If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve got a job interview as a medical receptionist and are not quite sure what to expect. However, regardless of whether you already experienced or not, you’ve come to the right place!
Today I’m going to share everything you need to know to fully prepare for your interview fully. What will the job be like? What qualities and skills will be assessed by the recruiters?
And most importantly, what are the most common Medical Receptionist Interview Questions?
There is a lot to get through, so let’s dive right in…
- What A Medical Receptionist Does?
- Skills Required To Be A Medical Receptionist
- How To Prepare For The Job Interview?
- The Most Common Medical Receptionist Questions
- Looking For More Info Or Advice?
- Final Thoughts
What A Medical Receptionist Does?
A medical receptionist is the first person you see entering the doctor’s office, and their warm welcome always makes you feel better. But that’s not all they’re there for!
Medical receptionists have a number of duties:
- Organizing appointments
- Answering the phone and emails
- Welcoming customers
- Assisting patients with forms and documentation
- Helping, listening, and comforting patients in distress
- Processing billings and collecting payments
- Maintaining the reception area
- Responding to any patient inquiry directly or passing them on to the doctor
- Connecting with health insurance programs
Even if the list is far from being complete, these are the main responsibilities that a medical receptionist has.
Why is it important to know them before an interview?
This is because many of the questions, if not all of them, will either be about your daily duties or the skills necessary to excel in this profession. Moreover, you don’t want to give the recruiter the impression you don’t even know what a typical day as a medical receptionist is.
Of course, this is not the case for an experienced medical receptionist, but since the job doesn’t require any specific education, people that come from different work experiences need to be ready to prove that they know what the job is about. If you’ve never done this job before, the recruiters will certainly test you on that.
Skills Required To Be A Medical Receptionist
Now that we know what the main duties are, let’s tackle another fundamental topic. What qualities are necessary to be a good medical receptionist? The questions you will need to answer will always revolve around either hard skills or soft skills.
Hard skills are related to specific knowledge required for the profession and can be acquired through education, practice, or training on the job. While formal education is not necessary to work as a medical receptionist, community colleges and technical schools offer programs that will be mostly focused on teaching you these hard skills.
When a recruiter has to decide between two candidates, the one who possesses any of these certifications will have the advantage. This is because they will most likely be ready to work without needing extensive training.
What are the most important hard skills for a medical receptionist?
- Computer skills
A medical receptionist sits at their desk on the computer almost all the time. Basic knowledge of Office Suite is required, while the use of any specific software is normally taught through training on the job.
- Basic medical knowledge
Being familiar with medical terminology is necessary. Doctors and patients will ask you questions and expect you to know what they are talking about.
- Organizational skills
To excel at this job, you need to be organized because you are in charge of the doctor and patients schedules and appointments.
As opposed to hard skills, soft skills are personal qualities that are essential to succeed in a particular job. Generally, they are not measurable, and therefore your ability to show them during a job interview can make the difference between getting hired or not.
Here are two examples of soft skills that are expected from a medical receptionist:
As we've seen before, a medical receptionist has quite a long list of duties to perform daily, and many times they need to be done simultaneously.
This is quite obvious since you'll spend most of the time talking to somebody either in person or on the phone. Poor communication can lead to unforgettable mistakes that can impact a patient's health.
How To Prepare For The Job Interview?
How can you make good use of all this information?
Here are five steps to follow as you prepare for the interview:
- Read the job posting and the list of requirements
- Expect the recruiters to prove you meet those requirements and possess the fundamental skills needed
- Use examples from previous work experience to demonstrate you have used those qualities
- Practice answering the most common questions that you might be asked. You’ll find examples of them in the next paragraph
- When you want to describe a situation, use the STAR method. Describe the Situation, what was your Target, how you took Action, and what was the Result.
The Most Common Medical Receptionist Questions
Let's now put everything together and see what questions you're most likely to be asked and how to answer them. The key is to understand what the recruiters are trying to find out when they ask the questions below.
What does it take to be a great medical receptionist?
If you've never done this job before, be prepared to answer this question because being a medical receptionist job can sometimes be stressful, repetitive, demanding, and tiring.
The recruiters want to determine if you're aware of what you're getting into. The good news is that you already have all the information that you need in this article. All you have to do is describe your role and duties, mention the skills that are necessary to be able to perform those duties, and explain why they are so important.
What's your biggest strength?
Recruiters love this question because they can test how well your skills match the job requirements. It's important to understand that the strength that you talk about has to be strictly relevant to the job. Anything that you excel in in your private life and is not related to the job won't be very useful.
The question might be formulated in different ways, but the answer that you will give is always the same. If they ask you why they should hire you, or what makes you stand out from other candidates, the meaning is the same. Pick a few of the skills from the list of job requirements and apply the STAR method to describe one time that you used those skills.
How do you feel when you have to make debt collection calls?
Nobody likes to make debt collection calls, and there is no need to lie about It. An answer like: "I love to do that!" will not sound believable…
To make your answer is effective, explain to the recruiters that you understand how important it is to ensure that all the bills are regularly paid and how badly it can impact the business when this doesn't happen.
The keyword, in this case, is empathy, so make sure to mention it in your answer. This shows that you're aware of dealing with patients who are facing hard times, especially because of their health issues; they might be struggling financially.
More Medical Receptionist Interview Questions
Here are some additional questions that you might need to answer.
Apply the same principles that we've seen so far: keep your answer relevant to the job, include practical examples, and demonstrate that your skills match the job requirements.
- How would you deliver bad news to a patient?
- Tell us what computer tools and software you were using at your previous job
- Describe a time at work you had to multitask
- Your CV says that you’re trained in basic first aid and CPR. Tell us more about it
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What are your weaknesses?
Looking For More Info Or Advice?
Not sure if this is the right position for you? Then to get a better idea, take a look at my Medical Receptionist Job Description, Health Care Customer Service Representative Job Description, or Medical Assistant Job Description. And how about my Dental Receptionist Job Description, Medical Records Clerk Job Description, Medical Biller Job Description, as well as my Medical Coder Job Description in 2023.
I've also put together a few in-depth guides to help you ace that interview, such as advice on how to Answer Why Best Candidate Position, What Are Your Career Goals, How Do You Handle Conflict, What Are You Most Proud Of, Why We Should Hire You, and How Do You Handle Stress.
You got the job... now you need the right receptionist accessories, of course! We've found many goodies for you, such as a Monitor Stand Riser with Drawer, a Slant Back Acrylic Sign Holder, the EMDMAK Desk Call Bell, Service Bell, SightPro 24 Inch Computer Privacy Screen Filter, and a WAYBER Dual Sided Leather Desk Pad.
But that's not all; how about a 4 Big Diamond Pens Rose Gold & Silver, the SimpleHouseware 6 Trays Desk Document File Tray Organizer, a ComfiLife Foot Rest for Under Desk at Work for those long days as well a Juvale Calendar Block - Wooden Perpetual Desk Calendar. And why not an I Love My Job 11oz Funny Coffee Mug just for your own giggles.
Also, to make sure you have the medical knowledge and lingo down, we recommend reading Medical Terminology: The Best and Most Effective Way to Memorize, Pronounce and Understand Medical Terms.
Lastly, if you have a criminal record, you'll want to read the Best Medical Jobs For Felons to see what your options are.
Several skills and qualities are required to be a good medical receptionist. Some of them can be acquired over time with practice and experience, but others are necessary from the beginning. Knowing what they are and how to demonstrate them to a recruiter is crucial to passing the job interview.
As you prepare for the big day, make sure you practice the interview questions I've shared with you. This will be sure to give you the confidence you need to impress the recruiters.
All the very best with your Interview!