37 Common Medical Receptionist Interview Questions

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interviewing for a medical receptionist job, you have a chance to display your qualifications to impress the hiring manager. Being properly prepared for the interview can help you confidently answer interview questions and provide context for your answers. Learning about some common interview questions that you might encounter may help you craft thoughtful and concise responses. In this article, we list 37 common medical receptionist interview questions and provide a few sample answers.

General questions for a medical receptionist interview

A medical receptionist interview can be similar to other receptionist job interviews, but with additional questions specific to the health care field. For any customer-facing position, interviewers often intend to assess your personality. These common questions assist an interviewer in understanding your character, experience and enthusiasm for the position and organisation:

  • Give me a little background about yourself.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What attributes would you use to describe yourself?

  • What is your greatest weakness and what steps are you taking to improve yourself?

  • What are your greatest strengths and how can they assist you as a medical receptionist?

  • Do you enjoy interacting with people?

  • Why are you leaving your present position?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • Why were you drawn to this position?

  • Why should I hire you for the position?

  • Describe yourself in five words.

  • What makes a good workplace in your opinion?

  • How effective are you at solving problems in the workplace?

  • What are your salary expectations for the position?

Related: Interviewing Skills to Ace a Job Interview

Questions about your experience and background

The following questions can help a potential employer evaluate whether you have relevant qualifications for the position. These questions allow an interviewer to see if your experience and core values align with an organisation:

  • Tell me about your experience as a medical receptionist.

  • What do you like most about being a medical receptionist?

  • What type of computer skills do you have?

  • Do you have experience scheduling patient appointments?

  • What do you dislike most about being a medical receptionist and why?

  • How do you handle confidential information?

  • Explain your communication style.

  • How do you react under pressure?

  • What challenges do you feel the position has?

  • What characteristics do you think make a good receptionist?

In-depth questions

As an interview progresses, your qualifications may come under review through more specific questions. In-depth questions can help an interviewer understand how you would perform in your new role:

  • What type of interactions do you have with patients?

  • Do you have experience maintaining patient accounts? If so, what computer software do you use?

  • How do you interact with patients if you've been having a bad day?

  • How do you handle something when it doesn't go as planned?

  • Were there any additional responsibilities outside of being a medical receptionist that you handled?

  • Are you available to work extra hours if they're required?

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

  • Are you comfortable calling patients to collect overdue bills?

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview

5 medical receptionist interview questions and sample answers

When preparing for a medical receptionist interview, reviewing sample answers may help you craft your own and learn how to provide context. Here are five typical interview questions and sample answers for you to reference when preparing for your interview :

1. How would you handle a disgruntled patient?

Employers typically ask this question to evaluate your problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. As the face of an office or clinic, you might encounter unsatisfied patients. During your interactions, it's important to remain professional and positive so you can be as helpful as possible. This is an opportunity to convey any experiences you may have had where you've had to diffuse situations and achieve positive outcomes.

Example: "A patient arrived very upset that they had received a bill for a substantial amount of money. I asked them to explain exactly what happened and assured them I would do my best to address the situation and develop a solution. They stated that there must have been a mistake and their insurance plan should cover the amount they owe. My communication and demeanour helped calm them down, and they felt relieved that someone could help them. I investigated their records, found a mistake and corrected the bill."

Related: How to Succeed in a Virtual Interview

2. Can you describe a coworker conflict you helped resolve?

Employers often want to assess a candidate's teamwork skills. This is an important skill for medical receptionists because they often work directly with other staff during their duties. The interviewer might ask for specific examples of your teamwork skills to provide context and determine if your skills are adequate. Consider explaining a situation you encountered where you provided a solution or avoided a potentially more serious outcome.

Example: "When I got my first job as a medical receptionist, one nurse that worked in the clinic seemed biased towards me and everyone else. I didn't know anyone there at the time and was hesitant to ask about them. One day, the nurse was short-tempered with me and a few patients, so I invited them to lunch and asked them whether they were having a bad day. I learned a lot about them, including that their mother had recently passed away and they weren't handling it well.

'I empathised with them and said they could talk to me if needed. I helped to calm them down and created a better work environment for everyone. By focusing on empathy, I was able to solve the root of the problem instead of just addressing the symptoms and simultaneously improved relations with all of my coworkers."

3. Can you describe what you expect from your employer?

Some employers may want to explore a candidate's expectations for the workplace. This can include compensation, company culture or career opportunities. Asking this question helps an employer determine whether the company can meet a potential hire's expectations. Answer honestly and prepare to elaborate on any salary or work environment expectations you might have.

Example: "I expect an employer to provide a safe work environment and the tools I need to perform my job. This includes functional equipment and reasonable safety measures like locked doors, intercom systems and working office phones. I also expect a supportive work environment where I can talk to supervisors about any complaints or concerns I might have without being judged or reprimanded for speaking out. My salary expectations align with my previous position as I believe my experience and education warrant a competitive salary."

4. What is your most important career goal in health care?

Employers often ask about a candidate's career goals to learn about their professional ambitions and to determine whether their company can provide the environment for them to reach those goals. An ambitious candidate might seem more favourable to an employer because they show a desire to grow within their industry, which typically reflects a strong work ethic and discipline to their craft. Consider your most important career goal and how you hope to achieve it. You can share goals like becoming a medical specialist or advancing to healthcare administration roles. Both short- and long-term career goals are acceptable responses.

Example: "My most important career goal in the health care industry is to become a registered nurse. I've always wanted to be a nurse, but becoming a medical receptionist was a quicker route into the health care industry. I wanted to earn an income and gain experience in the medical field while studying for my nursing exams. I hope to work for a company with an excellent track record with patients and employees."

Related: How to Decline an Interview (With Templates and FAQ)

5. Can you describe a time where you protected a patient's privacy?

Patient privacy is an important component of health care and crucial to a health care organisation's success. An employer might ask you this question to determine if you understand the importance of such protections and if you're willing and able to act on behalf of your patients. Consider even minor examples of your commitment to patient privacy, such as filing patient information correctly or verifying a patient's consent to share health care information with other facilities.

Example: "I protected a patient's privacy at my previous job by denying medical information to their employer. The employer called our office to verify that the patient had a pre-existing condition that excluded them from performing certain job duties. I explained to the employer that I needed a consent form signed by the patient to share that information, which neither the patient nor employer had provided. I informed the employer that if the patient gave our office the correct consent to share information with their employer, I would gladly do so, but otherwise was unable to assist them further."

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