Who is a physician assistant? And what do they do? Physician assistants are integral members of the health care team in hospitals and clinical practices who assist in practicing medicine under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician. Below are the top 20 interview questions and answers you are likely to be asked. Also, there are sample answers that will guide you like a sample of how you are supposed to answer the questions.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
Most of the interviewers will ask you this question to help them know why you need the post. Talk about putting your knowledge and skills into practice and learning from them.
“After I learned that you were recruiting, I had to apply for this post to put the knowledge and skills I have attained from my studies and experience into work. I would be delighted to see my skills and knowledge being used to help others. In addition, I have always wanted to help the sick. Working in this post will be an achievement for me since it is something that comes from my heart. It will be a great achievement to work for you and at the same time improve my skills and learn from you as well.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Physician Assistant?
Here, the interviewer wants to know whether you know what you are expected to do as a physician assistant. Tell them the primary duties and responsibilities that a physician assistant should have.
“ As a physician assistant, I am expected to;
a) Making rounds and performing patient exams
b) Diagnosing illnesses
c) Assisting in surgery
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d) Ordering and interpreting laboratory tests and X-rays
e) Prescribing medications
f) Developing and managing treatment plans
g) Advising patients on preventative care and optimal health practices
I believe that I am 100% fit to perform the mentioned tasks with a high level of professionalism. These are the key duties and responsibilities that I would be delighted to perform in your facility.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Physician Assistant Needs To Be Successful?
The interviewer wants to know what qualities and skills you have to possess to succeed in this role. Talk about the qualities that you think can make you succeed in this post.
“Besides having the academic qualifications in this post, I believe that it requires a candidate with certain qualities that will make the physician assistant work successfully. First, a patient’s care should be kind, respectful, and open. One should also have good communication skills since they will be involved in many communications with patients, facilities, family members, and other facility stakeholders. A physician assistant should also be friendly to patients and talk nicely to them. I believe those are my qualities, and I would love to use them in your facility.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The interviewer wants to know the difficulties you have come across in this industry. Talk about the challenges you have faced in your previous role and how you managed them.
“The first challenge that I faced in my previous role is the language barrier. Some patients might not understand the commonly used language, so it is important to look for an interpreter to advise accordingly. When it comes to someone’s health, they need to be well explained about their health condition in a manner that they will understand every bit of it. This is also essential when it comes to prescribing their medicines. They need to be well translated so that they can understand how they should be taking their medicines. This will avoid overdosing and underdosing.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Physician Assistant?
The interviewer wants to know what order you should follow while performing your duties. Give them a very organized schedule starting from the first activity until the last activity that you would perform that day.
“Once I get to the office, I sanitize my working area, get logged into my computer, and inform the physician that I am in. After that, I would check the patients that we have that day and also check on how previously patients are doing. After that, I would inform the physician about their health, and in case of any emergency, it is given a priority. After that, we would start seeing daily patients and requesting their health examinations in the lab. We then advise them accordingly and if they need treatment, that is done without any delay. I would diagnose them and advise them too on how they are going to take their medicines. ”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience.
Here, the interviewer wants you to discuss where and how long you have worked as a physician assistant. Talk about where you have worked before and the number of years you have worked in this role.
“After completing my studies, I started gaining skills as an intern in a government hospital. After working there as an intern for one year, I got a job in a private hospital as a physician assistant, where I worked for two years under a contract. I must say that I have gained a lot of experience working in this role. I want to use this experience to better your facility and continue sharpening my skills as well.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
The interviewer wants to know your attitudes towards this role and which strategies you can use to succeed. Talk about what attitudes a physician assistant should have.
“It is always good for a physician assistant to have a mindset of helping patients and making sure that they are comfortable with the treatment services or advice they are getting from them. A physician assistant should always focus on giving the best pieces of advice and treatments to those who seek treatment in their facility. They should always think of helping, besides it being income-generating. Keep a good heart. That’s the most important thing in this role. Also, getting the patients the correct diagnosis and advising them accordingly should be done in a way that they will fully understand you.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?
When asked this question, talk about the big challenge that you think will affect this role in the future. Also, suggest possible solutions to the challenge if possible.
“As a physician assistant, I must admit that there is a big challenge when it comes to exchanging patient’s information with other health facilities. Electronic Health Record, popularly known as EHR, is essential since it can help doctors know more about past patients’ health issues and treatment. Some physicians may prefer using the ACOs, making the EHR useless in this case. There should be collaboration and cooperation when exchanging this data with other health carers.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work
The interviewer wants to know what makes your morale high while working. It is essential to talk about achievements in your career as your biggest motivators.
“As a physician assistant, I am always motivated to continue working in this field when I see a patient that followed my instructions and guidelines recover from sickness. It makes me feel that I have helped someone out of health danger. This is always my motivator and gives me psych to continue working well.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lessons You Learned.
Your interviewer knows that you made a mistake and made you fail in your duties at some point. Talk about an event you felt you have failed and the lesson you learned from the incident.
“In my entry-level position at my previous job, a patient who had a health issue came to see a doctor, and she was advised to come for surgery the following week. I wrote the surgery date for her but little did I know that I needed to follow up on her and remind her about the surgery scheduled day. When a patient comes to the hospital, they may be having a lot in their minds that they would forget when their next visit is supposed to be. She did not show up, and after contacting her, she had forgotten about it. I learned that it is essential to remind our patients of their scheduled next visits to avoid inconveniences.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
The interviewer wants to know why you think you are the candidate they are looking for. Talk about unique qualifications and experiences that can make you secure the position.
“I have a Bachelor’s degree in medicine. Having attained this degree, I have enough knowledge on health matters, which can be a real advantage to the facility and me as well. In addition, I have worked in this post for three years, and I think I have what it takes to be in this position. Having worked in this position before, I believe that I will have an easy time working. ”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievements
Your interviewer expects you to talk about the aims you have achieved in your career. Talk about the achievements, promotions, and awards that you have received in your career.
“In my previous role, I used to work with a lot of passion and ensured good and polite language while talking to patients. In that facility, a patient would rate you out of five according to the services you offered. At the end of the year, I had the most positive ratings and was awarded as the year’s staff. This award came along with a certificate and a gold medal that I am proud of. I believe that I will use the same strategies in your facility. ”
13. What Are The Common Tools That A Physician Assistant Is Supposed To Have When Working?
The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the most common tools and equipment used by physician assistants.
“The common tools and equipment that I use are;
· Blood Pressure Meter (sphygmomanometer)
· Ear thermometer
· Hand sanitizer
· Needles and syringes
· Electrocardiography unit (EKG)
· Blood collection needles and tubes”
14. Discuss Four Types Of Patient Admissions That You Know.
As a physician assistant, you may be involved in the admission of patients in one way or another. The interviewer wants you to tell them the types of patient admissions that you know.
“There are several types of patient admissions in hospital among them;
a) Elective admission- This is where a doctor requests a bed to be reserved for a patient on a specific day.
b) Emergency admission- This is sudden, unplanned, and unexpected admission of a patient who needs immediate care.
c) Holding unit or observation admission- This is admission for observation purposes. Usually for patients with conditions that respond to less than 48 hours of care.
d) Direct admission-This is hospitalization without first receiving care in the hospital’s ED.
I believe that those are the main types of hospital admissions.”
15. Mention Six Rights Of A Patient
As a physician assistant, you should be conversant with the patients’ rights since they are crucial. Mention clearly six of them.
“When patients step their first foot on a healthcare facility, they have their rights. Among them are;
a) Right to be treated with respect
b) Right to privacy of medical records
c) Right to obtain your medical records
d) Right to make a treatment choice
e) Right to make decisions about End-of-Life care
f) Right to refuse treatment
The mentioned rights are very crucial and should be respected as they are. They should be well written where the patients can see them clearly.”
16. What Are The Most Common Medical Diagnostic Tests That You Have Ever Performed?
The interviewer wants to know the most common medical diagnostic tests that you have ever done.
“The most common one is ordinary x-rays but others include ultrasonography, radioisotope scanning, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), angiography. ”
17. Give Us The Common Medical Diagnoses That You Have Come Across.
“The most common diagnoses that I have dealt with are hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, back pain, anxiety, obesity, allergic rhinitis, reflux esophagitis, asthma, nail fungus, respiratory issues, pain in joints among many others. ”
18. What Should We Expect From You In The First Month Working In Our Facility?
The interviewer wants to know what you will offer them in the first month of working in their institution. Talk about learning, adapting, and testing your strategies in the first month.
“In my first month working in your facility, I will be mostly testing my strategies, learning from the facility as far as guidelines of duties are concerned, and adapting to the new system. In the same month, I will also be fixing my schedule to see how and when is the right time to perform a certain task. Lastly, expect maximum cooperation and quality work from me.”
19. What Would Your Previous Boss Describe You?
The interviewer wants to know your relationship with your previous boss and what they would say about you. Talk about the nice things your boss would say about you.
“Since I had a close relationship with my previous boss, Mr. Clinton, he would describe me as a polite, kind, hardworking, good-hearted lady. He was one of a kind to work with.”
20. What Would Be Your Biggest Fear In This Role?
The interviewer wants to know what you would not like to face in this role. You can talk about something that bores or puts you off in your career.
“I would say that producing poor results for patients would be my biggest fear. Whenever a patient rates you according to the service you offered, you expect them to be satisfied. I wouldn’t want to get a one-star rating due to poor service. That would be my biggest fear. That is why I work as expected to meet all the patient’s expectations. This is a rating I have never received and would never like to receive from clients.”
A physician assistant needs to be a polite and kind person, so make sure you use polite language and a low tone when answering questions. Answer the questions with a lot of confidence and get straight to the point with few but clear explanations. The above guidelines will help you answer the questions and secure the job post. All the best!