Posts Tagged medical office management


101 Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring Almost Anyone

  1. How would you describe a work environment that fits your personality best?
  2. What are the signs that an employer is good to work for?
  3. What do you consider your pet peeves in the workplace?
  4. How do you learn best? Seeing? Doing? Hearing? Taking Notes? One-on-one? In groups?
  5. Do you have a computer at home? What do you use it for?
  6. What computer programs have you used most?
  7. What might make you angry at work?
  8. Do you prefer to have a window visible from your workstation?
  9. What’s the best vacation you ever took in your life?
  10. What’s the worst vacation you ever took in your life?
  11. What do you know about our practice?
  12. What do you think the responsibilities of this job are?
  13. What do you think compassion is?
  14. How do you have compassion for a patient who is yelling at you?
  15. Have you ever been asked to do something at work that made you uncomfortable? What was it and how did you handle it?
  16. What’s the best present you ever received?
  17. What’s the worst present you ever received?
  18. What was the very first job you had as a young person where you got paid?
  19. Is it difficult for you to see people in pain?
  20. If you were asked to bring a home-cooked dish to a work gathering, what would you make?
  21. How would you describe appreciation in the workplace?
  22. What are some ways you like to be appreciated?
  23. Give me an example of a project that you made a significant contribution to (at work or any other environment.)
  24. Tell me something about yourself that would surprise me.
  25. What was your favorite task at your (present or last) job?
  26. What was your least favorite task at your (present or last) job?
  27. What skill that you learned at another job do you think you could use in this job?
  28. What interests you about this practice?
  29. How do you define compassion?
  30. If you consider yourself a compassionate person, describe how you display it.
  31. Do you enjoy movies? What kind?
  32. Do you enjoy books? What kind do you like?
  33. What is your best mechanism for relieving stress?
  34. Have you ever collected money from people as a part of a job?
  35. What do you wish you could learn to do if you had the chance?
  36. What do you think your current/last boss would say about your job performance?
  37. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
  38. Describe a failure that taught you something.
  39. What is your response to someone who is verbally threatening you?
  40. Who (outside of a family member) has taught you the most?
  41. Have there been tasks at previous jobs that you enjoyed that others didn’t? What were they?
  42. What’s the best team you’ve been on and why?
  43. What would you do about a close co-worker who isn’t pulling her weight and is making you work harder?
  44. Based on your work experiences, what is one thing most employers could do better?
  45. What do you hope to gain from this job?
  46. What in your life are you passionate about?
  47. What is offensive to you in the workplace?
  48. What do you think “being to work on time” means?
  49. Tell me about a special pet you’ve had or have now.
  50. Why do you/do you want to work in healthcare?
  51. What have you heard about us as a company?
  52. Name 5 things you could do with a cantaloupe besides eat it.
  53. What is the best employment benefit you’ve ever received at a job?
  54. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever been asked to do at work?
  55. What makes you laugh?
  56. What accomplishment are you proudest of?
  57. What do you think the expression “rolling with the punches” means?
  58. Describe a situation (work or non-work) when you were the team leader.
  59. What would you do in a situation where a problem occurs over and over again without anyone taking steps to fix it?
  60. Describe your current boss/last boss using three words.
  61. What do you think it means to give someone “the benefits of the doubt”?
  62. What is the best conference or seminar you’ve ever attended, either for work or outside of work?
  63. How would you handle a co-worker who uses language that you feel is inappropriate in the workplace?
  64. Do you consider yourself a detail person? If so, give an example of your attention to detail.
  65. What motivates you to go the extra mile in the workplace?
  66. When was the last time that you felt you really made a difference at your job? Please describe.
  67. What’s your favorite sports team?
  68. What do you think the expression “It is what it is” means?
  69. What kind of music do you like?
  70. Do you play any musical instruments?
  71. What would you do if your boss had really horrible bad breath?
  72. How do you define professionalism?
  73. Do you think you are good with money? if so, why?
  74. How do you know when it’s time to schedule a mental health day?
  75. If you were asked to choose between writing a report by yourself, giving a report at a staff meeting or being part of a team writing a report, which would you prefer to do?
  76. What’s your favorite soft drink and why?
  77. If you were in charge of collecting money for an office function and one person never paid up, how would resolve this?
  78. Do you consider yourself good with technology?
  79. Describe the last time you had to ask your supervisor for help.
  80. What do you think irritates others about you?
  81. Do you have any problems remembering to clock in and out daily?
  82. Do you any trips or time off already scheduled going forward?
  83. What’s the favorite city or house you’ve ever lived in?
  84. Would you be available to work overtime if needed?
  85. What type of co-worker is the hardest for you to deal with?
  86. What do think are the signs of a well-run office?
  87. Have you ever made a suggestion at work that you thought was “out of the box”?
  88. Are you a good speller?
  89. What is the dress code at your current/former employer?  What do or don’t you like about it?
  90. What do you think “casual day or dress down day” means?
  91. What questions do you have for me?

Questions for Supervisors:

  1. What do you find hardest about supervising people?
  2. Give me an example of a situation where you made an exception to an office policy and why.
  3. What is the best way to handle a face-to-face patient complaint?
  4. What do you think should be the first priority for the person in this position?
  5. How do you stop people from gossiping in the office?
  6. What is your personal philosophy on customer service?
  7. What do you do when you find your stress level increasing?
  8. What’s your favorite trick for staying organized?
  9. Is there ever any situation when you think it is appropriate to share something an employee said to you in confidence?
  10. What’s your favorite technique for achieving a win/win outcome to a problem?

Let me know about any great questions you think should be added to the list!

Posted in: Human Resources

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Guest Author: Denise Price Thomas Talks About Being a Mystery Patient and the View from “The Other Side of the Desk”

Welcome Denise Price Thomas, practice administrator (32 years) and consultant. Throughout her career, Denise has been passionate about creating positive experiences for patients and customers. She enjoys teaching customer service and effective communication.  She strives to inspire others by using heart-warming stories and humor gleaned from her management experience in her informational, inspirational and motivational presentations.  In addition, “Gladys Friday”, (aka Denise), completes the package of “Health, Hope & Humor” by telling entertaining stories about funny moments in health care settings.

I received a call from a practice administrator who said, “When I am observing the front desk staff, I find them to be helpful and attentive to our patients, however when the patients are visiting with the physician, he receives multiple complaints per day.  I cannot be with them at all times.” This is so true as is in many practices.  The staff is on their best behavior when the administrator, manager or physician is around.

After meeting with the administrator and physicians, it was decided that they were in need of a practice evaluation, to see how things look “from the other side of the desk.”

I was to be there at 10:00 am.  The administrator and physicians were aware but they had elected to keep the surprise to themselves.

I arrived to find the sliding window CLOSED.  Although it was a clear glass (thinking the person on the other side could actually SEE through it) I just knew it would open… didn’t.  In fact, nothing happened.  The receptionist was “busy” writing and her head was down.  As I stood there waiting “patiently” (as she thought I WAS a patient), I looked around at all of the real patients, looking through magazines – angrily flipping pages.  I could tell immediately that they had been greeted in the same manner.  There were loud sighs, eyes rolling as they looked at their watch; people were not happy.

After giving it a few minutes, I decided to tap on the CLOSED window.  Still without looking up, she said, “I’ll be with you in a moment!”   After waiting another minute or so…..I decided to put on my brave suit and go for it.  I slid the CLOSED window open and said, “May I see your administrator please?” (still trying not to give it away).  She said, (again without looking up – I still have NOT seen her eyes – nor has she seen mine) “M’AM, I SAID I would be with you in a minute!”  I politely said, “thank you.”

BINGO!  I had located the trouble, when suddenly there appeared before me….the administrator.  I was so happy to see her.  She said, “Denise, come on back.”  She introduced me to the clinical staff and we made our way to the front desk.  She said to the “greeter” at the front desk, “this is Denise, she will be performing a practice evaluation to see how we may improve our services.”  The “greeter” said, “It is SO NICE to meet you.”  No, it really wasn’t.  She decided at that point that she needed to be nice to me when she should have been NICER to her PATIENTS, the reason she was there.

Realizing that she wasn’t really a “people person” to say the least, it was decided that she work in another area in the practice, where she was happier and the person from medical records was much happier working with the patients.

End result, happier patients, happier physicians, happier staff.

Moral of this story:  You can have the most wonderful physicians but if you have a sub-standard staff, patients will not be happy.

Things to look for in a front desk applicant:
Fortune teller ”“ able to know when someone has changed insurance companies, divorced, remarried, deleted insurance, moved, etc.

Air traffic controller ”“ able to smoothly divert patient traffic in an attempt to keep them from running into others and finding out their “time of arrival” is the same as others.  Able to handle maximum doses of STRESS!

Medi-copter pilot ”“ able to hover over an emergency, assess and remove the patient in distress and deliver them to the safest place  AWAY from the lobby – seeking clinical assistance ”“ while remaining calm

Multi-lingual ”“ able to understand multiple languages and be able to effectively communicate

Coach ”“ able to motivate the team, support the team, protect the team while being part of the team’s proactive plan, not the team’s problem

“One Ringy Dingy” – Switchboard Operator”“ able to pleasantly answer each phone call addressing each one as it is the only call

Multi-tasker ”“ able to effectively & efficiently perform multiple tasks while wearing a smile and a positive attitude ”“ with each patient

Juggler ”“ able to maintain balance while keeping eyes on the patient

Circus trainer ”“ able to be the master of MANY ceremonies

Reservation Concierge ”“ scheduling and rescheduling while exhibiting exceptional customer service skills, GLAD that the person has contacted their practice for “reservations” (an appointment)

Infection Control Officer ”“ ensures cleanliness and minimizes germs

Minimalist ”“ able to work without the clutter igloo around them

Walmart Greeter ”“ happy to see everyone that walks through the door

Helpful characteristics to look for when interviewing a medical front desk applicant:
Exhibits kindness
Positive attitude
Exhibit good eye contact
Nice soothing voice
Willingness to help others before themselves
Desire to be cross-trained
Does not have the words, “It’s not my job” in their vocabulary

Most healthcare workers that have BEEN a patient or have been with their family member through sickness”¦..make great healthcare employees.  They KNOW how it feels to be on “The Other Side Of The Desk”

Denise Price Thomas

Note: Denise’s partner in DPT Consulting &Training is Gladys Friday, pictured here.  If you are interested in contacting Denise or Gladys about their services, they can be contacted through their website here or by phone at 704-747-8699 or via email to

Posted in: Amazing Customer Service, Day-to-Day Operations

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