Top 25 Medical Assistant Interview Questions (Sample Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

The interview, it’s the most important part of your job search. If you nail the medical assistant interview questions that they throw your way, you could soon find yourself with a shiny new name tag. That’s the dream anyway…

If you don’t know how to showcase what you have to offer, your interview journey is gonna be different.

A lot different.

Struggling with medical assistant interview questions and answers feels a lot like riding an overburdened donkey along dangerous switchbacks on the side of a cliff. The fear of falling is real.

But don’t let your anxiety get the best of you. You have the power to choose your interview destiny. The key is preparation.

And that’s what we’re here to help you do!

How To Answer Medical Assistant Interview Questions

Demand for medical assistants is on the rise. Between 2018 and 2028, the job growth rate is expected to be 23 percent. That’s well above the average across all professions. Plus, unemployment is low, sitting at just 3.5 percent when 2019 came to a close.

Source: bls.gov

What does that mean for you? That opportunities abound. You just have to make sure you’re ready to grab the bull by the horns and make it bend to your will. And what will that take? Preparation.

How do you prepare for a medical assistant interview? How can you make sure you answer medical assistant interview questions in a way that captures the attention of the hiring manager? By knowing what to expect and having a formula for success, both of which are discussed here.

Figuring out what the hiring manager will ask is the easy part. Most medical assistant interview questions are, to a degree, predictable. The company is looking for specific skills and traits, and some questions are best for discovering that information.

However, knowing the questions isn’t enough. You also need a strategy, a solid approach for providing the “right” kind of answers. What’s that formula? It’s a combination of the STAR method and the Tailoring Method.

We’ve talked about the STAR method before. But, for those who are new to it, here’s an overview:

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It’s essentially a storytelling approach. You set a scene, discuss the duties you had, outline the actions you took, and close with the outcome. Easy peasy.

Tailoring is a lot like customizing. You know the company wants a particular kind of person. They have an ideal candidate in mind. There are must-haves that they can’t do without.

You need to speak to those needs and desires. Craft a value proposition the hiring manager can’t ignore by showing that you are the solution to their problem. Give them clear examples and stories that show you walk the walk.

Then, align those stories with the company’s needs. Make them applicable.

Quantify the details. Make every word count. It isn’t about what you’ve done or what the company can do for you; it’s about what you can do to help your prospective employer thrive.

Top 3 Medical Assistant Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Don’t expect the interview process to be easy. Hiring managers have to find a great fit, so they are going to dig into some complex topics. But don’t let that stress you out. It actually helps you in the long run.

On a 5-point scale, when an interview is a 4 in difficulty, employee satisfaction rises. So, that challenging conversation isn’t a bad thing. It just means you’ll likely be happier if you’re selected.

Now that you know how to answer medical assistant interview questions, it’s time to take what you know and apply it to real-world scenarios. What does that entail? It’s simple. Get to know the questions so that you can create standout answers.

Here’s a look at the top three medical assistant interview questions and answer examples that can serve as a guide.

1. How do you protect patients’ rights and protect confidentiality requirements?

The medical community is dominated by more regulations than you can shake a stick at, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) being a biggie. Providers want to avoid lawsuits and keep their reputations intact, so they want to know that a new hire will help and not hinder that goal.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“I ensure patient confidentiality and protect patient rights by following all HIPAA guidelines. For example, when interviewing patients, I make sure that they are conducted in private spaces. Additionally, I take medical record safety seriously, ensuring all records are secured in areas that prevent unauthorized access. Further, I rely only on secure methods for sending or discussing patient information”

2. How would you describe your primary duty as a medical assistant?

Medical assistants have a ton of responsibilities, so choosing just one as a focus is a daunting task. However, it gives you a chance to discuss where your priority lies and to position yourself as an asset.

Plus, you don’t have to talk about only one duty. You can actually squeeze a lot of information into this medical assistant interview question and answer. Just tap on a few responsibilities before honing in on the big one.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“During my medical assistant career, I’ve had a range of responsibilities. Along with updating patient records and performing initial exams, I’ve also spent time scheduling appointments and much more. However, I think my main duties are twofold. First, providing exceptional patient care is a core responsibility. Second, being an asset to the physicians and other members of the team, assisting with their daily duties, is paramount to overall success.”

3. How do you handle upset patients who present you with a complaint?

Not all patients are going to be happy. Many are anxious and uncomfortable, so their stress levels are high. This can lead to outbursts, some of which may be justified while others seem less so. But it’s your duty to handle the situation properly, so hiring managers want to know that you can do so gracefully.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“First, I give them the floor. I can’t provide them with the right kind of assistance if I don’t fully understand the issue, so active listening is key. Next, I rephrase their complaint so that I can confirm we are both on the same page regarding the problem. Then, I use empathy to ensure they know they are being heard and that I’m concerned about their well-being and what to find a solution. Finally, I take appropriate steps based on the nature of the complaint, becoming an active part of securing a solution.”

22 More Medical Assistant Interview Questions

Here are some additional medical assistant interview questions you might encounter during your job search:

    1. Tell me about your medical assistant experience, including internships and education.
    2. What is the biggest mistake you made as a medical assistant? How did you fix the issue?
    3. Describe your ideal work schedule. Are you open, or do you have restrictions? Would you be available for extra hours if needed?
    4. Which of your strengths serves you best when working with patients?
    5. If you are given two tasks, one involving a patient and one administrative, which do you do first and why?
    6. Do you have electronic health records experience?
    7. Can you describe your previous experience with medical billing and coding?
    8. Do you have experience working at a medical office front desk?
    9. Are you trained in phlebotomy? Are you comfortable with handling blood draws?
    10. If you had to do a blood draw on a patient with a fear of needles, how would you proceed?
    11. Tell me about a time you had a challenging situation with a patient. How did you handle it?
    12. What’s your experience with taking patient histories?
    13. Do you have prior experience taking vitals?
    14. Have you performed an EKG test before?
    15. Are your AED, CPR, and Emergency Treatment certifications current? If not, do you have a plan for renewing them?
    16. How do you handle the pressure of working in a fast-paced medical environment?
    17. If a patient were to suddenly fall unconscious, what would you do?
    18. What do you do to ensure the patient experience is of the highest quality?
    19. When counseling patients, what’s your main priority?
    20. Are you planning to take any continuing education or other relevant courses?
    21. What steps do you take to make yourself a better medical assistant?
    22. What do you like most about being a medical assistant? What do you like least?

5 Good Questions To Ask At The End Of A Medical Assistant Interview

Now that you know a bit about what to expect with medical assistant interview questions, it’s time to look at the other side of the equation. As an interview wraps up, you’ll get a chance to ask some questions yourself. Turnabout like this, after all, is fair play in an interview.

While your first instinct might be to get things finished up and say “no,” resist that urge.

You’re being given an opportunity. Don’t waste it.

Asking questions lets you show that you are genuinely interested in the job. Plus, you can find out details you don’t already know, some of which help you decide if this is really the best place for you. Remember, you’re interviewing them, too. You need to make sure it’s a good fit.

    1. What do your top medical assistants have in common?
    2. What does an average day for a medical assistant look like at this company?
    3. What does the patient volume look like on an average day? What about a peak day?
    4. How do you expect the role of medical assistants here to change and shift over the next three to five years?
    5. What are this institution’s primary goals? How can medical assistants play a role in achieving those objectives?

Putting It All Together

Going to any interview can be nerve-racking. That’s just the nature of the beast. But, by being prepared, you can make sure that you nail the medical assistant interview questions and stand out from the crowd. Just work your strategy to create great answers and practice, practice, practice. Have your examples at the ready. And, remember, you’re a great candidate. You just have to show them that you are.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.