MockQuestions

Physician Assistant Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Physician Assistant interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Physician Assistant was written by and updated on April 2nd, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What department of the healthcare field most interests you?

How to Answer

Tell the interviewer what type of patients you enjoy working with or particular department you prefer to work in. This preference may be related to your educational expertise. Tell the interviewer if you enjoy assisting the elderly or working the neo-natal unit. Talk about your experience regarding your area of specialty. Elaborate on why you enjoy it.

Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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List of 25 Physician Assistant Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    What department of the healthcare field most interests you?

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer what type of patients you enjoy working with or particular department you prefer to work in. This preference may be related to your educational expertise. Tell the interviewer if you enjoy assisting the elderly or working the neo-natal unit. Talk about your experience regarding your area of specialty. Elaborate on why you enjoy it.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I enjoy working in the ER because I see all kinds of different injuries and accidents. I specialize in handling trauma. I'm good at moving quickly and staying calm in an emergency. I love working in the business of saving lives and giving people the tools to begin their recovery."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Entry Level

      "My educational specialty is in patient assessment. For that reason, I am most interest working in triage or intake."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Experienced

      "I am interested in working within oncology. My training is geared towards this specialty, and I have been a PA in the oncology department at our local children's hospital for the past eight years."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I am most invested in Orthopedics. Ortho was my primary interest going into PA school, and I particularly enjoyed my ortho rotation."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! Your answer will help guide the hiring authorities when it comes to finding placement and opportunities for you.

  • 2.

    What are your salary requirements?

      How to Answer

      The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $88K plus health benefits. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As I am new to my career as a physician assistant, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Experienced

      "I am negotiable with my salary expectations. However, I am not inclined to lose compensation. Compensation to me, though, is not just net pay. I take into account work hours, drive time, benefits, and more. Currently, I earn a base salary of $98K."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Community Answer

      "According to AAPA, the mean salary for a new graduate in a primary care setting in Minnesota is within the range of $110,000-$120,000 which is what I am expecting."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good work! You come armed and prepared based on research and evidence. This approach perfect.

  • 3.

    What do you know about our facility?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking you this question to see if you did your homework on the organization or if you are merely floating your resume. Be sure to read up on the organization that you are interviewing with and have a few questions prepared. The interviewer is looking for a baseline of your knowledge and level of interest.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I made a short list of hospitals that I'd like to work with, and yours is on the top of my list. I know that your facility is a nationally recognized hospital that is known for service excellence. When my sister was sick a few years ago, she was admitted to the ER and told me that she had an outstanding experience, given the situation. I am especially interested in knowing more about the workplace culture and the community programs you support."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I know that your facility is top of the line when it comes to technological advancements and research. I am a major supporter of these efforts and would be honored to work in such an advanced hospital environment."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Experienced

      "I have followed your facility's achievements for some time now. I have many industry acquaintances who have excellent things to say about your hospital. I know that you are the number one research hospital in the state and that you have incredible community support. All of these factors are things I am looking for in my next opportunity."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I know that your facility aims to provide quality, efficient, and cost-effective care with a compassionate approach towards the patients. One thing that resonates with me is that your facility finds it essential to involve patients in their treatment plan to make it as efficient as possible. The best part about Centracare in Saint Cloud is that they achieved the "Truven Top 100" hospital designation 11 times. St. Cloud Hospital is the only hospital in Minnesota that has received the Top 100 hospitals distinction 11 times. I believe that I would be a great asset to the team. I can bring a unique approach based on my experience living with inadequate healthcare thanks to language and cultural barriers. I want to be part of bridging the gap between non-English speaking Somali patients and their healthcare."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You certainly have done your research! It sounds as though Centracare in St. Cloud is a fantastic place to be, and your enthusiasm shines through. With your final qualifying statement you may also want to touch on compassion, as you mention their compassionate approach at the start. I have provided an example, below.

      "I know that your facility aims at providing quality, efficient, and cost-effective care with a compassionate approach towards the patients. One thing that resonates with me is that your facility finds it essential to involve the patient in their treatment plan to make it as efficient as possible. The best part about Centracare in Saint cloud is that they have received the following achievement "Truven Top 100 Hospital" eleven times. St. Cloud Hospital is the only hospital in Minnesota that has received the Top 100 distinction 11 times. I believe that I would be a great asset to the team as I can bring a uniquely compassionate approach as I have experienced living with inadequate healthcare resulting from language and cultural barriers. I want to be part of bridging the gap between non-English speaking Somali patients and their healthcare."

  • 4.

    Are you comfortable making tough decisions in regards to a patients care?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know how you handle stressful situations. Be sure to highlight your ability to think strategically and to make quick, thoughtful decisions. Provide an example of the confidence you have in your decision-making skills when it comes to patient care and the tough choices that go with it.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 5.

    Talk to me about your GPA while completing your Masters' Degree.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like further details on the grades you received during University. Competition is tough as a PA and you need to show your diligence and ability to exceed. Discuss your GPA and be sure to mention any special awards, individual accolades, or scholarships that you received. You can also mention anything that makes you a stand-out such as sitting on a student committee while attending University.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 6.

    What is a dependent practitioner, and how do you feel about practicing as one?

      How to Answer

      As a physician assistant, you are by definition a dependent practitioner. You rely on your supervising physician to make decisions about your patients. Many PA's are given the liberty to handle a variety of situations with patients, making recommendations similar to a doctor. However, ultimately you will be referring to the doctor on final decisions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 7.

    What qualities does a great leader have? Which do you possess?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you understand the qualities that a great leader should possess. Highlight your ability to work with a team, and actively communicate. If you had a great mentor or supervisor in your past, feel free to mention something specific about what you learned from them.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 8.

    How do you feel when a physician criticizes your work?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking this question for a few different reasons. They want to hear how well you handle criticism if you name drop or speak poorly of the one that challenged you and if you seem to hold a grudge over the situation. If you choose to give an example, be sure it allows you to demonstrate your ability to handle criticism with style.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 9.

    How do you gain a physician's trust and respect?

      How to Answer

      Professional working relationships are essential as a health care provider who regularly works on a multidisciplinary team. You can be specific about your process or stay general by sharing some of your best practices around building trust. If possible, share an example of how you gain trust within the patient care team or how you relate to others.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 10.

    How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

      How to Answer

      This question is a stress test! You need to be honest about your feelings about this meeting while maintaining an air of confidence at the same time. Be honest. It's okay to ask the interviewer to circle back if you aren't pleased with your initial response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 11.

    Are you available to work nights?

      How to Answer

      This could be a tough question to answer if you are not able to work nights. Answering this question with a 'no' isn't necessarily a deal breaker. The interviewer may know of a day shift opening in a few weeks and will keep your name on the back burner until then. Or, the interviewer may be able to work with your shift request. You need to be honest so that you guarantee you're ending up in a role that will suit your scheduling needs.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 12.

    How do you plan to continually grow as a physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      You have an elevated degree; however, that doesn't mean that you stop learning once you have reached the top. Discuss your plans to take professional courses, obtain new certifications or focus on personal growth. You may also want to mention a class or volunteer position to highlight your commitment to professional growth.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 13.

    Who is your mentor in the healthcare industry?

      How to Answer

      In this particular situation, your interviewer is looking for a mentor in the same career field. If your crazy best friend is who you look up to, you may want to censor and save those stories for another time. The interviewer wants to know who you get your professional direction and advice from. Did a professor take you under their wing and guide you? Perhaps a family member has overcome challenges in life and has pushed you to become the person you are today.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 14.

    What are some highlights from your clinical rotations?

      How to Answer

      You may have a long list of experiences worth sharing, but see if you can narrow it down to three. After logging over 2,000 hours worth of rotations, you have learned about treating everything from broken bones to infectious diseases.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 15.

    Tell us about your community involvement.

      How to Answer

      Most hiring authorities prefer candidates who have some volunteer experience. As a physician assistant you have a love for helping others, but do you support your community through volunteering? Share a bit about your core values or your commitments outside of work.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 16.

    Healthcare professionals are under a great amount of stress. How do you manage your work stress?

      How to Answer

      We all experience stress on a daily basis but how you relay this to the interviewer will say a lot about you. Steer clear from the time that you lost your cool and raised your voice- we all have days like that but now is not the time to bring it up. Tell the interviewer how you manage your work stress and keep a healthy balance between home and work.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 17.

    What are your weaknesses as a physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      Preparing for this question requires a great deal of self-awareness and strategy. Focus on a weakness that you could turn into a strength or take action on to improve. Always share what you are learning, or have learned, from your weakness. This shows your interviewer that you are adaptable and willing to grow.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 18.

    What are your strengths as a physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      The strengths and weakness interview question is one of the most popular questions so it is imperative that you have your answer rehearsed and ready to go. Being a good physician assistant means that you are observant, decisive and knowledgeable. Tell the interviewer a few of your strengths and how they help you do your job. Use strengths that are unique so that you are a stand-out candidate.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 19.

    Tell me about yourself.

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 20.

    What do you like about being a physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know what keeps you motivated to do a good job, even on the tough days. Why are you in this career? Perhaps you like working with children or diagnosing complicated issues. Discuss your commitment to providing exceptional patient care. Everyone has different motivations for working in the medical field, but the best moments usually involve solving patient health issues and helping them towards the road to recovery.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 21.

    What will you do if you have a client that refuses to take care of their health?

      How to Answer

      There are many challenges in the healthcare field, and one of them is treating patients who lack the desire to make healthy choices. You may encounter individuals who repeatedly visit your office with the same symptoms, asking for a pill rather than making the effort to live a healthy lifestyle. As you know, lifestyle choices greatly impact specific conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Tell the interviewer how you would handle a patient when they continue to complain of the same symptoms without taking the initiative to help themselves.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 22.

    How would you describe your work ethic?

      How to Answer

      You may be carefree and fun-loving with your friends on the weekends, but at work, you are focused and professional.The interviewer is interested in your personality and how you will fit with the team. Give specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the company job, posting or job description do they refer to particular ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 23.

    What are some of the challenges of working as a physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      This question is similar to the interviewer asking what your weaknesses are. Because this is one of the most common interview questions, you'll want to have a few examples prepared. Consider a few examples of patients coming in with a variety of unexpected ailments, technology going wrong or a coworker showing up late for work. Tell the interviewer how you handle these situations.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 24.

    Why should we hire you to be our next physician assistant?

      How to Answer

      Review the job description to help you highlight accomplishments that are relevant to the expectations. Consider the challenges of your future role. How will you go above and beyond to tackle the most difficult tasks? One way to show off your skills is to talk about your accomplishments from your clinical rotations or your current job. Tell the interviewer how you contributed to helping your supervising doctor make sound decisions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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  • 25.

    What is an issue in the current healthcare system that you would like to see change?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for you to identify a struggle you may have and share how you constructively handle this challenge in your typical workday. Be careful not to complain. Instead, present a solution to a challenging situation.
      Don't be afraid to share a controversial topic, but be aware of your audience. If you know that your interviewer is passionate about nutrition, consider sharing how you have researched the ingredients included in feeding tubes for patients who cannot swallow or are in a coma. Talk about how nutrition needs to be a higher priority, and how the food quality needs to change.
      Whatever it may be, share your knowledge and experience about the topic. Tell the interviewer how you are going to help change this particular issue in healthcare.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 2nd, 2021

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