Interview

17 Medical Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

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

Medical receptionists are the first people patients see when they enter a doctor’s office. They are responsible for greeting patients, registering them, and collecting their personal information. They also may schedule appointments, answer the phone, and file paperwork.

Medical receptionist interview questions will focus on your customer service skills, your ability to handle sensitive information, and your knowledge of medical terminology. You may also be asked about your experience with computers and scheduling software.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of sample medical receptionist interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable answering phones and talking to patients in person?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your communication skills and determine if you are comfortable with both written and verbal communication. Your answer should show that you have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate clearly and are confident in your ability to handle phone calls and face-to-face interactions with patients.

Example: “I am very comfortable answering phones and talking to patients on the phone or in person. I understand how important it is to be friendly and helpful when speaking to patients, so I always make sure to greet callers and patients warmly and speak clearly and confidently. When interacting with patients in person, I try to make them feel at ease by smiling and asking open-ended questions about their visit.”

What are some of the medical fields you have experience in?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your experience and how it relates to their company. When answering this question, make sure you mention the medical field that the job posting was looking for along with any other relevant fields.

Example: “I have experience working in both urgent care and hospital settings. In my last position at an urgent care facility, I worked as a receptionist while also helping patients find doctors and scheduling appointments. At my current hospital job, I work exclusively as a receptionist but still get to interact with many different departments of the hospital.”

How would you handle a situation where a patient is angry or upset?

As a medical receptionist, you may encounter patients who are upset or angry. Employers ask this question to make sure that you have the skills and experience needed to handle these situations effectively. In your answer, share an example of how you handled a similar situation in the past. Explain what steps you took to help calm the patient down or diffuse their anger.

Example: “In my previous role as a medical receptionist, I had to deal with many upset patients. One time, a patient came into the office very upset because they were waiting for over two hours to see the doctor. I apologized to them and explained that there was a mix-up with their appointment time. I offered to reschedule their appointment at no charge. The patient agreed and left the office happy.”

What is your experience with medical billing and coding?

Medical receptionists often need to be familiar with medical billing and coding. This is because they may have to help patients understand their bills or assist them in scheduling appointments that correspond with the codes on their insurance cards. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific time you helped a patient understand their bill or assisted them in finding an appointment that matched their insurance code.

Example: “I’ve worked as a medical receptionist for five years now, so I am quite familiar with medical billing and coding. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the job is helping patients understand their bills and assisting them in scheduling appointments that match their insurance codes.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to provide excellent customer service to a patient or client.

Customer service is an important skill for medical receptionists to have. Employers ask this question to make sure you know how to provide excellent customer service and are willing to do so. When answering, think of a time when you helped a patient or client with something they needed help with. Explain what steps you took to ensure the person was satisfied with your assistance.

Example: “When I worked at my previous job as a receptionist, I had a patient who came in looking for a specific doctor. Unfortunately, that doctor wasn’t available until later in the day. I explained this to the patient and offered them another appointment time. They said they would rather wait, so I told them we could call them if the other doctor became available sooner. We ended up calling them about 30 minutes before their original appointment time, and they were very happy.”

If a patient needed to schedule an appointment with a specific doctor, but that doctor was unavailable, how would you handle the situation?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a common challenge in the medical receptionist role. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation and how you handled it.

Example: “If a patient needed to schedule an appointment with a doctor who was unavailable, I would first try to find another time that the doctor could see them. If this wasn’t possible, I would offer to book an appointment with another doctor on staff or refer the patient to another practice.”

What would you do if you were working with a patient and another doctor needed to speak with them urgently?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a situation that could arise in the workplace. In your answer, try to demonstrate your ability to prioritize tasks and communicate effectively with others.

Example: “If I was working with a patient when another doctor urgently needed to speak with them, I would first ask if they were available on their cell phone or through email. If not, I would let them know that someone else needed to speak with them and offer to put them on hold while I contacted them. Then, I would contact the other doctor and inform them of the urgency of their call.”

How well do you handle stress?

Working as a medical receptionist can be stressful at times. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and personality traits necessary to handle stress well. Before your interview, think about how you’ve handled past stressful situations. Try to come up with an example that relates to working as a receptionist.

Example: “I find that I do my best work when under pressure. When I’m in a situation where I need to perform well, I am able to focus more intently on what I’m doing. In fact, I often thrive in high-pressure situations because it motivates me to work harder. I also know that I can rely on my ability to stay calm during stressful situations. This helps me remain focused and productive even when things get hectic.”

Do you have any questions for us about the position?

This is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research and are interested in the position. It’s also a chance for you to learn more about the company, so it’s important to come prepared with questions. Before your interview, make a list of things you want to know about the job or the organization.

Example: “I am very excited about this role because I love working with people and helping them feel comfortable. One thing I’m curious about is how often patients need to fill out paperwork before their appointments. I’ve noticed some offices use tablets instead of paper forms, but I’m not sure if yours does.”

When a patient comes into the practice, how do you determine what their main concerns are?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you prioritize your work and interact with patients. Your answer should show that you are organized, detail-oriented and able to communicate effectively.

Example: “When a patient comes in for their appointment, I greet them at the front desk and ask if they have any questions or concerns before they see the doctor. If they do, I take down all of their information so I can relay it to the doctor during their visit. If they don’t have any questions, I tell them when they need to return for their next appointment and direct them to the waiting room.”

We want to improve our communication with patients. Tell me about a strategy you would use to do so.

This question is a great way to see how you can improve the communication process at your current or future job. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight specific strategies and explain why they work well for you.

Example: “I would start by making sure that all receptionists are on the same page when it comes to communicating with patients. I’ve worked in several medical offices where we had different ways of explaining things to patients. For example, one office might say ‘no’ while another says ‘we don’t have any appointments available.’ It’s confusing for patients who aren’t familiar with our terminology. To solve this problem, I would hold a meeting with all staff members to discuss what words we use to describe certain situations.”

Describe your experience with billing software.

Medical receptionists often need to use billing software, so employers ask this question to see if you have experience with the specific system they use. If you don’t have experience with their system, explain what other systems you’ve used and how similar they are to the one your potential employer uses.

Example: “I’ve worked in two different medical offices where we used two different billing systems. The first office used a system that was very user-friendly, but it didn’t allow us to do much customization. The second office used a more advanced system that allowed us to customize our invoices and create reports for patients. I learned how to navigate both of these systems quickly, and I’m confident I could learn any new billing system.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates 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 relate to this role. Focus on highlighting these skills and explaining why they are important for this position.

Example: “I have three years of experience as a medical receptionist, so I understand what it takes to work in this environment. In my last job, I was responsible for answering phones, scheduling appointments and greeting patients. However, I also took initiative to improve our patient care by creating an online portal where patients could view their medical records and communicate with doctors. This helped reduce wait times and improved communication between patients and staff.”

Which medical fields do you want to focus on in your career?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your interests and goals. It’s also an opportunity for you to show that you have a passion for the medical field. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific areas of medicine that interest you or that you are already familiar with.

Example: “I’m passionate about working in a pediatric office because I love children and their unique personalities. In my previous role as a receptionist, I noticed how much patients enjoyed seeing me when they came into the office. I would love to continue working in a pediatric setting so I can help make kids feel comfortable during their appointments.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a medical receptionist to have?

This question can help an interviewer determine if you have the skills they’re looking for in a receptionist. It can also show them what your priorities are as a professional and how you might fit into their organization. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about which skills you feel helped you succeed in previous roles.

Example: “I believe that communication is one of the most important skills a medical receptionist can have. I’ve noticed that many patients come in with questions or concerns, so being able to listen carefully and communicate clearly is essential. In my last role, I was often the first person patients spoke to when they called, so I made sure to always greet callers warmly and answer any questions they had.”

How often do you think a patient should see a doctor?

This question can help an interviewer understand your medical knowledge and how you apply it to patients. When answering, consider the patient’s age, health history and current symptoms. You may also want to mention any other factors that might affect a patient’s care plan.

Example: “I think every patient should see their doctor at least once a year for a checkup. This allows them to get a full physical exam and discuss any concerns they have about their health. If I notice a patient hasn’t been in for a while, I’ll make sure to remind them of upcoming appointments or offer to schedule one for them.”

There is a miscommunication between a patient and a doctor. How do you handle it?

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and problem-solving abilities. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you had to resolve miscommunication between a patient and doctor or another medical professional.

Example: “I once worked with a pediatrician who was very busy but still wanted to make sure all of his patients felt heard. He would always take the time to speak with parents one-on-one if they were upset about something. I learned from him that sometimes just listening to someone’s concerns can help them feel better. If there is a miscommunication between a patient and a doctor, I try to find out what the patient wants and then relay their message to the doctor.”

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