If you’ve landed a medical assistant interview, congratulations. Like an elevator pitch, you only have one shot, so getting an interview right is important. As you’re prepping, familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions that interviewers ask. Doing a practice run can help you better understand the qualities and skills required for a medical assistant job, help you have answers ready, and showcase your best self during the interview process.
The main purpose of a medical assistant interview is to ensure that you and the company are a good fit for each other. Interview questions usually cover facts about yourself, reveal your personality, assess your qualifications, analyze your experience, and play out different situations to see how you respond to challenging situations that may occur at work.
Let’s dive in with these 6 commonly asked medical interview questions and sample answers that can help you ace your next interview and snag your dream job.
1. What Medical Assisting Experience Do You Have?
This is an important question that a potential employer will ask in addition to asking you about yourself and why you are interested in this job.
While you don’t need medical assistance experience to land a new job, having this experience lets employers know that they won’t need to spend as much time with the training or onboarding process.
Discuss your medical training, medical assistant certification, or any relevant experience in the field. Make sure to include any customer service expertise, patient care such as taking vital signs or medical histories, your experience in phlebotomy and EKG procedures, and personal qualities such as hard work, time management, commitment, and responsibility.
2. What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
This interview question is a difficult one for many people to answer. While you might not want to admit any weak areas during a medical assistant job interview, it’s an important question that helps interviewers assess whether you are self-aware, honest, and willing to accept responsibility and improve your weak points.
“I’d say that my biggest weakness means that it’s difficult for me to hear critical feedback. As I’ve trained to become a medical assistant, this process has made me realize that I have a lot to learn and helped me understand my weak areas and become more open to constructive criticism.”
3. What Is Your Favorite Aspect of Medical Assisting?
Employers often ask this question to decide if a candidate will be a good job fit or if they’ll start out excited and then quit soon due to frustration or burnout. While employers understand that people are interested in a paycheck, they also want to hire people who will enjoy the job.
“I enjoy interacting with patients every day. Training to become a medical assistant enabled me to meet diverse kinds of people. Providing a positive experience and helping make people feel more comfortable during an appointment is one of my favorite aspects of medical assisting."
4. What Is Your Least Favorite Aspect of Medical Assisting?
Conversely, employers also want to know if you will be happy working for their organization. If a candidate has many complaints, this can create a big red flag for interviewers. Instead, it’s important to balance negatives with positive aspects.
“I understand that some days have a busy workload, and we need to move patients along, but I don’t enjoy feeling rushed when I care for people. I like to take the time to connect with each patient, but it doesn’t always feel like I have enough time. The good news is that I’ve figured out how to stay organized and manage my time so that I can give each patient the time and attention they deserve.
5. Tell Me About a Challenging Medical Assisting Situation and How You Handled It
Discussing a difficult situation can reveal how you respond to stress, assess if you can handle customer service issues, and determine if you focus on problems or solutions. It’s important to avoid focusing on complaints or difficult patients and instead on how to de-escalate a situation to create a positive patient experience.
“During my phlebotomy training, I had a patient who needed to get her blood drawn to get her results for an important test. The only thing was that she was scared to death of needles. As I prepped for the procedure, she started crying. I stopped, listened to her, and explained that she had the right to refuse to get her blood drawn. I reminded her that doing this would only take a moment and would give her the test results necessary to ensure her best health. When she agreed, I asked her to look away from the needle and tell me a funny story about her cat. She ended up feeling better and thanking me afterward.
6. Tell Me About Your Computer Program Skills
Most employers want to know if you’ll need a lot of training to handle the office duties associated with a medical assistant position.
Discuss if you are familiar with electronic health systems such as PowerChart or Cerner. It’s also helpful to mention any Electronic Health Records training, Microsoft Teams or other communication platforms, Excel Spreadsheets, or medical billing and coding experience. The more experience you have and relate in these areas, the more you can set yourselves apart from other candidates.
The more you prepare for your upcoming medical assistant interview, the more comfortable and natural you will feel. Ditching some pre-interview nerves is an excellent way to clear your head, prepare great answers, and project confidence.
Before you head off to an interview, there are a few things to do and keep in mind. We recommend researching the hiring manager and the company to gain inside knowledge. It’s also essential to give a good first impression by arriving early. Make sure to take a list of references along.
The end of an interview offers a space to ask your questions. Come prepared with a list of questions to help you understand more about the position and potential employer. It’s a good idea to send thank-you notes to your interviewers afterward to thank them for their time and keep your resume fresh in their minds.