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Medical Secretary interview questions and answers

These sample Medical Secretary interview questions will help you evaluate candidates’ skills. Use them to hire the most qualified people for your open roles.

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

medical secretary interview questions

10 Good Medical Secretary Interview Questions

  1. A patient wants your office to perform a medical test but hasn’t scheduled an appointment. If there are no appointments on the calendar for the next hour, would you accept that patient? Why or why not?
  2. How would you respond if you didn’t know how to answer a patient’s question?
  3. A doctor who is in a hurry asks you to print a patient’s medical record, but the printer isn’t currently working. How would you handle this situation?
  4. What information would you ask for if a pharmacist calls to request a medication refill for a patient?
  5. What are your duties during a typical day?
  6. What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at the office?
  7. Do you use any productivity applications or tools (e.g., to manage your calendar)? If so, what are they?
  8. What’s your experience with Electronic Health Records (EHR)?
  9. Are you familiar with how to record a patient’s medical history? What do you ask patients before they see the doctor?
  10. What steps do you take to protect confidential information?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. A patient wants your office to perform a medical test but hasn’t scheduled an appointment. If there are no appointments on the calendar for the next hour, would you accept that patient? Why or why not?

This question assesses the candidate’s decision-making skills and their ability to manage time effectively in a medical setting.

Sample Answer:

“Yes, I would accept the patient for the medical test. Since there are no appointments scheduled for the next hour, it would be feasible to accommodate the patient without disrupting the office’s workflow.”

2. How would you respond if you didn’t know how to answer a patient’s question?

This question evaluates the candidate’s communication skills and their approach to problem-solving when faced with uncertainty.

Sample Answer:

“If I don’t know the answer to a patient’s question, I would politely inform them that I need to consult with the medical staff for accurate information and get back to them as soon as possible.”

3. A doctor who is in a hurry asks you to print a patient’s medical record, but the printer isn’t currently working. How would you handle this situation?

This question tests the candidate’s ability to handle stressful situations and come up with quick solutions.

Sample Answer:

“I would immediately inform the doctor about the printer issue and offer to email the medical record as an alternative solution.”

4. What information would you ask for if a pharmacist calls to request a medication refill for a patient?

This question gauges the candidate’s understanding of medical protocols and attention to detail.

Sample Answer:

“I would ask for the patient’s name, date of birth, and the medication details to confirm the request before proceeding.”

5. What are your duties during a typical day?

This question helps to understand the candidate’s familiarity with the daily responsibilities of a medical secretary.

Sample Answer:

“My typical day involves scheduling appointments, managing patient records, answering phone calls, and coordinating with medical staff.”

6. What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at the office?

This question assesses the candidate’s organizational skills and how they prioritize tasks.

Sample Answer:

“The first thing I do is check the appointment calendar and prepare the necessary files for the day’s patients.”

7. Do you use any productivity applications or tools (e.g., to manage your calendar)? If so, what are they?

This question evaluates the candidate’s tech-savviness and their ability to use tools to improve efficiency.

Sample Answer:

“Yes, I use Google Calendar for appointment scheduling and Trello for task management.”

8. What’s your experience with Electronic Health Records (EHR)?

This question gauges the candidate’s familiarity with digital record-keeping systems in a medical setting.

Sample Answer:

“I have two years of experience using EHR systems for managing patient records, appointment scheduling, and billing.”

9. Are you familiar with how to record a patient’s medical history? What do you ask patients before they see the doctor?

This question assesses the candidate’s understanding of medical protocols and their ability to collect accurate information.

Sample Answer:

“Yes, I am familiar with recording medical history. I usually ask patients about their medical history, current medications, and any allergies they may have.”

10. What steps do you take to protect confidential information?

This question tests the candidate’s understanding of privacy laws and their commitment to safeguarding sensitive information.

Sample Answer:

“I follow all HIPAA guidelines and ensure that all patient records are securely stored and accessible only to authorized personnel.”

What does a good medical secretary candidate look like?

A good medical secretary candidate is highly organized, tech-savvy, and possesses strong communication skills. They should have a good understanding of medical terminology and be able to handle sensitive information discreetly. Experience in a medical setting is a plus.

Red flags

Be cautious of candidates who lack attention to detail, have poor communication skills, or are unfamiliar with basic medical terminology and procedures.



Medical Secretary Interview Questions

Medical Secretaries schedule appointments, keep organized medical records and provide information to patients by phone or in-person. They ensure that a medical office’s daily operations run smoothly.

For this role, look for candidates who are able to multitask in an office environment. Screen for previous experience with office equipment, knowledge of basic bookkeeping procedures (e.g. processing invoices) and ability to manage physical and digital records. Qualified candidates will also showcase strong communication skills and a flair for helping people in need.

During your interviews, keep an eye out for candidates with experience in medical settings. They’ll better understand medical terminology and regular procedures, like typing up a prescription and documenting a patient’s medical history. Opt for candidates who handle sensitive information discreetly and are empathetic to other people’s difficulties.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

 

Operational and Situational questions

  • A patient wants your office to perform a medical test but hasn’t scheduled an appointment. If there are no appointments on the calendar for the next hour, would you accept that patient? Why or why not?
  • How would you respond if you didn’t know how to answer a patient’s question?
  • A doctor who is in a hurry asks you to print a patient’s medical record, but the printer isn’t currently working. How would you handle this situation?
  • What information would you ask for if a pharmacist calls to request a medication refill for a patient?

Role-specific questions

  • What are your duties during a typical day?
  • What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at the office?
  • Do you use any productivity applications or tools (e.g. to manage your calendar?) If so, what are they?
  • What’s your experience with Electronic Health Records (EHR)?
  • Are you familiar with how to record patient’s medical history? What do you ask patients before they see the doctor?
  • How do you disseminate the daily schedule to medical staff?
  • What steps do you take to protect confidential information?
  • What is considered protected information under HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?

Behavioral questions

  • Why did you choose this field?
  • How do you manage to stay calm under difficult patient situations (e.g. patients with serious chronic health conditions?)
  • Have you ever implemented a new method to organize your files? What was it? If not, what do you do to ensure your filing system is effective?
  • How do you handle patients who have no health insurance and aren’t able to pay for necessary medical services?
  • Tell me about a time you had to serve multiple patients at once. How did you prioritize their needs?
  • How do you treat patients of different ages?

Frequently asked questions

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