26 Medical Receptionist Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 18, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated September 18, 2022

Published August 17, 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.

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If you're preparing for a job interview in the medical field, it can be an extensive but rewarding process. Knowing what to expect during the interview may help you feel more comfortable when meeting an interviewer or potential employer for the first time. Practising some common interview questions for the role is also a great way to learn how to highlight some of your best skills in your answers. In this article, we list some common medical receptionist interview questions and provide five sample answers to help you prepare for your next interview.

Related: 15 Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Common medical receptionist interview questions

During a medical receptionist interview, you can expect many types of medical receptionist interview questions to gauge your knowledge and interest in the role. An interview for this role is typically similar to an interview in any other industry because it tests your soft skills, such as customer service, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. Your interviewer may want to see if you've read the job description and researched the company and position. Hiring managers also ask more in-depth questions about your background and medical experience.

Related: 10 of the Most Essential Medical Receptionist Resume Skills

When answering questions in your interview, formulate responses that highlight your greatest strengths. Be sure to mention your ability to work in a busy environment, both individually and as a part of a team. It's also important to highlight your positive attitude and caring approach. Employers value empathetic, organized medical receptionists who can take care of multiple tasks at once and maintain confidentiality. Here are some important medical receptionist interview questions to help you prepare:

General questions

The interviewer may start by asking you some general questions. They do this to get to know you better and to learn some details about your situation and previous employments. Asking this type of question also helps them observe your enthusiasm about the company and the position. Here are some general questions you can expect to hear at the start of your interview:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why did you pursue a career as a medical receptionist?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Do you work well under pressure?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • Why are you leaving your current position?

  • What makes you the best person for this job?

Related: 19 Common Interview Questions and Answers

Questions about your background and medical experience

Although clinics and hospitals don't hire receptionists to diagnose and treat patients, medical receptionists need to have specific skills, knowledge, and some understanding of the medical field. This is to make sure they know how to deal with medical documentation or understand requests from doctors or medical staff. Here are some more in-depth questions that test your knowledge and background:

  • What skills do you think you need to succeed as a medical receptionist?

  • Do you have experience scheduling appointments?

  • What do you like most about working with patients?

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

  • Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a medical staff member.

  • How do you prioritize customer queries and documentation responsibilities?

Questions about your customer service skills

Medical receptionists interact with patients directly. They greet visitors and work alongside medical staff to ensure the clinic's reception runs smoothly. Because of that, the interviewer may want to make sure you have excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. Here are some common customer service questions you might hear during the interview:

  • What is your communication style?

  • How would you help an elderly patient?

  • Tell me about your customer service experience.

  • How do you improve your customer service skills?

  • What steps do you take to create an excellent customer experience for every patient?

  • What tools do you have experience using as a receptionist?

  • Tell me about a situation when you helped solve a customer's problem.

Read more: 15 Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers

Sample answers to common medical receptionist questions

Here are some helpful sample answers to questions you may receive during a medical receptionist interview. You can use these as inspiration when preparing your own unique responses:

1. Why you have applied to become a medical receptionist?

This question comes in many forms and is often the first question in a job interview. The way you formulate your response shows if you are familiar with the company's values and field, and if you've researched the job offer and position accordingly. When answering, be sure to introduce your personality, interests, and strengths to the interviewer.

Example: "I am someone who enjoys working with other people and finds motivation in helping others. I thrive in a busy environment because it allows me to use my organizational skills and work within a team. Although I am a natural team player, I can work independently or unsupervised, which I have successfully done in past roles. I applied for this position because I am passionate about the medical field and feel like my skills and experience would allow me to successfully support and represent the organization as its medical receptionist."

2. How do you feel about working at night or on the weekend?

Many medical receptionists who work at hospitals and 24-hour clinics need to cover night or weekend shifts. If your interviewer asks to hear your opinion about this, they're trying to make sure you realize that it's not a standard office job with regular work schedule. Consider your schedule before attending your interview so you can outline your availability for the role.

Example: "I am comfortable working an unusual shift schedule. In my past roles, I often worked night and early morning shifts. I quickly get used to changes in schedule because I know that one of the main responsibilities in this role is maintaining a 24-hour customer service policy. It allows the facility to help patients during emergencies, and I'm happy to be there on a rotating basis."

3. You're working at the desk. The phone is ringing, there's a long queue of patients, and a doctor wants to speak to you. What would you prioritize in this situation?

This question allows the interviewer to see if you know how to handle working in a busy environment. When answering, communicate your ability to prioritize and stay calm during busy hours.

Example: "I would talk to the doctor first to make sure they can get back to their patients as soon as possible. If the clinic has a dedicated emergency call staff, I would then take care of the patients as they've been waiting longer than the person on the phone. I would check if my colleagues took care of the incoming calls already, and if not, I would attend to it right away as soon as the queue of patients in front of me was under control. If no one answered the phone, I would check the messages and call the number back to address the missed call."

4. How would you handle an angry patient?

An excellent receptionist can manage any situation and knows how to help patients who feel stressed, sad, or agitated. Interviewers may ask you this question to test your problem-solving skills and see if you know how to prioritize customers' needs and wellbeing. Talk about a previous experience with an agitated customer or patient that you helped to resolve.

Example: "In my previous roles, I had to deal with many agitated customers or patients. Luckily, I was always successful. In a situation like this, I always try to stay calm and friendly, and build a connection with the patient. I offer them my help and introduce elements of non-verbal communication that show them I understand their problem. I provide a solution if possible and assist the patient until a medical professional can take care of them."

Related: Tips on How To Deal with an Angry Customer

5. Why is creating positive customer experiences important in this role?

Medical receptionists greet patients, work closely with medical staff, and maintain the clinic's reputation. Many patients appreciate friendly customer service because it makes them feel important. As a result, they're more likely to come back for another appointment or post a positive review online. If an interviewer asks you this question, they want to know if you've researched the company, if you have the desired medical and customer service knowledge, and that you value providing customers with a positive experience. To answer this question, mention how maintaining good customer relationships can help the facility's reputation.

Example: "As a receptionist, I'm usually the first person who the patients meet when entering the clinic. This means my attitude can help them feel calm and more relaxed right at the start of their visit. Creating positive customer experiences can help build successful long-term relationships with patients and helps the facility and its staff succeed. I also believe it's important for a receptionist's behaviour to align with the company's values because it makes the whole brand seem consistent and trustworthy."

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