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Patient Advocate Interview Questions

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  1. As a patient advocate, you will have to deal with a lot of emotions on a daily basis. How will you cope with this stress? See answer
  2. Tell me about your ethical values and how you adhere to a professional code of conduct and professional standards. See answer
  3. How do you coordinate communication effectively between patients, doctors, family members, administrative staff and relevant outside agencies? See answer
  4. Tell me about a time that you faced an ethical dilemma with a patient as their advocate and how you handled it. See answer
  5. What would you do if two of your patients had a pending emergency at the same time? See answer
  6. How would you describe the role of a patient advocate? See answer
  7. Are you comfortable managing your own time with little to no supervision?
  8. Have you worked with insurance companies before when obtaining authorizations or referrals for your patients?
  9. Is there a particular demographic you’d most like to work with?
  10. Imagine your patient is about to receive some challenging information. How would you prepare them for it?
  11. How do you stay aware of any legal or regulatory changes in your field?
  12. What certifications or licenses do you hold related to being a patient advocate?
  13. What actions would you take if it was clear your patient’s doctor was negligent?
  14. What qualities and attributes do you think are most important in your role as a patient advocate?
  15. Do you speak any other languages?
  16. Are you interested in professional development in a specific area of healthcare?
  17. Can you work unusual hours and respond to patient requests quickly?
  18. How would you help to resolve a conflict between a patient and a provider?
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6 Patient Advocate Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As a patient advocate, you will have to deal with a lot of emotions on a daily basis. How will you cope with this stress?

A:

A candidate’s answer to this question will help you determine how they prevent themselves from experiencing secondary trauma or compassion fatigue. Because people can experience burnout in this field, it is critical to hire people who have the ability to keep a healthy work-life balance and care for themselves so they can provide the best care for their patients. You also want them to have a strong sense of empathy. What to look for in an answer:

  • Use of methods for self-care
  • Knowledge of secondary trauma
  • Calm and collected demeanor when answering

Example:

“I compartmentalize my work life and my home life to allow myself to fully recharge when I am not on duty. I have a supportive social and family circle and regularly practice self-care, such as taking breaks and going for massages.”

Q:

Tell me about your ethical values and how you adhere to a professional code of conduct and professional standards.

A:

The candidate’s answer to this question will display their knowledge of best practices and their integrity as a patient advocate. Because professionals in this position could possibly do a disservice to their clients if they step outside of their professional boundaries or knowledge base, it is critical to hire a patient advocate who is aware of how they can genuinely respect both patients and their families. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of professional standards and ethical framework
  • Plans for continuous education to remain current on healthcare trends
  • Integrity in practice

Example:

“I am committed to promoting the rights and safety of my clients. I respect their values and right to self-determination as well as their privacy. I read books and attend courses so that my healthcare knowledge stays relevant.”

Q:

How do you coordinate communication effectively between patients, doctors, family members, administrative staff and relevant outside agencies?

A:

You want to gauge the candidate’s ability to keep lines of communication open between all parties involved. They should prioritize excellent communication, as it is critical to improved patient care, satisfaction and outcomes. Patient advocates should understand and further explain their patients’ care plans to help them follow the prescribed treatment, make any necessary lifestyle changes, and adhere to their medical care instructions. What to look for in an answer:

  • Example of how they might keep everyone on the same page
  • Dedication to providing the client with a positive experience
  • Good written and verbal communication skills

Example:

“I make an effort to communicate important information to all involved with the patient as needed in a timely manner. Depending on the client, I conduct weekly, bi-weekly or monthly conference calls with all constituents to touch base, assess progress and alter goals as needed.”

Q:

Tell me about a time that you faced an ethical dilemma with a patient as their advocate and how you handled it.

A:

This question gives you a sense of the candidate’s experience, and it will help you gauge their moral compass as well. The specific situation surrounding their answer does not matter as much as the fact that they can recognize they faced an ethical crossroads and they chose to make a morally sound decision. This will also help you determine their competence regarding the ethics involved in patient advocacy. What to look for in an answer:

  • A specific example of an ethical dilemma
  • Decision-making ability regarding ethical issues
  • Willingness to do what is best for the patient

Example:

“When given a client with differing religious beliefs from my own, I acknowledged my biases and put them aside to advocate for the patient. I have experienced unconscious bias myself, so I go out of my way to concentrate on my job and treat all clients with respect.”

Q:

What would you do if two of your patients had a pending emergency at the same time?

A:

With this question, you will be able to see how the candidate prioritizes their duties and their ability to problem solve in a way that is in the best interest of everyone. You can also assess their ability to remain calm during times of stress and determine which tasks can be put on hold, which can be delegated and which need to be tended to immediately. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to prioritize tasks
  • Willingness to be resourceful and ask for help
  • Ability to determine immediate threats

Example:

“I would assess each situation to determine if one had a quick solution. If not, I would reach out to a supervisor for assistance.”

Q:

How would you describe the role of a patient advocate?

A:

Patient advocates are important professionals in the healthcare industry. Despite the value they bring to both doctors and patients, they're not as well known as other types of caretakers. Patient advocates often have to explain their role to their patients in a clear and concise manner. Look for candidates who are excellent communicators to ensure they'll communicate effectively with their patients.

Look for a candidate answer that includes:

  • Description of a patient advocate's job
  • How that job supports your organization
  • How that job supports patients

A strong candidate answer might resemble this example:

Example:

"Patient advocates help patients navigate the healthcare system from an initial screening through treatment. Often, patient advocates can assist with managing insurance claims and understanding the complexities of a challenging diagnosis or treatment plan. Having effective patient advocates on staff often increases the healthcare professionals' ability to effectively treat patients and helps patients understand the medical process they're going through."

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