Thorough interview preparation will help you impress recruiters and receive job offers as a medical billing specialist. There are plenty of ways to prepare from practicing a firm handshake to selecting a professional outfit. However, one of the most important is rehearsing answers to challenging questions.
If you feel anxious about this, you’re not alone. In fact, over 40% of interviewees feel nervous about not being able to answer a difficult question. But by planning answers for common questions ahead of time, you’ll be able to respond with confidence.
Let’s break down how to answer several frequently asked medical billing interview questions.
This question, along with the less direct “tell me about yourself,” is your chance to share with the interviewer all the reasons you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
Remember to reference skills and traits mentioned in the job listing, as well as the ways you align with the company culture and mission statement. You want to go beyond just explaining why you’re a great medical billing specialist to also demonstrate that you’re a great fit for the company and team in question.
Of course, it’s also important to be authentic. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Instead, highlight your best characteristics so you can stand out from the other applicants.
This question can be unnerving. Just like the similar “What’s your biggest weakness?”, it asks you to tell interviewers about the things you would probably rather they didn’t know.
However, don’t be tempted to evade this question with an insincere response. Recruiters aren’t searching for a medical billing specialist with zero weaknesses. Instead, they want a self-aware professional who can manage their weaknesses.
So, answer honestly, and use the STAR — situation, task, action, result — structure to show how you successfully overcome your challenges. For example, you could say:
“I have always found medical law quite dense and challenging, but we deal with a lot of sensitive information that is, of course, regulated by medical privacy laws including the HIPAA (situation). I really want to make sure I have a strong understanding of my legal requirements (task).
“I actually signed up for a refresher course on understanding medical privacy law a couple of years ago, and I set myself a yearly reminder to review the information and check for updates (action).
“Even though I was already complying with all the best practices, doing this has really helped me feel less anxious and more confident at work. Plus, it’s important to me to know that I’m appropriately protecting patients’ privacy, and this reassures me that I am doing exactly that (result).”
Although this question might seem like a simple confirmatory or yes-no one, there’s room to elaborate on your answer. Underscore your familiarity with common software by explaining how much you’ve used it in the workplace or any training courses you’ve done on it.
Alternatively, if you’re asked about a program you haven’t used before, emphasize that you’re a quick learner and are familiar with similar software. Explain that you would be happy to research how that program works before starting so you could speed up your learning process.
With this question, the interviewers are mainly looking to see that you understand the importance of quickly determining and resolving the issue. Correcting, appealing and re-processing a denied claim can be time-consuming, and to avoid unpaid claims, you’re often working against the clock.
You can use the STAR structure to show how you handled this complex situation and avoided further issues. It’s worth finishing up by explaining how you now avoid a similar situation. For example, if it was denied for missing information, you could explain that you now double-check that particular point.
Alternatively, if you’re new to medical billing and haven’t yet experienced this, talk the interviewer through what you would do to make sure the appeal and reprocessed claim went through smoothly.
Being a medical billing specialist is about more than just regulations, coding and paperwork. It’s also about helping ensure that patients receive the medical care they need and that medical institutions receive the appropriate payment. And if specialists sometimes find bills complex, they can be extremely confusing for laypeople.
The key to this question, therefore, is showing that you would handle the situation with patience, tact and professionalism. Explain that you would go through exactly what the patient is being billed for, using more simple language as required, before checking if the patient still has questions. If you have past experience of this, it would be worth sharing with your interviewers using the STAR method.
Errors can be costly in medical billing. While everyone makes occasional mistakes, it’s important to show that you have a good system in place to reduce their frequency and also help you spot them before processing the bills. Walk the interviewers through what you normally do, step by step. For bonus points, give an example of how this helped you catch and correct a potentially costly mistake in plenty of time.
This is your chance to make a final impression on the recruiters while also checking that the workplace is right for you. Before you go into the interview, think about what’s going to matter to you when you’re deciding whether or not to accept the offer. If the answer hasn’t yet come up in the interview, now’s your time to find out.
Don’t forget to wrap up by thanking the interviewers for their answers and their time, either!
An attractive and professional resume will help you get invited to interviews, plus it’s often the last thing a recruiter reviews before making a job and salary offer. As such, it’s worth putting time and effort into polishing your resume.
We’ve got several medical billing specialist resume templates that can help you get started. Each one is machine-readable and easy to customize to both your background and the company you’re applying for. Recruiter-approved phrasing will enable you to highlight your best characteristics.
Build your resume in minutes and start applying for medical billing specialist roles.