So you have finally finished school and are ready to get that medical assisting job. To get an job interview is your absolute next goal. You go to all the resources that are open to you to find out which jobs are available. Once you have chosen the ones you want to apply for, you start sending out resumes. Make realistic career expectations.

But, once you land that first interview, what do you do?  How do you handle yourself?  How do you know what to say?  How do you know how best to prepare?

This article will help you explore everything you need to do to ultimately have a successful job interview and increase your chances of being hired.

Creating the Perfect Resume

You will need to create the resume that will get noticed. Make sure your personal information is correct. Think about what you want to present in your resume.  Some aspects you might want to consider in your resume is:

  • Experience – If you have worked in a medical office before, be sure and list all your duties. Don’t forget to include your externship experience.
  • Education – Education is a must. I always list all my education, whether it pertains to medical assisting or not.
  • Personal Qualities – This gives them an idea of who you are. Be sure the wording is right. It may win you a position or not.
  • Abilities – Know your abilities and list them on the resume. This could be where you list your skills.
  • Interests – Some of your interests may not be suitable for the job. Use precaution when putting your interests on the resume.

Take time on preparing your resume. This may get your foot in the door. There are many websites that can assist you in preparing the perfect resume.

Preparing for Your Interview

What can you do to prepare yourself for the interview? Make sure you have decided if you want to work full-time or part-time. Check the background on the group you are interviewing for. It works in a positive way toward you if you ask the interviewer questions regarding the company. They will be impressed that you took the time to research their company.

Make a list of questions you may want to ask the interviewer. Trust me, you will be nervous while you are there and may forget to ask the questions if you do not make a list. Review answers you would give if asked certain questions. This may help put you at ease and make the interview go smooth. Be sure to decide on the attire you will wear to the interview. It is a good idea to lay it out the night before. Rushing before the interview is never good.

Decide if you should bring anything with you to the interview. It would be a good idea to have your certifications with you. Also bring any letters of recommendations you may have. If there are any other papers you feel will benefit you, be sure and bring them with you.

How to Conduct Yourself in the Interview

Stand and sit in a way that shows confidence. Make sure to listen to your interviewer. Make good eye contact with the interviewer. Do not talk too much in the interview. Make sure you review the job skills and pair yourself with the ones you can do.

Always use great communication skills and appropriate language. Do not make negative statements regarding age, race, religion or sexual orientation. Do not act as if you already have the job. Being cocky will not get you anywhere. Do not make desperate pleas

What should you wear to your interview?  It is most important to were proper attire. You are the first think that is seen. First impressions can matter. Be sure to dress professionally. That may include wearing a suit. You want to leave a good impression.

Do not wear tight, short skirts or blouses with low cleavage. Women should wear suit or slacks and a nice blouse. Men should wear business suit or nice slacks, nice shirt and tie. Wear dress shoes also to compliment the outfit. Do not wear flip flops.  Never wear scrubs for an interview even though you will wear them daily when working.

If you have visible tattoos or piercings, you may consider removing the piercings or covering the tattoos. Do not wear large jewelry. Keep jewelry at a minimum. Small earrings will do nicely. Be sure and keep in mind, a low-key dress attire is much better than a showy outfit.

Interview Questions That May Be Asked

The number one question is: 

  • Why do you think you are right for the job? Be prepared to tell them why you are right for the job. This is a very important question.
  • The all-time: Tell me about yourself is the tricky one. Just keep in mind to consider what you want them to know.
  • Why do you want to work here? Tell them the reasons you applied and what aspects of the job 
  • Another question is: How you would handle situations that arise in the office. Just answer truthfully. That is the only way this can be answered.
  • What is your greatest weakness? Pick out 3 weaknesses to answer with. You can present a weakness that was turned into a positive. Be prepared.

Employers are looking for trustworthy people to work for them. There are areas that are vital to the job. Communication is a must for a certified medical assistant. The greatest portion of your day will be talking with patients, labs and doctors.  You should possess good communication skills.

Being organized with good work habits are a plus at any position. Be sure you are able to meet the productivity expected. Dependability is a must. Make sure they can depend on you to be at work the time you are designated to be there. Working with fellow employees is great when everyone gets along. Do not cause strife in the work environment.

The Interview

You have done everything you are supposed to do to prepare for your interview. Your resume looks good, your question list is prepared, you have weaknesses listed and you have chosen the attire you want to wear. The only thing to do now is go to the interview.

When you arrive for the interview, introduce yourself to the office receptionist. She will let you know when you can expect to be seen. Have a seat in the waiting area and review items you have brought with you.

When you are called back, walk with confidence. Shake your interviewer’s hand and make eye contact. Sit with confidence and answer all the questions with confidence. Listen when you are being told about the job and what will be expected of you.

Ask your questions at the appropriate time. Be sure to ask about what would be next in the process and who you should stay in touch with regarding the job. When interview is over, thank them for the interview and leave. Be sure to follow up after one week if you are not notified you have the job. Send a thank you note as a courtesy. This will show you are interested in the job.

The Final Review

The best thing to do is prepare for everything. Do not wait for the last minute to get everything together. Review that you have the best resume you can produce, review that you have all the certificates and letters of reference you will need. Be sure to review the address and appointment time. Make sure you have the appropriate attire for an interview. If you do not or cannot afford proper clothing, check with your school. They sometimes have clothes collected that will benefit people being interviewed. Review questions that may be asked of you.

Whether you get the job or not, this experience will be good for you. You can look at things you feel were wrong and things that were right. Evaluate yourself! Continue to search for jobs in your field. There are other jobs and other interviews. Do not be devastated if you do not get the job. This is the first interview you went to. You learn by doing. The more interviews you go to the more you will learn.

Be prepared and stay positive about the interview process. The job is well worth it. Keep a record of your interview in case you need it again. You learn from the interview. Make the best of it and you will be prepared for anything. Take on the job process as a step in your goal in life. This will be the beginning of a lifelong career for you. Set goals for yourself and follow through with them. Never refuse opportunities to better yourself. Take on the interview process as an opportunity for achievement in your life. Take it!

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