17 Medical Office Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a medical office assistant, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Medical office assistants are the backbone of any medical office. They keep the office running smoothly by handling a variety of tasks, from scheduling appointments to handling billing and insurance claims. They also keep the office stocked with supplies and assist the medical staff with patient care.

If you’re looking for a job in a medical office, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. One way to prepare for this important meeting is to learn how to answer medical office assistant interview questions before talking with an interviewer.

Employers look for medical office assistants who are trustworthy, reliable, well organized, and able to solve problems. You’ll also need physical strength and stamina, as well as knowledge of the best ways to clean different facilities and types of equipment. A medical office assistant interview is your chance to show that you’ve polished these skills to a shine. To help you get ready, we’ve listed medical office assistant questions and answers that will help you figure out what you want to say during an interview.

Are you familiar with medical terminology?

Medical terminology is a unique language that only medical professionals understand. Employers ask this question to make sure you can learn the terms and apply them correctly in your work. In your answer, explain how you plan to familiarize yourself with the terminology. Show that you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn new words and phrases.

Example: “I am currently enrolled in an online course where I’m learning medical terminology. It’s challenging at times, but I find it interesting. I’ve also found some great apps that help me translate common phrases into medical jargon. I think I’ll be ready for this job by the time I complete my training.”

What are some of the most important skills you have for this job?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your skills and how they relate to the job. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list some of your most relevant skills first and then explain why those skills are important.

Example: “The two most important skills I have for this position are my attention to detail and my ability to work well with others. In my previous role as an office assistant, these were the two skills that helped me get through my daily tasks the most. For example, when working on projects, I would make sure to double-check all of my work before submitting it to ensure accuracy. This skill also helps me stay organized and ensures I am able to complete my tasks in a timely manner.”

How would you describe your work ethic?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your work ethic and how you approach your job. They want to know that you are a hard worker who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. When answering, think of an example from your past where you worked hard on a project or task.

Example: “I have always been someone who approaches my work with a positive attitude. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to get the job done. In my last position, we had a lot of patients come in at once, so I volunteered to stay late to help out. We got through all of our patients before closing time.”

What is your experience with using computers and other office equipment?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your computer skills and how you use office equipment. Use your answer to highlight any experience you have with computers, scanners, printers or other office equipment. If you don’t have much experience using these items, explain what you would do if you needed to learn how to use them quickly.

Example: “I’ve been using computers for over 10 years now, so I’m very comfortable using both Windows and Mac operating systems. In my previous role as a medical office assistant, I also learned how to use the hospital’s electronic medical record system. This was challenging at first, but after a few weeks of training, I became proficient in using it.”

Provide an example of when you provided exceptional customer service.

Customer service is an important skill for medical office assistants. Employers ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills and how you’ve used them in the past. When answering this question, think of a time when you helped a patient or client feel comfortable or satisfied with their experience at the medical office.

Example: “When I worked as a receptionist at a doctor’s office, I had a patient who was nervous about her upcoming surgery. She asked me many questions about what she could expect during her procedure and recovery. I took the time to answer all of her questions thoroughly and made sure that she felt comfortable before leaving the office. After her surgery, she called the office to thank us for our care and told us that we were the best doctors she’d ever seen.”

If a patient is upset about their diagnosis, how would you handle the situation?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you react to challenging situations and whether you have experience handling them. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you helped calm a patient or family member who was upset about their diagnosis.

Example: “I once had a patient come into the office with his wife because he wanted to get a second opinion on his diagnosis. He was very upset that I couldn’t give him more information about what his condition meant for his future. I explained to him that we could only provide as much information as our doctor had given us, but that if he needed additional resources, we would be happy to refer him to someone else. After talking with him for a few minutes, he calmed down and decided to take the advice of our doctor.”

What would you do if you noticed a mistake you made on a patient’s file?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle mistakes and learn from them. Showcase your ability to take responsibility for errors, apologize and make corrections.

Example: “If I made a mistake on a patient’s file, I would immediately correct it and notify my supervisor so they could inform the doctor of the error. If the mistake affected the treatment plan or diagnosis, I would contact the patient to let them know we had discovered an error in their file and that we were working to fix it. I would also offer to reschedule any appointments that needed to be redone.”

How well do you handle stress?

Working in a medical office can be stressful at times. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to handle stress and remain calm when it occurs. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and provide an example of a time you faced a stressful situation and overcame it.

Example: “I am able to handle stress well because I know that most situations are temporary. When something stressful happens, I take a few deep breaths and remind myself that everything will work out. For instance, last week we had a patient who was upset about their bill. They were yelling and demanding a discount. Instead of getting stressed, I took a few deep breaths and calmly explained our billing policies. After hearing my explanation, they apologized for their behavior and paid their bill.”

Do you have any questions for us about the position?

Employers often ask this question to see if you have done your research on the company and position. Before your interview, make a list of questions that show you are interested in the job. When an employer asks this question during your interview, answer honestly and try to think of something unique about their company or the position.

Example: “Yes, I do. I noticed that you offer free lunch for employees every day. That’s such a nice perk! I was wondering what type of food you typically serve?” This shows the interviewer that you appreciate their benefits and perks and that you’re interested in working there.

When is the best time to contact a patient about their appointment?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you prioritize your work and when you’re most efficient. Your answer should show that you know when to contact patients about their appointments, but also that you understand when it’s best not to do so.

Example: “I think it’s important to contact a patient at least 24 hours before their appointment time. This gives them plenty of time to get in touch with me if they have any questions or concerns about their upcoming visit. If I need to reach out earlier than this, I will usually call them within 12 hours of their appointment time.”

We want to improve our communication with patients. Describe a strategy you would use to improve communication between patients and the medical office.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your communication skills and how you can help improve the office’s processes. In your answer, explain a strategy that you used in the past or one that you would implement if hired.

Example: “I think it is important for patients to feel like they are getting answers to their questions quickly. I have found that using an online scheduling system helps me communicate with patients better because I can send them reminders of upcoming appointments and respond to any questions they might have before their appointment. This allows me to provide excellent customer service while also freeing up my time so I can work on other tasks.”

Describe your experience with scheduling appointments.

Scheduling appointments is a common responsibility for medical office assistants. Employers ask this question to learn about your experience with scheduling and how you handle the task. When answering, describe your process for scheduling appointments and highlight any special skills or software you use to help you schedule appointments more efficiently.

Example: “I have worked in two different medical offices where I was responsible for scheduling appointments. In my first position, I used an online calendar system that allowed me to enter patients’ information into the appointment slots. This helped me see which patients were already booked when I entered new patient information. In my second position, we didn’t have access to an online calendar, so I created a spreadsheet to track all of our appointments. It took me longer to input new patient information because I had to manually add it to the spreadsheet.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Focus on highlighting your soft skills such as communication, organization and problem-solving abilities.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I chose to pursue a career in healthcare. In my previous position, I was responsible for answering phones, scheduling appointments and filing paperwork. My organizational skills helped me keep track of important documents and information, which allowed me to provide excellent customer service to patients. I also have experience using medical software programs, so I know I would be able to help with data entry tasks.”

Which computer programs do you have experience using for administrative purposes?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your computer skills and how you use them in the workplace. If you have experience using specific programs, mention which ones they are and what you used them for.

Example: “I’ve had experience with Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I also know how to use Google Drive and Dropbox for file storage and sharing. In my previous role as a medical office assistant, I used these programs daily to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations for doctors and patients.”

What do you think sets your skills apart from other medical office assistants?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have a unique skill set and can offer something different from other candidates. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what skills you have that are not common among medical office assistants. You may also want to mention any certifications or training you’ve completed in the past few years.

Example: “I believe my ability to multitask and work quickly under pressure sets me apart from other medical office assistants. I am always able to stay calm when things get busy and know how to prioritize tasks so they’re all done on time. In my last role, I was often asked to help with additional tasks like filing paperwork and organizing patient files, which helped me learn more about the company’s policies and procedures.”

How often should a patient visit a doctor?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you feel about patients visiting their doctor. It also helps them understand your medical knowledge and whether or not you have experience working with patients who visit the doctor frequently. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation in which you helped a patient manage their appointments.

Example: “I believe that every patient should visit their doctor at least once a year for a checkup. This allows the doctor to make sure everything is going well and gives them time to answer any questions the patient may have. I had a patient once who was nervous about coming into the office because they hadn’t been there in several years. They were worried about what we would find when we did our exam. I talked to them before the appointment and after so they knew we wouldn’t be surprised by anything.”

There is a miscommunication with a patient about their appointment. How do you handle it?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you handle challenging situations and how you communicate with patients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you helped resolve a miscommunication between a patient and the medical office staff.

Example: “In my previous role as a medical office assistant, I had a patient call me about their appointment because they were confused about when they needed to arrive for their next visit. After talking with them on the phone, I realized that they thought they had another appointment later in the day, but actually didn’t. I explained to them that they only had one appointment scheduled for the day and assured them that we would reschedule their other appointment at no additional cost.”


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