Medical Assistant: Tips for a Virtual Interview

The global pandemic has up-ended how we connect and how we work. Working from home has become a new normal for now but may have lasting repercussions on how healthcare providers view the necessity of an office, in-person appointments or patient care. A video interview may well become the new norm. Nailing a video interview is likely to become another requirement for successful job seekers in the medical field. Here are some tips:

Acknowledge the situation:  We’re all adjusting to a weird new normal, slowly going back to an office, but mostly still working from our homes; with family members and pets nearby. Of course, your interviewer would much rather meet you in person in their office environment but most still aren’t, so here’s the bright side! Your video interview can be an opportunity to connect a little more authentically, with grace and good humor. No doubt your interviewer’s business has been radically affected by the global pandemic. Express your appreciation for the interview taking place, despite the chaos unfolding all around, and making acknowledge the goal of rebuilding after such an intense year and a half.

Practice using technology: By now, you’re likely familiar with all the virtual platforms, but if not, make the time to have a video call with a tech-savvy friend (or teen in your world) ahead of time on the platform that you’ll be using (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, FaceTime, etc.). If you are unfamiliar with the technology, fumbling with it 15 minutes before the video call is a rookie move. Select a place to have the video call where you’ll be uninterrupted.

Figure out the lighting and a background that appears professional. Be sure that your computer audio is working. Make sure that if you have to accept a connection ahead of time (as with Skype) that you’ve done so and your user name sounds professional. Make sure your technology is charged up and that your Wi-Fi signal is strong. If all else fails, ensure you have the phone number of your interviewer on hand so that your interview can continue even if the video technology fails.

Dress and act the part: Dress as you would for an in-person meeting. You’ll want to appear professional, serious and ready to get to work, even if from your basement. Dressing up beyond your normal work from home sweatpants and a tee shirt will also shift your mindset to a more professional one as well as help you stay focused during the interview. Remember to maintain eye contact, no quick movements and pause your communication to allow for transmission delays.

Make a friend first:  As with any interview, you’ll want to be friendly, relatable and establish rapport at the outset. Your goal is to come across as a potential colleague. Be yourself but look for common points of connection (mutual friends, experiences, academic background, interests).

Have answers to important questions: Every Medical Assistant candidate should be prepared with solid answers to the following:

  • Tell me about the experience you have as a Medical Assistant. Internship work counts.  (It’s good to know how much experience candidates have as a Medical Assistant).
  • Why are you right for the role?  What do you uniquely bring in terms of experience, leadership and personal attributes that make you a good fit for the company?
  • Do you have experience handling front office obligations? Are you comfortable answering phones and greeting patients? Medical Assistants are often tasked with doing a mix of administrative and clinical work.
  • What phlebotomy training have you had if any? Drawing blood is part of the Medical Assistant’s job. (Be ready to talk about your phlebotomy training, comfort with taking blood and your ability to take patients’ vitals).

Follow up, even if they don’t. After your interview is over, send a warm thank you email within 24 hours. Express your enthusiasm for the company and the role and make sure to reference something from your conversation. If you are interviewing with multiple people, make each email different (yes, colleagues compare thank you emails).

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are devoted to fostering positivity, empathy, professionalism, and integrity in our future medical assistants.  In order to protect our community during the COVID-19 crisis, The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit​ to learn more.

-Allen School

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