17 Social Security Claims Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a social security claims specialist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Do you have experience working with the public? Do you have a strong attention to detail? Are you patient and able to handle difficult conversations? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be a great fit for a social security claims specialist job.

Social security claims specialists are the first point of contact for people who need to file a social security claim. They help people understand the process, gather the necessary information, and submit the claim. They also provide support and assistance to claimants through the entire process.

If you’re looking for a job in this field, you’ll likely need to go through a social security claims specialist interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked a range of questions about your experience, your attention to detail, and your customer service skills. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of social security claims specialist interview questions and answers.

Common Social Security Claims Specialist Interview Questions

Are you comfortable working with people who are in a stressful situation?

Working with people who are in a stressful situation is an important part of the job. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with these types of clients and can handle their emotions. In your answer, explain that you enjoy helping others through difficult situations. Explain how you use empathy and compassion to help your clients feel more comfortable.

Example: “I am very empathetic when I work with my clients. When someone comes to me stressed out or upset, I try to put myself in their shoes. I think about what would calm me down if I were in their situation. This helps me understand what they need from me and makes them feel more at ease. I also find that by listening carefully to their concerns, I can help them feel better.”

What are some of the most important skills for a claims specialist to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to the job.

Example: “The most important skill for a claims specialist is excellent customer service. This position requires us to interact with many different people who are often upset or frustrated about their situation. Having strong communication and interpersonal skills helps me put claimants at ease and find solutions to their problems. Another important skill is problem-solving. I need to thoroughly investigate each claim to ensure that the claimant receives all benefits they’re entitled to.”

How would you handle a situation where you have doubts about the validity of a claim?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your ethics and integrity. They want to know that you will do what’s right for the client, even if it means rejecting a claim. In your answer, explain how you would research the situation and make an ethical decision.

Example: “If I had doubts about the validity of a claim, I would thoroughly investigate the case before making a final decision. If I found evidence that supported my initial doubt, I would reject the claim. However, if I found no evidence to support my doubt, I would approve the claim.”

What is your process for gathering relevant information about a new case?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your organizational skills and how you prioritize tasks. In your answer, describe the steps you take when starting a new case and highlight any special techniques or software you use to help with this process.

Example: “When I start a new case, I first read through all of the information my client has submitted so far. Then, I gather additional documents that I need to review, such as medical records and birth certificates. After gathering these documents, I enter them into my database system so they are easily accessible for future reference. Finally, I call my client to discuss their situation and provide an estimate of when we can expect to receive their remaining paperwork.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to use your negotiation skills to resolve a dispute.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Use examples from previous jobs or describe a time when you helped resolve a conflict with a friend, family member or colleague.

Example: “At my last job, I had a client who was having trouble receiving their benefits because they were out of the country for an extended period of time. The client wanted to know if there was any way they could receive their benefits while abroad. After researching the issue, I found that we could send them their benefits through a third party company. This allowed the client to receive their benefits without being present in the United States.”

If an applicant is unable to provide all of the necessary information during one interview, how would you determine the next steps?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to work independently and prioritize tasks. In your answer, demonstrate that you can manage multiple projects at once and how you would ensure the applicant’s case is resolved as quickly as possible.

Example: “If an applicant was unable to provide all of their information during one interview, I would schedule a follow-up appointment with them to gather any missing details. If they were still unable to provide certain information after our second meeting, I would contact them by phone or email to request additional information. If they are unable to respond to my communication within two weeks, I would reschedule another appointment for them.”

What would you do if you were unable to locate an important document that an applicant needed to complete the application?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure. In your answer, demonstrate that you can use your critical thinking skills to solve problems and find solutions.

Example: “If I were unable to locate a document an applicant needed to complete their application, I would first try to contact them by phone or email to see if they had the document in another location. If they did not have it, I would explain to them what documents we need to complete the application and offer to help them gather those documents. For example, if they didn’t have proof of income, I could provide information on how to obtain that documentation.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to work under pressure and still meet deadlines. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a time when you had to complete a task or project in a short amount of time.

Example: “I have experience working under pressure, especially during my internship at the local courthouse. I was tasked with updating all of the court records for cases that were closed within the last year. This meant going through thousands of files and making sure they were updated correctly. I worked overtime every day for two weeks until the project was completed. It was challenging but rewarding to know that I helped make the judicial system more efficient.”

Do you have experience using Social Security’s online application system?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with the Social Security Administration and how you use its online application system. If you have worked for the agency, describe your experience using the online application system. If you haven’t worked for the agency but have used its online application system, explain your experience with similar systems.

Example: “I have worked for the Social Security Administration for five years as a claims specialist. I am very familiar with the online application system that the agency uses because I use it every day in my current role. In fact, I find the online application system to be quite user-friendly. It allows me to complete most of my work without having to contact my supervisor or other colleagues for assistance.”

When would you recommend that an applicant contact Social Security by phone?

This question can help the interviewer determine how comfortable you are with phone conversations and whether you have experience doing so. Use your answer to highlight your communication skills, ability to solve problems and willingness to work in a customer service role.

Example: “I would recommend that applicants call Social Security when they need assistance or clarification on their application. I’ve worked with many clients who needed help understanding what documents they needed to submit for their claim or how to fill out an online form. In these situations, I helped them gather the information they needed and guided them through the process of submitting it. This helps ensure that all claims are submitted correctly and reduces the number of applications that require additional review.”

We want to improve our response time for completing applications. How would you encourage applicants to complete their applications within a certain timeframe?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you would help the organization achieve its goals. Use your answer to show that you can work with clients and encourage them to complete their applications in a timely manner.

Example: “I would first make sure I had all of the information needed from the client before they submitted their application. This way, I could ensure that everything was included and ready for review. If the applicant is missing any important documents or information, I would let them know that we cannot process their application until it’s complete. I would also send regular reminders about when they should expect to hear back from us regarding their application.”

Describe your process for confirming the identity of an applicant during an in-person interview.

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your interviewing skills and ability to handle challenging situations. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for confirming identity, as well as the steps you take if an applicant does not have adequate documentation.

Example: “I always start by asking applicants to provide their full name, date of birth and Social Security number. If they can’t remember their Social Security number, I ask them to tell me about any special numbers or characters in their last name that might help jog their memory. After they confirm their information, I check it against my records to ensure we’re talking about the same person. If there’s no match, I apologize and explain that I’ll need to reschedule the interview.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for a claims specialist position with our company?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel they align with their company. Before your interview, make sure to read through the job description so that you can reference specific skills or requirements in your answer. In your response, try to highlight a few of these skills while also explaining why you have them.

Example: “I believe I am an ideal candidate for this position because of my extensive knowledge of social security law and my ability to work well under pressure. Throughout my career as a claims specialist, I’ve learned that it’s important to understand all aspects of the law when working on a case. This helps me ensure that I’m providing accurate information to clients and making decisions within legal parameters. My experience has taught me that being able to handle stressful situations is essential to this role.”

Which computer programs or software have you used to complete your job duties?

This question can help the interviewer determine your computer skills and how you apply them to your job. If you have experience using specific programs, name those in your answer. If you don’t have experience with a program but are willing to learn it, mention that you’re open to learning new software.

Example: “In my last position as a claims specialist for Social Security, I used Microsoft Office 365 to complete my daily tasks. This included creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, which helped me organize my work and communicate with other team members. I also used Adobe Acrobat Pro to review medical records and create PDFs of important information.”

What do you think is the most challenging part of being a claims specialist?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and see how you approach challenges. Your answer can also tell them about what you find difficult in your work, which may be helpful for them if they are considering hiring you. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention something that is challenging but also something you enjoy doing.

Example: “The most challenging part of being a claims specialist is having to turn away people who need our services. I understand that we have limited resources, so sometimes there isn’t anything I can do to help someone. However, I always try to make sure they understand all their options and provide them with any information or referrals that might help them.”

How often do you think claims specialists should update their knowledge of laws and regulations?

This question can help interviewers understand how you approach your work and whether you’re likely to stay with the company for a long time. Your answer should show that you are committed to learning new information about laws and regulations, which can help you do your job well.

Example: “I think it’s important to keep up with changes in laws and regulations because they can affect our clients’ cases. I try to read updates from the Social Security Administration at least once per month so I’m aware of any recent developments. I also attend monthly training sessions where we learn about new policies.”

There is a spike in the number of applications. How would you stay focused during this time?

This question is a great way to assess your ability to work under pressure. It also shows the interviewer how you handle stress and manage time effectively. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific strategies you use to stay focused during busy times.

Example: “I find that having a plan for each day helps me stay on track when there are many applications to process. I usually start my day by checking in with my supervisor to see what tasks they need completed first. Then, I prioritize my own tasks based on these requests and any other deadlines I have. This allows me to focus on one task at a time without feeling overwhelmed.”


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