The field of medical assisting is one of the fastest growing careers in the US today. Medical assistants perform a variety of tasks that make their jobs exciting and challenging. Through it all, a medical assistant centers their career around helping other people and improving quality of life for the patients that they serve.
Is Medical Assisting Right for Me?
When considering a career as a medical assistant, it is a good idea to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, skills and abilities, to ensure that this type of work would suit you. Are you detail oriented? Do you have a desire to work with patients and help other people? Do you have an interest in medicine, and do you desire to work in a doctor’s office or clinical environment? If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then a career as a medical assistant seems a viable option.
What Do Medical Assistants Do?
Medical assistants perform a wide variety of duties to assist doctors and nurses with patient care, and they also perform administrative functions to ensure that an office environment will run smoothly. It is important to understand what a medical assistant does to support your research prior to a job interview.
Administrative duties include: answering phones, greeting and scheduling patients, filing forms, dealing with insurance claims, arranging for admission and hospital services, and handling billing and bookkeeping functions.
Clinical duties include: recording vital signs, cleaning examination rooms and hospital rooms, preparing patients for exams, and assisting doctors and nurses with all aspects of patient care.
Being a medical assistant is a rewarding career that provides opportunities for growth and service. Once you have established that this is the career direction you want to go, it’s time to begin preparing for your interview and questions.
Steps to Prepare for Your Interview
Step 1 – Do your background work. Check out the company that you are wanting to work for and get a little information on them before the day of the interview. Asking your interviewers questions about the organization indicates that you have already taken an interest in who they are and what they do. This shows that you are serious about employment with their organization.
Step 2 – Dress for success. Be on time and professional. Wear appropriate clothing and make sure your appearance communicates professionalism and respect for their institution. Presenting your best version of yourself will help you to feel more confident as you prepare to handle those interview questions.
Step 3 – Practice answering interview questions. It has never been easier to prepare with all of the resources online and through career placement services. These resources have taken much of the guesswork out of what will be discussed. Get familiar with a standard list of questions that are pertinent to medical assisting, and you will feel more confident when that important day comes.
Medical Assistant Interview Questions
Here are some standard questions about medical assisting that you may be asked to answer as you prepare for your career. Knowing this information well will make you appear calm and knowledgeable as you rise head and shoulders above the competition. Study these questions and responses as you put your best foot forward; you can most certainly expect a callback.
Question #1 – Tell Us A Little About Yourself
Consider this a warm-up question, and a springboard to other topics as your interviewers begin to assess your people skills, note your passions, and try to determine your underlying motivation for choosing the field of medical assisting. This question will break the ice and put everyone more at ease with each other as you begin to take a look at the meat and potatoes questions. These questions will determine whether the employer would like to begin a working relationship with you. Prepare a simple statement, and don’t go too in-depth about material that isn’t pertinent to the job, but don’t be afraid to share some personal information about you, either. It’s what makes you relatable and likable.
Question #2 – Tell Me About Your Work Experience
With this question, interviewers are trying to determine if your work experience qualifies you as a candidate for the position. You should share work experience that is relevant to your desired position, and you should also share experiences that would make you a desirable candidate for the job. Highlighting positions that indicated your responsibility, your attention to detail, and your amazing customer service skills will be strengths that you can play on as you “close your sale.”
Question #3 – Do You Have Experience with Recordkeeping?
Whether you have experience in this area or not, it’s important to be honest when answering this question. If you have not had the opportunity to gain experience in this area, let your interviewers know that you would be willing and eager to learn any system that they have for this part of the medical assisting position. As this is a necessary part of any medical assistant position, it will be up to your panel to decide if this experience is necessary prior to hire, or if you can be trained while on the job.
Question #4 – What Do You Know About HIPAA Laws and Patient Privacy?
Candidates for any medical assistant position should have a basic understanding of HIPAA law and how it applies to patient privacy on the job. Letting your interviewer know that you are knowledgeable about patient privacy laws and that you are willing to uphold the highest standards of privacy and integrity in dealing with patients will put them at ease and let them know that you are going to make a great addition to their team.
Question #5 – How Comfortable/Experienced Are You with Office Operations?
Another aspect of a medical assisting position is the need to perform certain day-to-day operational tasks that contribute to running the medical office effectively. Let your interviewers know that you are comfortable answering phones, using technology to schedule patients, and deal with answering questions so that you can fulfill all the different aspects of the position.
Question #6 – Have You Had Phlebotomy Training?
Ready or not, you may be asked to draw blood and to deal with blood samples from different patients. Again, it is essential that you are honest about your level of experience with this aspect of the job, and you must indicate your willingness to receive proper training if needed. For many patients, this is a regular part of their medical care experience, so have a conversation around what you know and what you are willing to do in order to obtain the position you are seeking.
Question #7 – Do You Have Experience Transcribing Patient Histories?
Part of administering treatment to patients is finding out what kind of medical care they have received previously. Being able to listen to patients and accurately record their histories will be the backbone of your care process; make sure you are comfortable transcribing this information and relaying it accurately to doctors and nurses who can make decisions on a patient’s behalf in order to continue care.
Question #8 – Do You Have CPR, AED, Or other Emergency Certifications?
Having certifications is like having a scout badge of completion. These extra certifications will make you more appealing to those you are making decisions about whether to hire you. If you have the opportunity to obtain some of these certifications, do so. It will only serve to make you more marketable as you reach out to employers. Did learning how to prepare for a medical assistant interview and the questions you will be answered interest you? Ready to become a medical assistant? Meridian College offers hands–on Medical Assistant training from experienced school faculty who know how to prepare you for the daily challenges you’ll face on the job. From assisting doctors with patients to important administrative tasks, our experienced Medical Assistant program teachers will train you for a rewarding new career.
Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a medical assistant.