7 Best Surgical Coordinator Interview Questions

Surgical Coordinator Interview Questions

Surgical coordinators are responsible for the coordination of operation procedures. They work in hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient centers. They perform administrative duties. 

The surgical coordinator handles multiple aspects of the surgery, including preoperative scheduling and paperwork, postoperative scheduling, and contacting insurance companies.

They answer phone calls, process incoming patients, help fill out forms, and file paperwork. 

A good surgical coordinator has strong organization and communication skills.

You need a detail-oriented personality to thrive, a calm head under pressure, and an empathetic, compassionate nature.

These are the common qualities that an employer looks for when asking surgical coordinator interview questions. Excellent computer skills are another imperative aspect of a surgical coordinator job. 

We’ve got you covered if you are preparing for a surgical coordinator interview.

We know that interviewing is stressful, so we’ve helped you prepare by compiling the most common surgical coordinator interview questions for you to practice. 

Surgical Coordinator Interview Questions and Answers

1. In your opinion, what do you think is the most rewarding part about being a surgical coordinator?

An interviewer may ask this question to gauge candidates’ motivations. Express why you want this job and what inspired you to become a surgical coordinator. 

Example answer:

While there are many rewarding parts of being a surgical coordinator, one of my favorites is helping patients through difficult times.

Everyone knows that surgery is stressful and scary, and surgical coordinators get the chance to help patients walk through the process.

Answering their questions, helping to alleviate their fears, and seeing them recover is very fulfilling. 

2. What are some of the most important qualities to have as a surgical coordinator?

Interviewers ask this question to assess whether you have the skills needed for the job.

Reviewing the organization’s job application can help you discover what specific qualities the company is looking for in the role of surgical coordinator. 

Example answer:

Organization is paramount as a surgical coordinator. It’s important to be detail-oriented. My job is to handle a patient’s care before, during, and after surgery.

Great organization skills allow me to ensure paperwork is handled promptly and accurately for the patient’s sake.

3. Describe a time when you’ve had to relay sensitive information to a patient and their family

When an interviewer asks you this question, they want to assess how you handle difficult situations.

Empathy is an important attribute for a surgical coordinator to have.

It is best to answer by describing a time you compassionately communicated with patients and their families over difficult news. 

Example answer:

Once at my previous surgical coordinator position, we had to postpone a patient’s surgery due to an unforeseen complication.

I relayed the information to the patient and their family promptly, mindful of how they might respond to the news. 

I explained why we had to postpone, provided them with resources, and offered additional support.

Despite the difficult news, they understood and were thankful that I carefully explained the matter to them.

4. Are you comfortable working under pressure?

It’s no secret that working as a surgical coordinator is stressful, especially when coordinating multiple surgeries simultaneously.

An employer will ask this question to see if you have the necessary personality and skills for working in this environment.

You should explain in your answer how you stay calm under pressure and remain focused. 

Example answer:

I have a proven track record with my previous position as a surgical coordinator of thriving under pressure.

My detail-oriented organizational ability helps me prioritize tasks properly and ensure that everyone involved is up-to-date on developmental information.

I also have experience working in an emergency room where every second counts.

See also: Emergency Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions  

5. How do you prepare a surgical suite for a patient?

This question helps a future employer understand your prioritization methods and time management skills. Explain your process step-by-step to the interviewer.

Describe any equipment you regularly use to keep a patient comfortable.

Example answer:

The first step to my process of preparing a surgical suite for a patient is to ensure that all necessary supplies are in the room.

Then I check to ensure the room is set up appropriately with adequate lighting.

After finishing the room prep, I check the patient’s chart to review their medical history to ensure they are clear for surgery.

I have a team meeting with the surgeon and anesthesiologist to ensure we are all on the same page. Lastly, I double-check that all paperwork is up-to-date and filled out appropriately. 

6. What would you do if a surgeon ran behind schedule?

An interviewer wants to establish that you can handle difficult scenarios. Surgeons occasionally run behind, requiring a surgical coordinator to work with other team members on a solution. 

Example answer:

Surgeons running behind often require that other patients move to another room. I would take the initiative to help the process run smoothly by contacting the other surgical team.

Once the other team is ready for a new patient, I coordinate with nurses to transfer the patient efficiently.

Finally, I would contact the family to let them know of the changes and any potential delays that it could involve.

7. Do you have experience scheduling more than one surgery at a time?

It is common for a surgical coordinator to schedule more than one surgery at a time.

It’s helpful to explain the steps you would take during scheduling more than one surgery to showcase how you remain organized and diligent. 

Example answer:

Yes, I have extensive experience scheduling more than one surgery at a time. In my current role as a surgical coordinator, I created a system to manage multiple surgeries at once.

I utilize electronic medical records, patient tracking software, and calendars to keep everything organized and running smoothly.

Conclusion: Interview Questions for Surgical Coordinator

Highlight your vast experience and organization skills during your interview to set yourself apart from the other candidates. While you can never know the exact questions an interviewer may ask, practicing common surgical coordinator interview questions will help you prepare.

Best of luck with your upcoming interview!

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