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Optometrist Interview Questions

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  1. What sort of lens choice would you recommend based on this prescription for a patient? See answer
  2. How comfortable are you fitting patients with contact lenses and educating first-time contact lens wearers? See answer
  3. On a day where you do not have a lot of patients scheduled, what would you do to occupy your time? See answer
  4. What would you do if a patient disagreed with your assessment of their vision? See answer
  5. How would you deal with a staff member who was not providing you with enough support at the optometry clinic? See answer
  6. How would you manage interoffice conflict between two junior staff members? See answer
  7. Explain how to use a phoropter.
  8. What questions would you ask to get an understanding of the patient’s medical history?
  9. Describe the patient who left the biggest impact on you.
  10. What interests you about the field of optometry?
  11. Tell me about your professional development in the last year.
  12. What resources do you need to do your job well?
  13. How can you help our practice grow and improve?
  14. If a patient came to you with yellow eyes, what might that be a symptom of?
  15. You have a difficult diagnosis to share with a patient. How would you do it?
  16. Do you speak any other languages?
  17. What are your top three tips for keeping good eyesight?
  18. How would you approach a first time patient versus a returning patient?
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6 Optometrist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What sort of lens choice would you recommend based on this prescription for a patient?

A:

Using this question allows you to see how competent the optometrist candidate truly is. Instead of just asking them to list their schooling or training, it lets them show you how well they put that education to use. A candidate who can properly answer this question is someone who understands the diagnosis of common eye problems and is aware of multiple treatment options for the issue.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of various corrective lenses
  • A lack of hesitation when answering
  • The ability to explain reasoning behind choices

Example:

“I can see that this patient has high levels of myopia, so they’d benefit from a lightweight, high-index plastic lens.”

Q:

How comfortable are you fitting patients with contact lenses and educating first-time contact lens wearers?

A:

Contacts are increasingly popular, so you need to know how well the candidate works with them. Asking this question gives more information than you would get by just asking whether the optometrist can fit contact lenses. It encourages the applicant to tell you about both their training and experience with contact lenses. This question also helps you see how much care the optometrist is willing to provide their patients.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Confidence in contact lens fitting abilities
  • Interest in educating patients with lenses
  • Knowledge of the many contact lens applications

Example:

“I’ve completed a certification course on contact lens fitting, and I have years of experience with fitting patients and showing them how to use contacts.”

Q:

On a day where you do not have a lot of patients scheduled, what would you do to occupy your time?

A:

This question is important because an optometrist’s duties should include more than helping patients with exams and fittings. Bringing up this topic in an interview lets you know what other roles the candidate is comfortable filling. Their answer also tells you a lot about their initiative to work. You can learn whether they come up with tasks on their own or wait for instructions.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Self-motivated workers
  • A desire to stay busy
  • Interest in responsibilities besides patient care

Example:

“After I caught up on all my filings and records, I’d write some blog articles to educate our patients and attract more customers.”

Q:

What would you do if a patient disagreed with your assessment of their vision?

A:

Optometrists spend a lot of their days interacting with patients, so you need to ask them this question to learn how well they would manage customer service at your office. Their answer tells you whether the applicant is likely to be abrupt and rude to patients or if they are likely to go out of their way to help people and ensure they are happy.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Strong customer service skills
  • Confidence without being arrogant
  • Enthusiasm about educating and pleasing patients

Example:

“I would explain the reason behind the results that I gave the person and offer to perform another exam if they are still unhappy.”

Q:

How would you deal with a staff member who was not providing you with enough support at the optometry clinic?

A:

A good optometrist is more than just a person who can treat patients and bring new business to your clinic. Using this question tells you whether or not they would also be a good fit in your office. Asking them this lets you see how they deal with disagreements. It also lets you learn more about where the candidate expects to fit in office hierarchy.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Tact and politeness
  • Focus on the well-being of the clinic
  • The ability to be firm without being argumentative

Example:

“I would politely bring up the problem in a one-on-one conversation. If that didn’t work, I’d make a formal complaint to their supervisor.”

Q:

How would you manage interoffice conflict between two junior staff members?

A:

Any workplace can experience conflict at one point or another. When hiring an optometrist, you should ensure that they have the medical knowledge to treat patients and that they're also capable managers. Asking this question can help you determine whether the candidate has the necessary leadership skills for the job.

A good answer should include:

  • Recognition of the value of leadership skills
  • Specific steps for settling disagreements
  • An example from a past experience

Look for a candidate response reflective of this example:

Example:

"As a leader in the practice, it's important that I set an example for positive and appropriate staff interactions and help mitigate conflict whenever I can. Usually, I let the parties involved in the disagreement know I'm there to help mediate if needed, but I try to give them a chance to work it out on their own. If it's clear that will not happen, then I set a meeting and help them resolve their differences.

In the past, I've helped multiple staff members work out disagreements as small as eating the other's snacks and as large as one embarrassing the other in front of a patient. I feel well prepared to handle personnel conflicts when needed."

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