There are plenty of job opportunities available for medical assistants. The employment chances of a medical assistant with better qualifications, certifications, and other specialized skills are much higher. Employers tend to hire professionals based on their credentials and overall outlook. To get employed by your desired employer, you must ace the medical assistant interview questions.
The interview will help them determine your capabilities as a medical assistant and will also create your first impression. The medical assistant interview will act as a massive factor for employers to decide whether to invest in you or not. Our goal is to provide you ‘the most frequently asked medical assistant interview questions and sample answers’ as well as other helpful insights to help you successfully master the medical assistant interview.
25 Most Common Medical Assistant Interview Questions and Sample Answers
You have an important interview coming up? Congratulations! But don’t sweat. It is very likely to feel nervous and confused, as you don’t know what kind of questions they might ask. So, to give you an idea about the interview process and familiarize you with the questions that are generally asked, we have curated a list of 25 most common medical assistant interview questions and sample answers:
1. Tell a little about yourself?
Although you might want to blurt out about your hobbies or personal interests, you must act professionally and disclose information related to your education, training, and job interests.
Answer: I am a Certified Medical Assistant by profession. I completed my training at XYZ College. After graduation, I interned as a medical assistant at the XYZ clinic for 2 months. I chose medical assisting as my career path because the aspect of contributing to public health and providing patient care appeals to me the most.
2. Tell about your past working experience as a medical assistant?
Talk about your prior working experience as a medical assistant (internship experience counts too). Mention all the skills you learned during that period.
Answer: As mentioned earlier, I interned at the XYZ clinic as a certified medical assistant for 2 months. It was an excellent opportunity to implement the skills I learned during the training program and get some real-world experience. I performed front desk duties as well as clinical duties along with my peers. I also got to use my EHR skills into practice. An average day at the clinic meant for us to attend approximately 45-50 patients. The whole experience also taught me to work collectively with other professionals and understand their expectations of me.
3. How will you ensure patient confidentiality?
Tell them about HIPAA rules and regulations you learned during your training period.
Answer: I gained a proper understanding of the HIPAA protocol while studying for my training program. Even during my internship, I put HIPAA guidelines into practice. I will ensure patient confidentiality by taking steps such as securing patient data by not allowing access to unauthorized personnel and using HIPAA compliant software.
4. What are your strengths?
Give them a subtle and honest answer. Do not brag about yourself; you may seem a little full of yourself in front of them.
Answer: I believe my technical skills are one of the strongest. I have always been interested in using software and other electronic machines. I am also efficient in scheduling and using EHR systems as well as ECG machines.
5. What do you consider as your weakness?
Do not give a specific weakness. Tell them you want to improve in certain areas.
Answer: I can’t say I am good at everything. Certain aspects can use a little improvement, and I am ready to work on them. But I can assure you, that will not affect my performance.
6. How would you describe your phlebotomy skills?
Tell them about the phlebotomy course you learned during the training program and phlebotomy skills used during prior work experience.
Answer: I was trained in phlebotomy in my medical assisting training program. I even had the chance to perform phlebotomy during my internship. I am comfortable in drawing blood by following standard procedure.
7. What is your primary duty as a medical assistant?
Instead of naming any duty, you could talk about a few other responsibilities you consider very important.
Answer: Being a medical assistant, I am trained in varied administrative and clinical tasks. Whether it is taking vitals or scheduling appointments, each job responsibility has its magnitude. I believe all these duties have two major purposes, providing patient care and assisting physicians. So, I consider these two purposes as my primary duty that I must fulfill.
8. What is your ideal work schedule?
Tell them if you are comfortable working late hours. Also, discuss their work schedule preferences and mention any restrictions you have.
Answer: I would prefer the day shift, but if my supervisors need me to work late hours, I am comfortable with that too. I am also comfortable to work for long hours or extra hours under certain circumstances.
9. Do you have any experience in taking vitals and recording medical histories?
Mention your experience of taking vitals and recording medical histories during your internship or prior work experience period.
Answer: I am trained in taking vitals such as measuring height, weight, and documenting previous medical history as well as other required information such as patient’s age and gender. During my internship, I got the opportunity of performing this task on a day-to-day basis.
10. Are you familiar with EKG (Electrocardiography)?
Performing EKG tests is an essential part of the job. Mention some aspects of EKG that you have learned from the training program.
Answer: During our training program, we were introduced to electrocardiography, electrodes, waves, EKG readings, EKG machines, etc. I have also received EKG certification accredited by NHA to brush up my specialized skill.
11. Tell about your computer skills?
Mention your training in EHR (Electronic Health Records) as well as medical billing and coding.
Answer: I am very well familiar with Microsoft Office programs. I am also trained in electronic health record systems and medical billing and coding. I can use coding systems to classify diagnoses and treatments into codes.
12. Do you have experience performing front office duties?
Front desk duties include answering phone calls and emails and scheduling appointments. State your experience of doing these tasks.
Answer: I am trained in performing these administrative tasks. Apart from that, I have also worked on my communication skills as well as writing skills in order to communicate through electronic media. During my internship, I was assigned to schedule appointments, as well.
13. Do you have any prior experience with medical billing and coding?
Mention details about medical billing and coding to exhibit your knowledge about the subject.
Answer: I had to learn medical billing and coding as a part of the training program. I am trained in coding systems such as ICD-10-CM and HCSPCS to code various diagnoses, treatments, and procedures. I am also qualified to process reimbursement claims with medical insurance companies such as Medicare and Medicaid.
You can read here (GUIDE) – Finding a Medical Assisting Job With No Experience
14. Do you have any additional specialized certifications?
If you have earned certifications like CPR, AHA BLS, phlebotomy technician (CPT), EKG technician, etc., this is a chance to mention them. Talk about the validity of these certifications too.
Answer: Yes, I was advised to obtain an AHA BLS certification by my supervisor during my internship. I took the opportunity so that I could learn a new skill and provide effective service to patients and employers. My AHA BLS certification is valid for the next 9 months, and I am aware that I will have to renew it every 2 years.
15. Did you face any difficult situation during your work experience?
Answer honestly. Narrate what happened and what steps you took to fix the situation.
Answer: Although my whole internship experience was educational and fulfilling, the early days were a little rough. I felt nauseated while drawing blood on my first day, even though I had practiced doing it during my training program. But as days went by, I got used to it and now I am comfortable with it.
16. Did you face any challenging situation with a patient? How did you handle it?
Explain what happened honestly. Do not drag the story by giving unnecessary details; keep it to the point.
Answer: Well, most patients who visit are confused and tense, and our goal is to provide them assistance and comfort. I can recall one child who came for a blood test but had a fear of needles. We all tried to console her, but she kept crying. I told her that it’s a small needle, and it won’t even hurt. After a while of confrontation and a bribe of chocolates, I was able to perform the procedure.
17. Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced medical work environment?
Employers want to know if their potential employee is contented with their job profile. Tell them how you feel about the job and your work environment.
Answer: The work environment is indeed challenging at times, but I chose this as my career path for a reason. Co-existing with medical professionals and working together for the betterment of patient’s health is something I look forward to doing.
18. If a patient is upset with your service, how will you handle the situation?
While giving your answer, explain how you empathize with the patient and steps you will take to calm the situation down.
Answer: We expect these situations very often, and we are trained to communicate effectively to resolve issues. The first thing I would do is to listen to the patient and interpret the problem actively. If I have caused any discomfort during their visit, I will apologize and try to solve their problem by taking appropriate steps.
19. What are your plans for career advancement?
Explain to them about your career aspirations. Assure them that medical assisting is your career path and not just a job. Show them your dedication towards the field.
Answer: I believe medical assisting is my career path; that’s why I trained for it and earned certifications so that I could be an ideal fit for the job. I seek job growth and better job opportunities for career advancement in the healthcare field, and I will take the required steps to achieve my goal.
20. Are you enrolled in any continuing education programs?
Inform them if you are enrolled in a CE program. Explain to them that you understand the importance of CE programs.
Answer: I have been looking into AAMA CE programs. I have recently earned my CMA certification, so I am currently not rushing to enroll myself. But I understand the importance of continuing education programs, and I am also familiar with the CE requirements.
21. What is your most favorite part of the medical assistant job?
Mention a few aspects of the job that appeal to you. Give a subtle and honest answer.
Answer: I happen to like all aspects of my job. I feel this job offers flexibility and comfort to me. Administrative duties appeal to me the most. I also love organizing and attending patients.
22. What is your least favorite part of the medical assistant job?
You don’t have to be brutally honest while giving this answer. Tell them how you appreciate this job and are willing to improve your weaknesses.
Answer: I like my job responsibilities, and I count them all as my favorite. If there is something that needs improvement or my attention, I am willing to take efforts.
23. How will your former employer describe you?
Employers may want to test the water before getting into it. It’s your responsibility to give an honest answer and use proper and general terms to describe yourself.
Answer: My previous supervisor was pleased with my phlebotomy skills, as well as other clinical skills. He mentioned I was punctual and that I could communicate with people effectively.
24. Why do you want to work here?
Let them know that you have done your research before coming here for the interview. Assure them that you will work to achieve company goals.
Answer: I believe I would be a great fit for the obstetrics/gynecology department at the XYZ hospital. I have always been in awe of the process of childbirth. I would like to be a part of this process and learn new things while working here. Working with 9 different doctors will be a little challenging yet informative in many ways.
25. What makes you the best candidate for this job?
Do not be braggy while answering such questions. Summarize your qualifications and capabilities into this answer.
Answer: I have received proper qualifications, education, and training that make me a strong candidate for this job. I feel confident about my capabilities as a medical assistant. I am very comfortable in performing duties listed in the job description. My communication skills and willingness to learn new things will be an asset to this organization.
How to Prepare for Medical Assistant Interview?
Your appearance will leave an impact on your first impression. Therefore, a subtle formal dress code must be considered by the interviewee for the medical assistant interview.
- Male candidates must opt for simple shirts and trousers or suits, while female candidates must wear formal attire that includes garments like formal skirts, pants, and well-tailored shirts and blouses
- Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne
- Well-groomed hair is a must
Additional Tips to Prepare for the MA Interview
- Bring along multiple copies of your resume and other required documents and transcripts.
- It is possible to get anxious and nervous about the interview, which usually indicates that you care for the job deeply. Nervousness is good as long as there is no insecurity, but it is essential to calm those nerves down while giving the interview as it can lead to a shift in your focus.
- The interviewee must clear his/her head and solely focus on the interview questions. They must practice active listening, i.e., listening as well as interpreting other person’s questions and feedback. The answers must be quick and to-the-point, as unnecessary blabbering will not be acknowledged positively.
- While giving the interview, certain non-verbal signs of affirmation, such as nodding and smiling, must be used to create effective communication. Avoiding eye contact and showing disinterest through your body language are some things you must avoid while giving the interview.
Top 5 Questions to Ask the Medical Assistant Interviewer at the End
Once the interviewers are done asking you questions, it is an excellent opportunity to mention your doubts to them about the job position. The job you are applying for is going to be a long term commitment, and you must be very sure about all the aspects you are getting into. Also, asking genuine questions will make you appear sincerely interested in the job. Ask appropriate and specific questions related to the job position.
Here are the top 5 questions you should ask the medical assistant interviewer at the end:
- How does a typical day here look for medical assistants?
- What is the patient density here at peak hours?
- What are the career advancement opportunities for a medical assistant?
- What are your organization’s goals and values?
- What are the further steps in the interview and selection process?
Step by Step Guide to Acing Your Very First Medical Assistant Interview
The time has come. After much study, much time in the classroom and lab, and surviving your first time caring for a real client under your instructor’s eagle eye, you have graduated from medical assistant training. Not only that, but you have also searched for open positions and applied for a job, and they scheduled you for an interview.
After the initial excitement and cheering are over, you may have panicked. Now what? How does one ace a medical assistant interview? Here is a step by step guide to acing your very first medical assistant interview. So take a deep breath, and let’s get started!
1. Research the Company
Find out what the company stands for. Check online for the mission and vision statement. Educate yourself about the various departments of the company, if they have more than one. Think about how medical assistants fit into the grand scheme of the company and how the work that you would do if hired would help the company achieve its mission. Remember that your goal is to convince the interviewer that you will be an asset to the company.
2. Research the Position
The job description is usually available on the company’s website, although it may take a little digging. Look under the HR tab for open positions, and try to find the job description for the position you are being interviewed for. Familiarize yourself with the tasks that are expected, and take a moment to evaluate yourself honestly. Are you good at the tasks required for the position?
It is okay if you are not skilled at all of them, but you want to be prepared to speak confidently about both your strengths and weaknesses. Think about times that you have performed those tasks. If there are some tasks that you have not done at all or are not an expert, you must be ready to say so and express your willingness to learn.
3. Make a List of Questions
Make a list of questions that you might be asked in the interview. Some of the most common questions are:
- Why do you think you are the right person for the job?
- How will you be an asset to the company?
- What are your strengths; give an example?
- What are your weaknesses; give an example?
- How do you respond to emergencies?
- How do you respond to seeing a coworker doing something dangerous, or against company policy?
- How would your former coworker or supervisor describe you?
Think about each of these questions and decide how you will answer them. Remember that honesty is always the best policy. Lying during an interview is an excellent way to get yourself fired later. However, you can be honest and still turn a negative into a positive. Do not make excuses for yourself, but do think about the positive aspect of potential negatives. For example, if a lack of assertiveness is a weakness, you may want to mention that this is a flip side of your strength, which is agreeableness.
4. Practice Interviews
Once you have this list of practice questions and have thought about your answers to these common questions, set up a practice interview. Various tech schools and career centers may offer practice job interviews for a small cost, or even free. Take advantage of that if it is available to you. If not, find a friend who is willing to practice with you. Set the practice run-up as nearly as possible like the real thing, and get them to ask you the questions you have developed.
5. Dress for Success
Once you have the job, you will be wearing comfortable pajama-like scrubs every day. However, you should wear something better for the interview, like business clothes. Shirt, tie, and dress pants for the guys and a nice blouse and skirt or dress pants for the ladies. Colors should be crisp but neutral. Please avoid bright tie-dye and any branded clothes, such as t-shirts with a trademark/name brand emblazoned on the front, or any clothes with a sports team logo. Keep things simple to avoid distracting the attention of the interviewer.
Also, keep jewelry to a minimum. Wedding rings and dressy earrings are okay, but leave the bracelets and gaudy earrings at home. If you have visible piercings other than in your earlobes, consider removing them for the interview. This includes other ear piercings that are not in the earlobes. Tattoos are a touchy subject for many. You may be required to cover tattoos for work, so it may be a good idea to demonstrate your willingness to do so in the interview as well.
6. Hygiene Tips
Have your hair freshly cut, brushed, styled, and whatever else needs to be done to look neatly groomed. Trim your nails and avoid bright colors of nail polish. Take a shower before you go, and make sure your socks and underwear are clean. Wear deodorant with antiperspirant as you are likely to sweat a bit more because of being nervous, and this is not the time to have a big sweat ring on your underarm, or body odor. Avoid cologne, though. You never know when an interviewer will be sensitive to scents, and anyway, cologne and other scents are usually not permitted on the job.
7. Managing Nervousness
Take a cue from the military and use ‘tactical breathing’. This simple technique has proven to be a powerful way to calm your nerves, steady your hands, and clear your brain in all kinds of situations. If it works on the battlefield, it can work before and during an interview too.
Simply breathe in through your nose for a count of four (one, two, three, four). Then hold your ‘full breath’ for a count of four. Breathe out through your mouth for another count of four. Finally, hold your ‘empty breath’ for a count of four. Repeat this four times. You may need to count slowly, or count to five, to get the maximum benefit. (Bonus: This breathing technique is beneficial to test anxiety too. If you are still in school, you can use it during the exams too.)
Other things that can help with managing nervousness are to keep your hands upturned, flat on your legs. This positioning sends a signal to your brain that you are in a safe place. As you begin to feel trust, that will come through in your voice and actions and make it more likely that your interviewer will trust you.
Some people find that chewing gum or hard candy helps them focus and stay calm. If this works for you, great. Just be aware of the tendency to chew hard or noisily when feeling stressed. Use other stress management techniques to stay calm enough that this won’t happen.
8. Your Body Speaks for You
Practice acting confident, sit up straight, and keep your hands turned upward when not occupied. Lean slightly forward to signal interest and attention and make good eye contact. Use some hand gestures (none can make you look like you are trying to hide something, while too many make you look nervous and unsure of yourself).
Shake hands, say hello, how are you, and good day. Use thank you when appropriate. Make eye contact. Basically, be polite and on your good behavior.
10. Interview Them Too
Remember that you are also trying to find out if the company is a good match for you. Ask questions about how long their employees typically stay and why they leave, and what makes them a great place to work. Also, find out what the most common complaints are.
11. After the interview
Say thank you as you leave. Be sure you know what the next steps will be. Will they contact you? How soon? Send a thank you note to the interviewer. I know that’s old fashioned, but it is still a good thing to do.
Best of luck and happy interviewing!