5 Medical Office Assistant Interview Questions

Medical office assistant interview questions

Medical office assistants have important jobs in hospitals, practices, or clinics.

They are responsible for tracking and filing medical records, scheduling appointments, taking vital signs, billing, coding insurance paperwork, and providing a great patient experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates from a medical assistant certificate program are heading into a strong job market full of possibilities and openings, which will continue to grow.

In an interview, you always want to put your best foot forward.

Medical office assistant interview questions are usually formatted to find out about your:

If the interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, they want to know about your relevant skills and experiences.

They want to see why they should hire you. 

Whenever answering questions, always be sure to keep the information as compact and relevant as possible.

Show the interviewer that you do not intend to waste their time and that you are the best applicant for the job.

To help you get prepared for your interview, we’ve compiled the top five most common medical office assistant interview questions, with explanations and answers.

Medical Office Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

1. What do you view as your primary function as a medical office assistant?

An interviewer will often use this general question to help start the conversation.

The goal of the question is to learn more about your background to collect information they can use throughout the rest of the interview.

While a medical office assistant has many duties, your answer should highlight the importance of providing a good patient experience.

Example answer:

As a medical assistant, I ensure the care of a wide range of duties split between administrative tasks and patient care.

The most important role I play in ensuring that the patients who enter the office receive the care they need and leave feeling assured.

See also: Medical Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

2. What is your experience with medical billing and coding?

Coding a medical bill for records is an important task for a medical office assistant.

When done properly, it is how a hospital earns its revenue by billing the patient’s insurance.

If done incorrectly, the insurance company will reject the claim, and you will have to repeat the task.

You should discuss your experience and provide an example of a situation if possible.

Example answer:

Early during my career, I learned that accurate medical billing and coding are essential to a smooth-running hospital.

While learning, I made a few mistakes and had to redo coding on my own time.

However, I have become quite familiar with billing and coding over time and can do it effortlessly now.

See also: Dental Office Manager Interview Questions

3. How would you protect a patient’s rights and follow HIPAA guidelines as a medical office assistant?

Nothing is more important in healthcare than protecting a patient’s confidentiality.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) outlines the proper process for preserving a patient’s confidentiality.

Your answer should reflect your knowledge of HIPAA and the steps you take to follow the guidelines.

Example answer:

While working with patients, I always ensure that everything we do complies with HIPAA guidelines.

Before collecting personal information, I always take a patient to a private room and handle documents with the utmost care to ensure they remain private.

I never give out a patient’s information without consent from the patient or their representative.

See also: Dental Assistant Interview Questions

4. What experience do you have with taking patient vitals and medical history?

When a medical office assistant brings patients into a room to be seen by a physician, they are usually required to take a patient’s vitals and medical history.

While answering, focus on your professional experience in completing these tasks. Demonstrate that you understand all the vitals you should take.

Example answer:

I have five years of experience taking vital signs, including weight, pulse, blood pressure, and temperature.

I first learned how to properly take and calculate these signs during my medical internship and assistant program.

See also: Medical Support Assistant Interview Questions

5. A physician asks you to complete an administrative task, while at the same time, a nurse requests your assistance with a patient – which do you accomplish first?

Your priority should always be on whatever is most urgent at the moment.

Regarding this scenario, the nurse’s request is more urgent because they are dealing with a patient here and now.

This question also addresses a physician’s seniority, and the interviewer is looking to see how you would respond to deferring their task.

Example answer:

I would first determine the most urgent and important request.

Since the priority is always creating a good patient experience, helping the nurse in this scenario would precede the administrative task.

I would explain the nurse’s request to the doctor and assure them I will take care of their request as soon as possible.

See also: Advanced Medical Assistant Interview Questions

How to Prepare for Medical Office Assistant Job Interview Questions?

Preparing yourself for medical office assistant job interview questions can be as important as what you do during the interview.

You want to show that you are professional, dedicated, and have initiative.

Here are some steps to follow to help prepare you: 

  1. Practice common interview questions the day before.
  2. Review the most current HIPAA guidelines.
  3. Review medical terminology.
  4. Review the job application posting to see what skills the institution hopes to find.
  5. Pick out your best business professional outfit the night before.
  6. Print out several copies of your resume and a sheet of references to bring with you.
  7. Prepare a few questions of your own to ask the interviewer about the job. Asking questions shows your initiative and interest in the position.

Conclusion: Interview Questions for Medical Office Assistants

You never know what is coming during an interview, which is part of the pressure.

Reviewing common questions about medical office assistant duties will help you prepare to walk into the interview with a little more confidence and poise.

While answering questions, remember that excellent patient care always comes first. You should always use your own experiences while answering.

Good luck with your up-and-coming interview!

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