According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of Medical Assistants is projected to grow from 2019 to 2029 by almost 20%. Compared to other occupations, this is a much faster growth rate.
For this reason, those who have finished training or are on their path to finish a certification in this field should be aware of the type of questions that candidates are asked during interviews.
According to Glassdoor, interviewees should expect to answer questions about health care procedures and tending patient’s needs. Here are 5 frequent interview questions and answers for medical assistant job applicants in the United States.
1. How would you handle an upset patient coming up to the front desk and complaining?
The keyword to answering this question is “empathy.” Your potential employer must be aware that you have the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and you can handle a difficult situation.
First, I would make sure I am understanding the patient’s needs by paying attention to their complaint and making sure they know they are being heard. I’d let them land their points and then I would confirm that I am understanding their needs by repeating what they said with empathy. Based on the nature of their complaint, I would let them know that I will find a solution for their difficulty and take the necessary actions to become part of the solution.
2. How do you handle stress and pressure in a fast-paced environment?
Working as a medical assistant can sometimes feel stressful. Even though the stress level of a medical assistant job was ranked by the US News and World Report as average, some employers might be interested in knowing how you deal with a fast-paced environment. Answer this question with the truth. Let’s be honest, we all get stressed out at work sometimes.
The first thing I do to successfully work in a fast-paced environment is educate myself in advance and learn all that I can about my new role. This way I can be prepared when potential stressful scenarios present themselves, and I can reduce the amount of uncertainty, which I believe is one of the causes of stress. I also enjoy learning new ways to manage multitasking and becoming as time-efficient as I can. During breaks, I will make sure that I get quality rest so that I am able to give my best effort when I return.
3. Do you have experience working as a Medical Assistant?
You want to stay honest with these type of questions as well. If you have no experience working as a Medical Assistant, you can always highlight your training.
I recently finished my certification as a Medical Assistant and I am very much looking forward to becoming part of a company like [Insert name of the company], which allows me to put my new skills to work. I am convinced I am prepared to successfully take on this career path because I am someone who understands the importance of serving patients. After reading your job description, I see myself as a great fit because I can [list 1 to 3 things from the job description that you are convinced you can do. For example: assist with referral processing, arrange laboratory services, and prepare equipment and examination rooms].
4. If a patient were to suddenly become unconscious, what would you do?
This question is a good opportunity for you to demonstrate your gathered skills in handling medical emergencies.
Based on the context of the situation, the first thing I would do is make sure the patient is not at immediate risk of injuring themselves. Then I would alert the rest of the staff so they would be able to help if required. I would assess the potential causes of the situation and help the patient recover if possible. If necessary, I would call for help and wait until given further instructions.
5. How do you protect patients’ confidentiality and protect medical records?
This is a very important question. All healthcare workers must protect every patient’s health information privacy. Additionally, healthcare employers want to protect themselves and their teams from potential lawsuits and damage to their reputations. Ensure your interviewer is aware of your understanding of this topic.
I make myself responsible by following closely all privacy and confidentiality guidelines that ensure every patient’s privacy is protected. For example, never discussing patient’s information without the patient’s written permission. Also, I keep myself accountable by storing information on secure systems and following regular training and guidelines by my employer.