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Medical Receptionist Interview Questions

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  1. Tell me about a time that you had a conflict with a patient. See answer
  2. What do you know about this field and our particular practice? See answer
  3. This job may become routine at times. How do you plan to keep yourself motivated? See answer
  4. Are you comfortable with making debt collection calls, and how do you go about doing that? See answer
  5. How do you interact with people who come into the office when you are personally having a bad day? See answer
  6. When was there a time you needed to help calm an unhappy patient at the desk and what did you do to help manage the situation? See answer
  7. What experience do you have that qualifies you to work as a medical receptionist?
  8. What steps do you take to ensure the confidentiality of patients?
  9. Can you tell me about a time you had a particularly difficult time helping a patient and what you did to be successful?
  10. How do you handle stress at work?
  11. What do you think are the top three most important skills for a successful medical receptionist?
  12. Can you tell me the types of software you are familiar with?
  13. How do you securely manage office communications?
  14. Imagine you are completing filing some paperwork, and a patient approaches your desk to ask a question while you are answering a phone call to the office. How would you handle this situation?
  15. What is your typing speed and accuracy?
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6 Medical Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Tell me about a time that you had a conflict with a patient.

A:

This question will help show you the candidate’s level of experience and how they handle adversity. You want to hear an answer that demonstrates the candidate tried their best to prevent the conflict but was able to settle it quickly once it occurred. You want to find a person who will not become stressed under pressure and can problem-solve quickly while not allowing the negativity to impact their job performance.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding that conflict is inevitable
  • Ability to not take adversity personally
  • Ability to take preventative measures before conflicts arise

Example:

“I realized one morning that I had double booked two patients. I rearranged his schedule to fit them both in with minimal disruption.”

Q:

What do you know about this field and our particular practice?

A:

A strong answer to this question can set a candidate apart because you will be assured that they will be able to talk to patients informatively as soon as they begin work. You want a candidate who is familiar with the services you provide, the practice’s history and any current projects. You also want someone who has an interest in the future of the practice and emerging research.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Abiity to take the initiative
  • Working knowledge of the medical procedures that occur
  • Knowledge of your company culture

Example:

“I’ve worked for a dermatologist before, so I am familiar with the terminology. I am specifically impressed by your volunteer work with underprivileged families.”

Q:

This job may become routine at times. How do you plan to keep yourself motivated?

A:

Your candidate’s answer to this question will help you gauge if they mind doing seemingly routine work. Ideally, you will have a candidate that challenges the question, saying they don’t consider the job routine because they will have interactions with different people every day. You also want to have a candidate that shows they are able to find a meaningful purpose in their job that keeps them motivated.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to be a self-starter
  • Ability to see their job as being meaningful
  • Contentment with a routine schedule

Example:

“I enjoy meeting and helping people, so I believe the interpersonal interactions and satisfaction I get from assisting others will keep me motivated.”

Q:

Are you comfortable with making debt collection calls, and how do you go about doing that?

A:

This question will help you see how the candidate deals with unwanted parts of the job. Performing debt collection calls can be stressful, so you want someone who has a plan of action to take on this responsibility. If you are faced with a candidate who has not had to do this before, you want to see that they are willing to go through supervision to obtain the necessary skills.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to confront challenging tasks
  • Proactive in dealing with the practice’s finances
  • A plan for tackling opposition

Example:

“I am comfortable making these calls. Previously, I have shown patients empathy regarding their financial troubles and helped them problem-solve to pay their debt.”

Q:

How do you interact with people who come into the office when you are personally having a bad day?

A:

You want a candidate who is able to keep their personal life and their professional life separate. You do not want patients to feel unwelcome when they walk in because the medical receptionist is upset. Look for a candidate who can demonstrate their ability to put patients first when they are at work and greet everyone with a smile, regardless of what is going on behind the scenes.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to be welcoming and friendly regardless of circumstances
  • Enthusiasm about the position
  • Ability to maintain professionalism at all times

Example:

“I am always professional at work and able to separate my personal affairs from my work. Part of my job is making the public feel welcome and positive, so I would certainly make sure to maintain that positive image and attitude regardless of exterior circumstances.”

Q:

When was there a time you needed to help calm an unhappy patient at the desk and what did you do to help manage the situation?

A:

This is an important question because it reveals how the candidate works under stressful situations and the steps they take to manage an office and maintain harmony for all workers and visitors. It will show how comfortable the candidate is in helping an upset individual and their interpersonal skills. A medical receptionist deals with many individuals on a daily basis, some of which are in very stressful situations. A candidate should reveal empathy and understanding when working with others.

The candidate's response should focus on:

  • Effective communication
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle stressful situations

An answer to this question may look something like this:

Example:

"There have been several instances where I have had an upset patient at my desk. At times it can be due to a billing issue or even receiving bad news during an exam or appointment. It is unknown to a medical receptionist what causes our patients to be upset and never appropriate to ask. Often people will reveal the source of their discontent and seeing the span of emotions can be difficult. I keep my composure and try to help them focus on their paperwork of whatever they need to get done so that they can go to a more comfortable or private area. I am always concerned for each person and help in whatever way I can."

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