How to Prepare for Your Medical Assistant Job Interview

Looking to start a career in medical assisting? Want to prepare for the job interview? Here are some typical questions asked during a medical assisting job interview and some general tips for the interview process. First, we will talk about the jobs available after graduating from a medical assisting program and the certifications you can achieve to set yourself apart from the other candidates.

Jobs Available After Graduating from a Medical Assistant Program

Clinical Assistant – assists in the administration of medications and minor procedures, obtains laboratory specimens, administers EKGs, and provides patient education.

Doctor’s Assistant – supports the doctor with clinical and clerical duties to provide health care to patients.

Medical Assistant (MA) – completes administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities.

Medical Office Assistant – performs secretarial duties using knowledge of medical terminology and laboratory procedures. The medical office assistant’s duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, adding data to medical charts, writing reports, and creating correspondence.

Certifications Available After Graduating from a Medical Assistant Program

One way to stand out from the crowd is to achieve a certification or registration from a recognized association. Hunter Business School prepares you to take the following exams to become certified in medical assisting.

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – The American Association of Medical Assistants offers an exam to become a CMA once a student graduates from an approved medical assistant program.

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – American Medical Technologists offers an exam to become an RMA after completing an approved medical assistant program at a vocational school.

National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – The National Center for Competency Testing offers an exam to become an NCMA after completing an approved medical assistant program.

Possible Questions You May Be Asked in a Medical Assisting Interview

During the course of a medical assisting job interview there are some standard questions that are asked once a hiring manager asks you to “tell me a little about yourself.” Here are a few to prepare you to have a successful medical assisting job interview.

  1. Are you familiar with electronic medical records (EMR)? Make sure to prepare yourself to talk about electronic medical records, as they play a big role in the job of a medical assistant.
  2. Are you familiar with medical coding? Much of the medical assistant position will involve medical coding patient records, insurance billing, and electronic medical records. Convey your confidence in medical coding to the hiring manager.
  3. How do you protect the rights and confidentiality of patients? Be sure to study HIPAA regulations so you can show the hiring manager that you are knowledgeable regarding HIPAA regulations and patient privacy.
  4. Would you describe yourself as a people person? A medical assistant works with doctors, colleagues, and patients on a day-to-day basis. Make the hiring manager understand that you like working with people and enjoy interacting with others.
  5. Do you have experience with venipuncture (phlebotomy)? This is a key skill that many medical assistants need to perform in a medical setting. A school must include this in the program curriculum.
  6. Are you familiar with an EKG machine? Many career schools teach the proper use of an EKG and how to discern whether or not a test is abnormal. Make sure to let your hiring manager know that you are well versed in electrocardiography testing.
  7. Are you certified or registered as a medical assistant? Make sure your résumé includes any certifications you have obtained to stand out from the competition.
  8. Are you certified in CPR and/or first aid? Medical assistant programs should include CPR and first aid.
  9. What level of knowledge do you have of Microsoft Word? A medical assistant uses word processing during the course of duties. Make sure you are at least an intermediate level Microsoft Word user, if not advanced.
  10. Do you have any hands-on experience as a medical assistant? Many schools offer externships as part of the medical assisting curriculum. Make sure to do a good job and network at your externship so you can use the people you meet as references when you apply for a medical assisting position.

Many of these questions will be asked during a medical assisting job interview. Also, utilize the career services department of your school to prepare yourself for the interviewing process.

Job Interviewing Tips for the Medical Assisting Position

Here are some general job interviewing tips.

Tip 1: Prepare

Review interview questions and prepare a good response. Don’t memorize your responses but have talking points that include specific examples and accomplishments.

Tip 2: Dress for Success

It is always a good idea to dress up for the interview to show employers that you respect them and are very interested in the medical assisting job opportunity. Dress in interview attire, not scrubs.

Tip 3: Be on Time

Nothing is worse for a hiring manager than to have a candidate show up late for an interview. Make sure you are at the right location with time to prepare in the lobby for the medical assisting job interview.

Tip 4: Make a Good First Impression

Smile, be confident, and shake the hiring manager’s hand while looking into his/her eyes. Making a good first impression is important during the interview process and sets the tone for the overall decision of whether to hire a medical assistant.

Tip 5: Ask the Right Questions

A hiring manager will want you to ask very insightful questions during the interview. Show the hiring manager that you did your research about the company, the medical assisting industry, and competitors.

Tip 6: Close with a Thank You and Request for a Next Step

The first thing you want to do when you get home after a medical assistant job interview is prepare a smart thank you email. Take the time to reiterate why you are a good candidate for the medical assisting position. Ask any questions you forgot to ask in the interview. Finally, close with a request to further the process, ask whether you need to meet a colleague, and/or supply references.

Hunter Business School’s Career Services

Want to start a career in medical assisting after graduating from a technical school? The Career Services department at Hunter Business School does more than prepare medical assistant students for employment. Hunter Business School helps graduates with these skills.

  • Job interviewing skills
  • Résumé preparation
  • Cover and thank you letter writing
  • Job internships
  • Career counseling and support

The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.

Medical Assistant students at Hunter Business School spend 160 hours in an externship in an actual medical work environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training. Contact us to learn more about the Medical Assistant program and how to start a rewarding career as a medical assistant.

To access information on our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other consumer data regarding programs leading to gainful employment at Hunter Business School, please visit Consumer Information.