After applying for a medical scribe position, you may be invited for an interview before receiving a decision regarding your application. This interview is often conducted over the phone or video call, but may also be done in person. If it is in-person, make sure to dress professionally and arrive early with plenty of time to spare, in case something goes wrong. If it is over the phone, be available several minutes before the scheduled time to be sure that you can answer as soon as you receive the call.
The most important thing is to be prepared. Your answers should be honest and sound confident. The best way to ensure that you come across that way is to practice your answers and be comfortable with them well before the interview. This article will cover some of the most common ER scribe interview questions and describe how to answer them.
Why do you want to be a medical scribe?
One of the first things you may be asked to do during the interview is to explain why you are applying for the scribe position. They will have read your resume and reviewed your application file by this point, so they know that you are interested in the medical field and likely want to gain clinical experience. So take this opportunity to expand on your drive to become a medical scribe, why you are interested in the healthcare field as a whole, and what you hope to learn during your time as a hospital scribe.
How did you hear about medical scribing?
Your interviewer may also be curious to know how you came across this opportunity. Although medical scribing is becoming more popular, it is still a relatively new concept to many people. Maybe you saw one of your doctors working with a scribe, or maybe you were browsing the internet for entry-level healthcare positions. Don’t worry too much about making this answer perfect, just be honest, as this question will not likely influence their decision regarding your hire.
What do you think a medical scribe does?
As you may notice, many of the most common questions have to do with ER scribing itself and your knowledge about it. This is because the interviewer wants to make sure that you know what will be expected of you as a medical scribe. At the most basic level, a medical scribe helps a physician by documenting patient encounters into the EMR. Scribes also help physicians by keeping them updated about new patients, patient status and information, lab results, and imaging results. A scribe can also have many other roles, depending on the setting, shift, and provider. Personalize this answer by incorporating what you hope to bring to the table as a scribe.
Have you taken any relevant medical scribe courses?
The interviewer is asking this question to see if you have any background knowledge related to medical scribing. Furthermore, they want to know how much interest you have in the position. One way of showing interest is by taking an online course. There are several online scribe courses which provide an introduction to clinical scribing and some provide a certificate of completion. Other relevant courses include anatomy and physiology and other biology classes. Medical terminology courses and HIPAA training are also worth mentioning when asked this question.
What medical experience do you have, if any?
If you don’t have much medical experience, this question may be daunting. But keep in mind that medical experience is not required to work as a medical scribe. The interviewer just wants to gauge how familiar you are with the clinical environment. If you do have medical experience, whether as a volunteer, through student organizations, a previous job, or physician shadowing, describe the type of clinical exposure you had and how many hours. Also be sure to explain what you learned from the experience and how it affected your decision to become a scribe.
If you do not have medical experience, you can say so, and elaborate on why you are applying to be a scribe despite not having this experience, based on what you do know about medicine, whether from your experiences with your own doctors, or topics discussed in classes in school. In some cases you will be asked hypothetical questions like what will you do if a patient vomits on you.
What are 3 strengths you have? 3 weaknesses?
This may feel like an awkward question to answer. Listing your own strengths may seem braggy and listing your weaknesses may feel deprecating. This is a difficult question for many people, but if you take some time to prepare an answer, you will feel more comfortable when faced with it. The strengths you list do not necessarily have to be directly relevant to medicine or scribing, but try to relate them if you can. When trying to think of strengths, think back to the skills you listed on your resume. Regarding weaknesses, you may have heard the advice to list strengths disguised as weaknesses (e.g. “I’m too hard-working”). This is not always a good idea, as the interviewer will easily be able to tell. It is better to be honest about a few of your small weaknesses and explain how you are working on overcoming them. Everyone has weaknesses; the important thing is that you recognize them and try to change.
Describe a time you had to work with a team.
During your time as a scribe, you will be a part of a healthcare team with physicians, nurses, and technicians all working to deliver quality healthcare. You will also be a part of a team with the other scribes working at that clinic, all of you working to provide optimal support to the healthcare providers. So, being able to work as a team is a crucial part of being a scribe, and your interviewer will want to know that this is a skill you have. Think about situations you had in school – maybe group projects, sports teams, or clubs. The best examples are those in which you faced some conflict and were able to work with your team to solve it.
Describe a time you had to be a leader.
As a scribe, you may also have opportunities to be a leader. Scribe teams have Chief Scribes, who manage the schedules of all the scribes at the clinic to ensure that all physician shifts are covered. You may be eligible to step up for this position after some time as a scribe. Once you have gained some experience, you may also be asked to train new scribes. To answer this question, you do not need to have held an official position as a leader. You can be a leader in any situation, even among your family or friends. Think of a time during which you had to take charge, or make a decision on behalf of others, and reflect on what you did well and what you could have done differently. Be sure to explain how this experience will help you be a better leader in the future.
What are your long-term educational and/or career goals?
Many people applying for hospital scribe positions are hoping to pursue a career in healthcare. Most often, scribes go on to medical school, PA/NP school, or nursing school. However, this does not mean that this is a requirement for working as a scribe. Whatever your answer to this question may be, just ensure that you are confident in and knowledgeable about your choices and that you can relate how working as a medical scribe will help you achieve your goals.
Large medical scribe companies such as ProScribeMD, ScribeAmerica or Scribekick will interview many applicants. This article has prepared you for answering common interview questions. Answering these interview questions with confidence and thoughtful answers will help you land standout from other applicants.