As a Patient Services Coordinator you know a little bit about everything in order for the office to run smoothly. You may be asked to train new staff, improve processes and take the lead on projects. Answer this question with examples of fulfilling a leadership role. Did you step up to take on a leadership role or asked by leadership because they noticed your level of motivation and knowledge and wanted to recognize it? Make your story relevant to the position you are applying to and they will want to add you to their team.
"I haven't been in a leadership position before, but I'm confident that my 3 years experience has prepared me to be successful if given the opportunity."
As a Patient Services Coordinator, patience should be one of your best traits. Being able to answer tough questions to unwell or upset patients calmly will be one of your biggest challenges. Guiding and counseling patients test your patience. Have a short situation story handy if asked this question. Give an example of when you had to be particularly patient with a patient and what the outcome was.
"I had a patient that had questions about her medical bill. We weren't on the same page so I decided to spin my monitor around and start at the beginning. I was able to show the patient each transaction and explain it along the way. By taking a few extra minutes explaining the bill to the patient I was able to avoid any unnecessary upset to the patient."
Now is your time to shine! TeWhat sets you apart from the rest of the candidates? What is unique in your work history that will make them say YES and not NEXT? Can you type 65 WPM? Are you an expert on their financial software? Are you a new set of eyes or have 20 years of experience? You'll need to do your homework on the company in order to answer this question. Find out what their population and specialty is and how you fit into the equation.
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.
"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 that I may have."
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 workplace.
"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."
Take advantage of this question! So many times people run for the hills once the interview is over. You always think of the best thing to say once you've left the interview room. Feel free to write your questions down and bring them to the interview with you. A short list of 3 questions will help you keep on track, not ramble and not ask something inappropriate like how often you get smoke breaks.
"When should I expect to hear from you, may I contact you in a day or two?"
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.
"I noticed you left a few questions unanswered. Is there anything you had questions with?"
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.
"With my three years of Patient Services Coordinator 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."
Tell the interviewer what makes you a stand-out candidate. The interviewer would like to know why, in your opinion, you are the best person for the job. Tell them something about yourself that is unique and would be an asset to the position.
"I am qualified for this position because I have worked in a similar role for the past 3 years. In addition to my work experience, I have a Bachelors' Degree in Healthcare Administration. I speak English and Spanish which allows me to communicate very clearly with a wider range of patients."
Your resume can say a lot about your career but this question is designed for the hiring manager to get to know you on a more personal level. Talk a bit about yourself and be sure to keep your answer professional.
"A bit about myself - I have been a Patient Services Coordinator for 5 years. In addition to my daytime position, I volunteer at the local Children's Hospital, assisting in marketing and public relations for their fundraising department. I am originally from Montana and relocated here for bigger career opportunities."
Share with the interviewer what you would like to earn. Be sure to keep it realistic. Another great way to share your compensation expectations is by sharing with the interviewer what you are currently earning and where you would like to be in your next position. Do your research on the location and see what the going rate is for your career field.
"I researched the area and based on my years of experience I think the range of $35k to $45k is reasonable. Because I bring 5 years of experience to the table I'd like to think the starting salary would be in the middle of the range."
The interviewer is asking you this question because they want to make sure you are reliable and dependable. Can they count on you to show up to work on time? If you are proud of your attendance record to go ahead and name drop your last supervisor so they can vouch for your perfect or near-perfect attendance.
"In the last year I have never called in sick. I've taken minimal vacation time and am always available for various shifts."
Tell the interviewer about the positive working relationships you and your co-workers developed. The interviewer is not only trying to establish if you have the right skills and knowledge for the job but also how you interact with others. Think about the skills and characteristics your co-workers have that you are grateful for. Keep your answer positive.
"My co-workers would describe me as being kind, helpful, hardworking and a quick learner."
If you are still employed, show that you are respectful of your employer by explaining that you want to give them a two-week notice allowing them time to backfill behind you. This shows you care about your work and that you're not the type of person who would quit as soon as something better comes your way.
"I'd love to start immediately but I need to give my two weeks notice to my current employer, does that work for you?"
When discussing workplace conflict in an interview be sure to never to speak poorly of any co-workers or say anything damaging about the organization. If it involves patients do keep confidentiality in mind. Be sure to finish your answer on a positive note.
"I recently experienced a conflict with a patient. They were upset about their service and aimed their anger directly at me. It was very public, as the patient was loud and visibly angry. I was able to keep my voice calm and asked them to step into a more private area to discuss a resolution. I gained their trust and assisted them through their issue."
Talk about your strengths in communication. You can also discuss with the hiring manager any times that you have been complimented on your strong communication skills.
"I like to consider myself as a people person, friendly, outgoing yet knows how to be serious and professional. My communication skills are often complimented by patients and co-workers."
This question is being asked to hear about a situation involving miscommunication. Tell the interviewer about a time when you had to recover from a miscommunication. How did it turn out in the end?
"Earlier on in my career I had a bit of a public miscommunication during a live interview with our local news station. I misunderstood the question that the reporter asked in regards to one of our new patient initiatives. My answer ended up making little sense and I fumbled a bit. Realizing my error, I made a bit of a joke and then answered the question the way it was intended. All in all, it worked out okay. It was a bit embarrassing though."
Handling high-pressure situations will be quite common as a Patient Services Coordinator. Tell the hiring manager about your ways of managing stress.
"I work very well under pressure, if not better. For me, the added stress of a tight deadline or a big challenge is really exciting for me. My previous manager often complimented me on my ability to successfully manage pressure in the workplace."
For a hiring manager, it is always important to know that they are hiring a long-term fit. Talk a bit about your career goals and be sure to tie them into the overall goals of the organization.
"Over the next few years I would really like to see myself grow with one organization. Starting as a Patient Services Coordinator, I would like to grow into a manager and one day a Director."
As the Patient Services Coordinator you may be the person that opens the office and the first one to greet the patients. If you are unable to come to work on time this could be an issue. When answering this question, let the interviewer know that they can count on you to be to work on time. Have your last supervisors name handy if the opportunity comes up to name drop to confirm your track record.
"I am a punctual person. I feel if you are not 10 minutes early you are late!"
An upset patient can not only ruin your day but cause an unnecessary scene. Being calm and understanding will help the situation. If you have a short situational story to share about an upset patient, have it handy just in case the interviewer is wanting an example. If you share a story, remember your HIPAA regulations and don't share information that shouldn't be shared.
"There was a time that a patient came to my desk very upset about her care. I simply listened to her and soon realized she was having a bad day and just needed to vent. After calmly explaining the procedure the patient thanked me for my time and apologized for getting upset."
As a Patient Services Coordinator, you will receive feedback about your work from everyone on your team, even your patients. Regardless of how reasonable or accurate the observations may be, do your best to respond thoughtfully. Be humble and don't take it personally. Depending on who the criticism is coming from, you will want to approach it differently. If it's coming from a doctor or colleague, you will want to respond respectfully. The key is to stay calm and never express frustration towards the person. Give an example where you stayed professional when someone gave you negative feedback.
"I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time."
If you're not sure if you want to continue working in a hospital as a Patient Services Coordinator, don't feel pressured to give a rehearsed answer to make the interviewer happy. Instead, answer this question with what type of job you'd like to work in.
"In 5 years I see myself working for company that supports and empowers their employees."
Remember, everyone has a weakness so don't answer this question with a response that you have no weaknesses or you can't think of one at this time. This is one of the most common interview questions, so you'll want to have your answer ready to go. Are you too hard on yourself? Do you have a hard time saying no? Are you a workaholic? Do you lack empathy? Whatever your weakness is, own it, and show the interviewer how you grow from it.
"My weakness is public speaking. To overcome this challenge I take every opportunity I can to speak in front of people regardless of how large the audience. Practice makes perfect."
This is the time to discuss the talent you offer, and employers want to see that you know yourself and work within your strengths. Jump right in offering your key strength! Maybe you are really good at listening, multitasking, gathering information, or building connections with patients. Next, talk about how you use this strength in the workplace. Maybe you use your communication skills to build rapport with difficult patients. Perhaps you have been praised for your ability to juggle multiple tasks and requests. Whatever your strength may be, link it back to how it positively impacts the organization.
"When faced with a stressful situation I've always had the ability to keep calm as well as keep my colleagues and patients calm."
Tell the interviewer what providing great patient care looks like to you. As a Patient Services Coordinator, you wear many hats when it comes to providing great patient care. You comfort patients when they need to be comforted, be their advocate, a good listener, a teacher, an encourager, and help them achieve their goals for recovery.
"Great patient care to me is making sure patients are treated with courtesy and respect."
As a Patient Services Coordinator you are the glue that keeps the office together and running smoothly. You help keep the flow of a clinic running smoothly while also directing employees and supplies where they need to be. Patient Services Coordinators arrange all patient admissions and services. Duties include determining qualifications for benefits, patient relations, patient benefit programs and transaction records. Patient Services Coordinators advise departmental officers and employees on change of status, inter and intradepartmental transfers, readmissions, discharges, maintenance charges, financial information and other patient matters. As a Patient Services Coordinator you process billing and patient charges.
A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required for this position. Patient Service Coordinators must know basic medical terminology and experience with medical records is preferred. Basic computer skills and an understanding basic phone etiquette are essential. Knowledge of health benefits, insurance claims, admissions, bookkeeping, technical accounting are a plus.
To prepare for an interview you'll need to brush up on your customer service skills. You'll be the face of the office so it will be important to show the interviewer that you are up for the challenge. Dressed to impress, firm handshake, great resume and a smile on your face will get you in the door. Your examples showing your organization skills and time management skills will show the interviewer that you've been a part of a successful team and you're ready to be a positive addition to theirs.