to politely decline and offer the opportunity for the drug rep to leave their business card behind. You'll want to let the interviewer know that you run a tight ship and want to keep the provider on schedule. Inviting a drug rep in might be too distracting to the staff and time consuming for the provider. Here is an answer example: "The Dr. is unfortunately booked and won't be able to meet with you today. Why don't you leave behind your card and jot down the dates you'll be back at the facility. I'll check his calendar and see if we can pencil you in for next time. It was great seeing you again. Have a great day!" Here is an answer example: "Drug reps are quite common at my current position. I politely request the representative leave information and a contact number behind. I would let the rep know that I would get back to them with a time that they can speak with the Dr."28. Which accounts payable software are you most comfortable using? It is very important to only speak to the software you are familiar with. Talking about software that you know about but not sure how to use could get you in a bind. Tell the interviewer how quick you learned how to use that software and that you are confident you could learn any type of accounting software. This question could give you the opportunity to ask the interviewer what type of software they use and ask a little bit about it and how it works. Here is an answer example: "I'm comfortable working with MIcrosoft Dynamics. I'm ready to learn whatever product this clinic uses." Here is an answer example: "I've been working with NueMD but am confident that I can become proficient in any type of software."29. A patient calls to schedule an appointment with their provider but they are out of the office. The patient is not happy. What do you do? You may know that the Dr. is playing golf in Hawaii but you don't need to let your patients know that. Cheerfully explaining that the provider is unavailable but that Dr. XXX is seeing his patients while he is away will hopefully calm the storm. You can always offer the soonest available appointment with the originally requested Dr. but chances are they won't want to wait that long. You can always put the patient's mind at ease by saying some kind words about the stand in provider. Here is an answer example: Here is an answer example: "I'm sorry Ma'am, is there another provider that you would like to see?"30. A patient returns the intake form incomplete. What should you do? Patients can leave forms incomplete for many reasons. They don't understand the questions being asked of them or they simply don't feel they need to answer them. Regardless of the reason, this is where your customer service skills kick in. You may end up hearing their life story, in that case, you smile and nod your head. Hopefully, they just needed clarification on which box to tick and you can easily clarify. If the patient seems uneasy about talking with you about it ask if they would prefer to talk to the Dr. about it at their appointment or if they would like to talk to an available staff member about the form. Here is an answer example: "I noticed you left a few questions unanswered. Is there anything you had questions with?" Here is an answer example: "I would call the patient back up to the desk and explain that their paperwork is incomplete and that I'd be happy to help them finish it."
Author of Medical Receptionist 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.
First written on: 01/25/2017 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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