25 Practice Manager Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a practice manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a practice manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
As a practice manager, you’re responsible for the smooth day-to-day operation of your clinic or medical practice. From overseeing the work schedule to ensuring patient files are up to date, you’re the one who makes sure everything runs like clockwork.
If you’re looking for a job in medical practice management, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. During your interview, you’ll likely be asked a range of questions about your experience, skills, and qualifications. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of common practice manager interview questions and answers to help you prepare.
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you interact with a team of professionals. A strong practice manager needs to be able to communicate effectively, delegate tasks and motivate their staff members. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific instances where you worked well with others to achieve a goal or solve a problem.
Example: “Absolutely. I have extensive experience working with teams of healthcare professionals to manage daily operations. In my current role, I lead a team of 10 medical staff and administrative personnel in overseeing the day-to-day activities of our practice. My duties include managing patient scheduling, billing, insurance verification, and other operational tasks.
I am also highly organized and detail-oriented, which helps me ensure that all tasks are completed on time and according to established protocols. I’m adept at problem solving and conflict resolution, so I can quickly identify issues and develop solutions that benefit everyone involved. Finally, I understand the importance of communication between departments and strive to foster an environment of collaboration and cooperation.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they’re looking for in a practice manager. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the skills and traits that are listed on your resume or cover letter. This can show the interviewer that you possess these important qualities.
Example: “The most important qualities for a practice manager to have are strong leadership, excellent communication skills, and the ability to think strategically. As a practice manager, I understand that it is my responsibility to lead the team and ensure that all tasks are completed in an efficient and effective manner. My experience has taught me how to effectively communicate with staff members, patients, and other stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page. Furthermore, I am able to think strategically about the big picture when making decisions or developing new processes. This enables me to make informed decisions that will benefit the practice as a whole. Finally, I am highly organized and detail-oriented which allows me to stay on top of all tasks and keep the practice running smoothly.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and criticism. It’s important to be honest in your answer, but also show that you’re willing to learn from mistakes.
Example: “If a patient or client was unhappy with the care they received, I would first take the time to listen and understand their concerns. It is important to be empathetic and show that you are taking their feedback seriously. After listening to their complaint, I would then assess the situation and determine what steps need to be taken in order to resolve the issue. This could involve speaking with the healthcare provider, offering an apology, providing additional resources, or even refunding services if necessary.
I believe it is essential to maintain good relationships with patients and clients, so I would always strive to find a resolution that leaves them feeling satisfied. In addition, I would document the incident and use it as an opportunity for improvement by evaluating our processes and procedures to ensure similar issues do not occur in the future.”
Hiring and training staff members is an important part of being a practice manager. Employers ask this question to learn more about your hiring process and how you train new employees. In your answer, explain what steps you take when looking for new hires and how you ensure they’re ready to work in the office.
Example: “My process for hiring and training new staff members is comprehensive and tailored to the individual needs of each team member. First, I create a job description that outlines the role and expectations of the position. Then, I use a variety of recruitment methods such as online postings, networking, and referrals to find qualified candidates. Once I’ve identified potential hires, I conduct interviews to assess their skills and qualifications. Finally, after making an offer, I provide onboarding and orientation sessions to ensure all new employees have the necessary information and resources to be successful in their roles.
I also believe in providing ongoing training and development opportunities to help my team stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. This includes offering workshops, seminars, and other learning activities to ensure our staff remains knowledgeable and engaged. My goal is to create an environment where everyone feels supported and empowered to do their best work.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your financial management skills. Use examples from previous jobs or explain how you would approach budgeting if you haven’t had experience with it before.
Example: “I recently had the opportunity to manage a budget for my current practice. I was tasked with deciding how to allocate funds in order to maximize efficiency and ensure that all of our services were adequately funded.
To start, I conducted an audit of our expenses and identified areas where we could reduce costs or increase revenue. After analyzing this data, I created a plan to reallocate funds from less essential services to those that would have the greatest impact on patient care. This included increasing funding for medical supplies, hiring additional staff, and investing in new technology.
Once I presented my plan to the team, we discussed it in detail and made adjustments as needed. We then implemented the changes, which resulted in improved patient satisfaction and increased efficiency. By taking a proactive approach to managing the budget, I was able to make sure that our resources were being used effectively and efficiently.”
This question can help interviewers understand your vision for the practice and how you might implement changes to improve patient care. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what you would change if you had complete autonomy over the facility.
Example: “If I could make one change to improve the quality of care at my practice, it would be to focus on patient-centered care. This means creating a culture where patients feel comfortable and supported in their healthcare journey. To do this, I would ensure that all staff members are trained in providing compassionate care and that they understand how to effectively communicate with patients. I would also work to create an environment where patients can easily access resources and information about their health, so they can make informed decisions about their treatment options. Finally, I would strive to provide timely follow-up care for any issues or concerns that may arise during the course of treatment. By focusing on these areas, I believe we can create a practice that is truly dedicated to providing high-quality care to our patients.”
Interviewers may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to make improvements. In your answer, explain how you would identify the cause of low patient satisfaction scores and implement strategies to improve them.
Example: “If I noticed that patient satisfaction scores were consistently low, my first step would be to investigate the root cause of the issue. This could include talking with staff members and patients to understand their experiences and identify any areas of improvement. Once I had a better understanding of what was causing the low scores, I would work on developing an action plan to address the issues. This could involve implementing new processes or procedures, providing additional training for staff, or introducing new technologies to improve efficiency. Finally, I would monitor the results of these changes to ensure that patient satisfaction is improving over time.”
The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to medical practices. This can help them determine whether you have the necessary qualifications to run a practice, including how well you understand compliance with regulations and laws. In your answer, try to highlight any experience you’ve had working within these guidelines or any steps you would take to learn about them if you don’t already know them.
Example: “I have a comprehensive understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements related to running a medical practice. During my time as Practice Manager, I have been responsible for ensuring that our practice is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes staying up-to-date on changes in healthcare legislation and making sure our policies and procedures are in line with those changes.
Furthermore, I am well-versed in HIPAA compliance, including patient privacy and security protocols. I have also developed a strong working relationship with local government agencies, such as state health departments, to ensure we remain compliant with their regulations. Finally, I have experience developing and implementing risk management plans to protect our practice from potential liability issues.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your comfort level with technology and how you might use it to improve their organization. If you have experience using practice management software, describe what kind of software you used and highlight any skills or abilities that helped you succeed in using it. If you don’t have experience using this type of software, explain what other types of software you’ve used and how they relate to managing a medical office.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience using practice management software. In my current role as a Practice Manager, I use the software to manage patient records, schedule appointments, and track billing information. I am also familiar with other popular practice management systems such as AthenaHealth and eClinicalWorks.
I understand the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest technology in order to provide efficient and effective services for patients. To that end, I actively seek out opportunities to learn new skills and stay informed about advances in practice management software.”
The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are keeping your skills up-to-date. This is especially important for healthcare professionals, as they need to be aware of the latest developments in their field. If you have not updated your CPR certification recently, explain why and what steps you plan to take to do so.
Example: “I recently updated my CPR certification in June of this year. I understand the importance of staying up to date with certifications and take pride in keeping myself informed on the latest industry knowledge and standards. As a practice manager, it is essential that I have current certifications so that I can provide the best care for patients and ensure their safety.
In addition to updating my CPR certification, I also make sure to stay abreast of any changes or updates to laws and regulations related to healthcare practices. This ensures that I am able to properly manage the practice according to all applicable guidelines. Furthermore, I attend regular seminars and workshops to stay informed on new developments in the field.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how you can improve the patient experience and make their lives easier. They want to know that you have a plan for making improvements in your facility, so they might ask about strategies you’ve used before or what you would do if you were hired.
Example: “I believe that improving the patient experience starts with understanding what patients want and need. To do this, I would first focus on gathering feedback from current and past patients to get a better sense of their experiences. This could be done through surveys or interviews. Once we understand what our patients are looking for, we can develop strategies to meet those needs.
For example, if we find out that long wait times are a major issue, we can look into ways to reduce them. We could implement an online appointment system so that patients can book appointments at their convenience, or add additional staff members to help manage the workload.
Another strategy I would use is to ensure that all staff members are properly trained in customer service. This includes teaching them how to interact with patients in a friendly and professional manner, as well as providing them with tools and resources to address any issues that may arise. Finally, I would work to create an environment where patients feel comfortable and respected, while also ensuring that they receive the best care possible.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your internal audit process and how it relates to the practice’s overall operations. Use examples from past experiences to describe your approach to conducting audits, including how you plan for them and what steps you take during the process.
Example: “My process for conducting internal audits is comprehensive and thorough. First, I review all relevant documentation such as policies, procedures, and financial records to ensure accuracy and compliance with applicable regulations. I then conduct interviews with staff members to gain a better understanding of the processes in place. Finally, I analyze the data collected from these activities and create an audit report that outlines any areas of improvement or potential risks. My goal is always to provide actionable recommendations that can help improve operations and reduce risk.”
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 qualify you for this role. Focus on highlighting your most relevant experience and soft skills.
Example: “I believe my qualifications and experience make me stand out from other candidates for this position. I have over 10 years of practice management experience, with a proven track record of success in leading teams to achieve organizational goals. My expertise includes developing operational policies and procedures, managing financials, overseeing staff performance, and ensuring compliance with regulations.
In addition, I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which is essential for any Practice Manager role. I also possess excellent communication skills and the ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders. I’m confident that these qualities will help me successfully manage the day-to-day operations at your organization.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with practice management software. It can also show them which programs you prefer to use and whether or not they are compatible with their company’s software. When preparing for this question, make a list of all the practice management software programs you have used in previous positions. Then, rank them from most-used to least-used.
Example: “I am very familiar with a variety of practice management software programs. I have experience using both cloud-based and on-premise solutions, such as Athenahealth, Greenway Health, and Allscripts. These are all comprehensive systems that provide patient scheduling, billing, reporting, and other features for managing medical practices.
I also have extensive knowledge of electronic health record (EHR) systems like Epic, Cerner, and eClinicalWorks. These platforms allow physicians to document patient visits, store medical records, order tests, and prescribe medications.”
Interviewers ask this question to see how you prioritize your work and what you consider most important. They want to know that you understand the importance of customer service in a medical practice, so they can be sure you will uphold their values as an organization. Your answer should show that you value patient satisfaction and care about providing quality healthcare.
Example: “I believe that the most important aspect of maintaining good customer service is communication. It’s essential to ensure that customers are kept informed and up-to-date on any changes or updates regarding their services. This can be done through various means such as email, phone calls, text messages, or even face-to-face meetings. Communication also helps build trust between a business and its customers, which is key for building strong relationships.
In addition to communication, I think it’s important to provide excellent customer service by being friendly, helpful, and accommodating. Customers should feel like they are valued and respected when interacting with staff members. Finally, I believe that having clear policies and procedures in place is critical for providing consistent customer service. This will help ensure that customers receive the same level of quality service each time they interact with your organization.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your communication skills. They want to know how often you communicate with patients and their families, as well as how much time you spend on these tasks. A good answer is one that shows you value the importance of patient follow-ups and are willing to do them regularly.
Example: “As a Practice Manager, I understand the importance of patient follow-ups. In my current role, I have established a system that ensures all patients receive timely and appropriate follow-up care. This includes scheduling regular check-ins with our healthcare team to ensure any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
I also work closely with our medical staff to review patient records and determine if additional follow-up is needed. We use this information to develop individualized plans for each patient based on their needs and preferences. Finally, we monitor patient outcomes to ensure they are receiving the best possible care.”
This question is a test of your ability to respond quickly and effectively in emergency situations. It also shows the interviewer how you would use your skills as a practice manager to help others during an outbreak or other crisis.
Example: “In the event of a disease outbreak in the local community, my first priority would be to ensure the safety and health of our patients and staff. I would work with public health officials to stay up-to-date on the latest information regarding the outbreak and take all necessary precautions to protect our practice. This could include implementing additional sanitization protocols, providing masks and gloves for employees, and ensuring that any visitors or patients are screened prior to entering the office.
I would also communicate regularly with our patients about the situation, keeping them informed of any changes or updates. In addition, I would review our current policies and procedures to make sure they are in line with best practices for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Finally, I would coordinate with other healthcare providers in the area to share resources and collaborate on strategies for managing the outbreak.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and whether or not you have experience with disciplinary action. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you took disciplinary action against an employee and the results of your actions.
Example: “In my previous role as practice manager, I had an employee who was consistently late for work. After speaking with them about their tardiness multiple times, they still weren’t showing up on time. At that point, I decided to let them go from their position at the practice. They were upset but understood why I made that decision. A few months later, they reached out to me asking if there were any open positions available. I hired them back into another position where they could use their skills more effectively.”
Example: “I have had to take disciplinary action against an employee in the past. It was a difficult situation, but I felt it was necessary to ensure that our practice ran smoothly and efficiently.
The incident occurred when one of our employees failed to complete their assigned tasks on time. This caused a backlog in other areas of the practice, resulting in delays for patients. After speaking with the employee and reviewing their work history, I determined that this behavior was not acceptable and needed to be addressed.
To address the issue, I held a meeting with the employee and outlined the expectations that were not met. I also discussed potential consequences if the problem persisted. Finally, I provided resources to help the employee improve their performance.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your time management skills and how you plan your schedule. Use your answer to highlight your ability to manage multiple tasks at once, prioritize important projects and meet deadlines.
Example: “I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. I use a variety of methods to manage my workload, such as setting deadlines for myself, breaking down large projects into smaller tasks, delegating work when possible, and using task management software. I also make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day to stay focused and productive. Finally, I’m always open to feedback from colleagues and supervisors so that I can adjust my approach if necessary.”
Practice managers are responsible for ensuring that all patient information is kept confidential. This includes medical records, financial information and any other personal details about patients. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality and how you would do so in your role as a practice manager. Use examples from past experience to show them what strategies you use to keep information private.
Example: “I understand the importance of patient confidentiality and take it very seriously. I have a few strategies that I use to ensure that all patient information is kept secure.
The first strategy I use is training my staff on HIPAA regulations, ensuring they are aware of their responsibility in protecting patient data. This includes educating them on how to properly handle confidential documents and records, as well as understanding what type of information should not be shared with anyone outside of the practice.
Another strategy I employ is implementing strict security protocols within the office. This includes password-protecting computers, using encryption software for any electronic files containing sensitive information, and restricting access to certain areas of the office where confidential documents may be stored.
Lastly, I make sure to regularly review our policies and procedures related to patient confidentiality. This helps me stay up to date on any changes or updates to the law, so we can always remain compliant.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with administrative tasks. They want to know if you have the ability to create and implement policies that help keep a practice running smoothly. In your answer, share an example of a policy or procedure you developed in a previous role. Explain what steps you took to develop it and how it helped improve your team’s productivity.
Example: “Yes, I do have experience developing and implementing policies and procedures. In my current role as Practice Manager, I am responsible for creating and maintaining the office’s policy manual. I ensure that all staff are aware of the policies and procedures in place and regularly review them to make sure they remain up-to-date with any changes in regulations or laws.
I also take a proactive approach to developing new policies and procedures when needed. For example, I recently developed a new procedure for handling patient complaints which has been well received by both patients and staff. This process ensures that any issues are addressed quickly and efficiently while providing a positive customer service experience.”
This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle challenges and obstacles. It’s important to be honest in your answer, but it’s also helpful to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to overcome challenges.
Example: “Yes, I anticipate there will be challenges in this role. As a Practice Manager, it is my responsibility to ensure that the practice runs smoothly and efficiently while meeting all of its goals. This includes managing staff, overseeing operations, and ensuring compliance with regulations.
I am confident that I have the necessary skills and experience to handle these challenges. In my current role as Practice Manager, I have successfully managed teams of up to 20 people, implemented new processes to increase efficiency, and ensured compliance with industry standards. I also have extensive knowledge of medical billing and coding systems, which will be essential for this position.”
Motivation is an important skill for a practice manager to have. It helps them keep staff members motivated and productive, which in turn leads to better patient care. A hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you motivate others. In your answer, try to explain what motivates you and how you use that motivation to help others be their best selves.
Example: “Motivating staff members is an important part of my job as a Practice Manager. I believe that the key to successful motivation is creating an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. To do this, I use a variety of methods.
Firstly, I make sure to recognize individual achievements and successes. This could be through verbal praise or even small rewards such as gift cards or extra time off. Secondly, I ensure that everyone has clear goals and objectives so they know what’s expected of them and can measure their progress. Finally, I foster an open dialogue between myself and the team so that any issues or concerns are addressed quickly and effectively.”
As a practice manager, you may need to resolve conflicts with your team members. Employers ask this question to learn how you would handle such situations and if you have the skills to do so effectively. In your answer, share an example of a time when you resolved conflict with a colleague or employee. Explain what steps you took to solve the issue and what the outcome was.
Example: “When faced with a difficult situation with a colleague, I believe the most important thing is to remain professional and respectful. My approach would be to first listen carefully to their point of view and try to understand where they are coming from. Once I have done this, I would then explain my own perspective in a calm and clear manner. It is also important to look for common ground and come up with solutions that both parties can agree on.
I am an experienced Practice Manager and have had to handle many challenging situations over the years. I always strive to find a resolution that works for everyone involved and I take pride in being able to resolve conflicts quickly and efficiently. I understand the importance of maintaining positive working relationships and I am confident that I could do the same in this role.”
The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are committed to keeping your medical knowledge current. Your answer should show that you have a passion for learning and staying up-to-date on the latest developments in healthcare.
Example: “As a Practice Manager, staying up-to-date on changes in medical regulations and trends is essential. To ensure I am always informed of the latest developments, I make sure to attend conferences and seminars related to healthcare management. I also read industry publications regularly, as well as any relevant blogs or articles that are published online. Finally, I have developed relationships with other practice managers who can provide me with valuable insights into what’s happening in the field. By combining all these resources, I stay abreast of the most current information available.”