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7 Contact Tracer Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

Describe a time when you had to establish and build trust with a client or customer.

A:

A Contact Tracer gathers and records private information, including a patient's name, date of birth and address. When conducting interviews, they may also ask patients to describe their symptoms and recall the names of people they have recently interacted with. Some people may be hesitant to disclose this type of information, so ask this interview question to find out if a Contact Tracer candidate is able to communicate effectively to build trust and make people feel comfortable. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to empathize
  • Desire to help others
  • Strong listening and speaking skills
Example:

“In my previous role as a Sales Representative, I took on a client that had a negative experience with a former colleague of mine. He was on the verge of ending his relationship with the company, but by listening, adapting to his communication style and offering a solution, I was able to win him back.”

Q:

Have you ever had to deal with an uncooperative customer or patient? What was the outcome?

A:

Many people a Contact Tracer speaks with are happy to receive support and guidance, but some may not respond as positively. Interactions with uncooperative contacts are bound to happen, whether due to underlying stress, frustration, skepticism or an unwillingness to participate. However, the way a Contact Tracer responds has the potential to turn an uncooperative contact into one willing to provide the necessary information. What to look for in an answer:

  • Effective persuasive skills without appearing confrontational
  • Ability to respond positively in stressful situations
  • Sense of compassion and understanding for others
Example:

“As a Medical Assistant, I was tasked with administering oral medication to an aggressive patient. He initially refused to take the medication. However, I listened calmly as he voiced his frustrations, then addressed his concerns one by one. As it turns out, the issue was a miscommunication that was resolved quickly and without escalation.”

Q:

What are some of your strengths that would enable you to succeed in this role?

A:

On top of performing administrative duties, including placing phone calls following a script, recording data and using computer software programs, Contact Tracers should also have certain soft skills. Having a sense of curiosity, sound judgment and interpersonal skills (e.g., empathy, persuasiveness, active listening) can help contacts feel comfortable and make them more likely to comply with suggested medical and self-quarantine advice. What to look for in an answer:

  • Good understanding of the role’s duties and responsibilities
  • Comfortable managing various administrative tasks
  • Transferable soft skills
Example:

“When I worked in the hospitality industry, I enjoyed multitasking between answering phone calls, entering data in the hotel management system and taking care of hotel guests. I also prided myself on my excellent customer service skills, and always strived to make each guest feel special and welcome during their stay.”

Q:

Tell me about a previous role where you had to manage multiple tasks or projects simultaneously.

A:

Contact Tracers work in a fast-paced environment where they must accurately collect, document and track a large amount of information. This means that time management and organizational skills are essential to their success. Asking questions specific to each patient’s situation and medical status is also important, so this interview question will help you pinpoint a Contact Tracer who can think critically and problem-solve — and will likely adapt well to the role. What to look for in an answer:

  • Shows an interest in performing detail-oriented tasks
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience successfully managing multiple projects and deadlines
Example:

“In my last position, I was responsible for planning and coordinating a monthly farmer’s market, which involved doing a lot of things at once, including scouting locations, securing vendors and tracking invoices on an ongoing basis.”

Q:

What is your experience collecting and managing confidential information?

A:

When Contact Tracers conduct interviews, they collect private information that should only be stored and shared for the purposes of contact tracing. To protect patient privacy, Contact Tracers should never disclose the names of infected individuals and should follow patient confidentiality best practices, such as limiting the possibility of someone overhearing an interview. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of patient confidentiality
  • Discretion
  • Knowledge of HIPAA
Example:

“When I worked in a dental office, I handled patient records regularly and answered between 20 and 30 phone calls a day. To protect our patients’ confidentiality, I followed a number of practices, including using a paper shredder to dispose of records and never disclosing too much information on voicemails.”

Q:

Have you had to deliver bad news to a client or customer before?

A:

Part of a Contact Tracer’s role is to get in touch with people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. Receiving this news can be unsettling, which places extra importance on how a Contact Tracer delivers it. This interview question uncovers a candidate’s ability to be compassionate and deliver information concisely, which are good signs that they’re equipped to have these difficult discussions tactfully. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience delivering bad news
  • Understanding of how to communicate with individuals in distress
  • Ability to stay calm in stressful or uncomfortable situations
Example:

“In my previous role, I was responsible for contacting patients with their test results. Although I frequently delivered good news, I occasionally had to be the bearer of bad news when unfavorable results came back. In cases like this, I made sure to have all of the information easily accessible so I could answer their questions, and I spoke and reacted with compassion.”

Q:

Can you describe your data entry experience?

A:

Much of a Contact Tracer’s role relies on their ability to enter data into spreadsheets. Not only should a Contact Tracer be detail-oriented and attentive to gather all of the necessary facts, but they must also be able to record this information accurately and completely. What to look for in an answer:

  • Attention to detail
  • Data entry experience
  • Typing speed
Example:

“Being a Customer Care Coordinator, I routinely spoke with a large volume of customers on a daily basis regarding their recent orders. I thoroughly recorded customer inquiries and concerns into a database in order to facilitate resolution and satisfy their issue quickly, or escalate the issue to management if necessary.”

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