Prepare answers to these questions as preparation for your job search process
When you’re finishing up your coursework for a training program in medical billing and coding, the next step will be looking for a job in this field. The interview process is an important part of finding the right position, because it gives the employer a chance to get to know more about you and the skills you would bring to a position. An interview also allows you to practice how you talk about yourself in a professional context, and to ask any questions you might have about the job.
The best way to do well in a job interview is to prepare. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of some of the common interview questions you’re likely to get, as well as some sample answers. We don’t recommend that you use these answers word for word, because you should tailor your responses to your own particular strengths, skills, and style of speaking. But these should get you started as you begin to prepare.
With each question, think about what the interviewer is trying to learn about you. Then provide an answer that paints a picture for them, in a focused and concise way. This can take some practice!
1. “What skills do you have that would help you in this job?”
This is the employer’s way of finding out whether you understand what the job entails. In your answer, show that you understand the job requirements by addressing what you know about the job description. This is also a chance to ask questions about any duties you aren’t clear about. You can talk about personal work traits you’re proud of. For example:
“I have training in the coding and billing processes that most doctors’ offices use. I’m curious to learn more about the particular software that you use here. With all of the past jobs I’ve held, I’ve demonstrated that I’m thorough and detail-oriented, and am able to work efficiently to stay ahead of my workload.”
2. “What do you like about being a medical biller and coder?”
Employers know that people who are happy in their job tend to stay and be a positive contributor to the team. This question is a way for a prospective employer to find out how committed you are and how much you like what you do. So be honest about what you think is rewarding about this kind of work. For example:
“What I like best about being a medical biller and coder is the chance to investigate a complicated claim and resolve the mystery about how it should be coded. It feels good to solve the problem. And it’s important to help the organization I work for to get reimbursed correctly for the services they provide.”
3. “What do you like least about this kind of work?”
You don’t want to say anything the interviewer might consider a complaint. It’s safer to say you like the responsibilities you’ve had and would be eager to gain more over time. For example:
“I haven’t yet found an aspect of the job that I don’t enjoy. I’m eager to learn more over time so I can continue to improve and grow in my position.”
4. “What kind of Medical Records Software have you used?”
This is the interviewer’s way of trying to find out whether you have the technical skills they need for the job. Tell them about any EMR/EHR systems in which you are proficient and/or have experience. If you aren’t familiar with a particular aspect of what the interviewer is asking about, don’t worry. Just find a positive way to say that. For example:
“I did learn about this aspect of the job in my training program at Harris Casel, but I have not had experience with it on the job. I’d look forward to learning how you handle this aspect of healthcare here at [name of company].”
5. “What interests you about working at this company?”
It’s always smart to research the employer before the interview, so you’re familiar with their size and how they’re organized. This makes it easier to ask good, targeted questions. You can find out a fair amount by reading the company’s website—especially any sections related to medical billing procedures. You want to show that you’ve done your homework and taken some initiative. A good answer to this question also includes the professional reasons you’d want to work there, at that particular company, rather than the personal reasons you want the job (like the salary or the location). You might want to mention some of your personal qualifications. For example:
“I like that you provide a valuable service to your patients, and that the practice is small, so I would get to know the doctors and nurses and other administrators in the process of doing my job. I would be a good fit working here, because I am knowledgeable about billing and coding processes for the kinds of procedures you perform. I am confident I could help you ensure that your patients promptly receive bills that are accurate.”
6. “Where do you see yourself working in 5 years?”
Don’t let this question throw you. The employer is trying to understand how long you plan to stick with this job if they offer it to you. You want to be honest about your plans, perhaps including that you’d like to find a position where you’d have the opportunity to grow and expand your skills over time. You want to sound committed to sticking with a job so that you’re worth the time they would invest in training you. If your long-term goal is eventually to manage other people, you could mention that detail. For example:
“I’d like to find a position where I could stay with the company and grow professionally over the course of five years. I like the idea of eventually managing other administrative staff down the road.”
7. “Why are you the best candidate for this job?”
You want to sound confident, but also eager to learn on the job. Reiterate your computer and coding skills as well as the thoroughness attention to detail you would bring to the job. Try to be specific about what you know about this company. For example:
“I am a strong candidate because I have the coding skills needed to do the job and I work well independently. I am confident that I can handle the tasks in the job description. I would be a dependable and productive member of your staff.”
At the end of the interview, there’s usually time for you to ask questions, so think in advance about what you want to ask. One good question is, “What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?”
Once you’ve spent time on your preparation, take time to consider your interview outfit, since you want to present your most professional self. Check out these tips on what to wear: for men and for women. Then hold your head high as you walk into the interview, envisioning your future and giving potential employers the chance to see how much you have to offer. We wish you the best of luck on each and every interview!
This article is part of the Harris Casel Institute’s weekly blog. We offer several career training programs at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online for more info, or call 321-676-4066 to speak with a representative of our Admissions Department, who can answer any questions you might have.