Want to Manage a Medical Practice? Here's How to Ace a Practice Manager Interview

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Dec 3, 2018

Dec 3, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

On average, practice managers earned a salary of $98,350 in 2017.

And the demand from medical practice managers is expected to increase by over 20% in the next 10 years. This is due to America's aging population. 

Practice managers often start out in a small clinic or practice and progress into more responsibility and compensation as they gain experience.

If you have an interview for a practice manager position, congratulations! You've beat out the majority of your competition by getting this far.

Read on to learn how to ace your practice manager interview. 

Understand the Skills You Need to be a Practice Manager

As you prepare for your interview, the first thing you should do is get a thorough understanding of the practice manager job description. Pull out the skills you need to succeed as a practice manager.

Practice managers have a lot of responsibilities in order to keep the medical practice running smoothly. They wear many hats throughout the day and require a variety of soft skills. Here's more info on what you need to know to run a practice.

On top of human resources and management skills, here are some of the skills practice managers need. Make sure to tailor your resume and your job interview to these skills. 

Customer Service 

In a small practice, the practice manager might be the face of the clinic. A practice manager may deal with processing payments and scheduling appointments.

Being able to provide top levels of service is paramount for a practice manager. Make sure your interviewers know about your customer service skills. 

Clerical Work

A large portion of the responsibilities of a practice manager is clerical work. This involves managing patient records and filing systems, as well as data processing and transcribing orders. 

In order to avoid unnecessary expenses and delays, a practice manager needs a solid foundation of clerical skills.

It's not a bad idea to go into your interview with some ideas on how to improve the efficiency of the medical practice so you are prepared for when you get the job.

There are many other soft skills necessary for a practice manager. We'll show you how to make sure you get those skills across to your interviewers. 

Develop Your Power Stories

You want to show your interviewers that you have the experience and skills necessary to lead the team as practice manager.

The best way you can communicate that during an interview is with power stories. Power stories are short, but specific examples from your past professional experiences that highlight a specific skill.

In telling a power story, you outline the problem or situation, state the actions you took and explain the result.   

As you prepare for your interview, write out or think about the power stories you can use. Make sure your power stories highlight the skills you know a practice manager needs.

Here are some skills you want to demonstrate in your interview.

Show them You Can Make Decisions

This is a crucial skill for anyone in management. Once you have your power story about the time you made a difficult or timely decision, get ready to use it during the interview.

You will know the interviewers are looking for this skill when they something like "what would you do if an employee was always coming in late?"

Even though the question is hypothetical. Use your proven track record to answer the question. Past actions are quantifiable and that's what the interviewers are looking for - proof that you can do what is needed. 

In your answer make sure you communicate that you are thoughtful about your actions and that you take into consideration the needs of the practice. 

Show them you are not afraid to act and that you use available resources such as company policy.

Show Them You Can Delegate

The interviewers may ask this simply by saying, how do you delegate tasks to employees. Have your power story ready and smile as you answer.

Make sure you get across that you pick the right person for the job. And also that you give clear instructions. Show that you are encouraging and follow up as needed to ensure the task is completed. 

Show Them You Can Motivate Others

One of the most important skills for a practice manager to have is the ability to motivate staff.

During the interview, they may ask you to explain how you coach people on your team with different personality types. 

The interviewers want to hear that you customize your approach for each person. And that you provide the right incentives depending on the context such as leaving early on Friday or a bonus.

Show them Your Communication Skills

Communication skills constantly rank at the top of any list of soft skills that hiring managers are looking for.

Being prepared for your interview is one way that you can show your excellent communication skills. The other way is to give them a power story that highlights this important skill.

The interviewers may give you a prompt such as "tell us about a time that you disagreed with a coworker." Or they may ask for a time that you had to communicate negative feedback to an employee.

Here, they are looking to see how you communicate with others. They want to hear that you are honest and direct but that you aren't threatening. They also want to see if you know how to choose the appropriate time and place to communicate with others.

Bottom Line

Thanks for reading. We wish you all the best during your interview for practice manager.

Remember, go prepared with your power stories. And be aware of the skills they are looking for so that you can tailor your responses to those skills.

Do that, and we bet you will make it onto the next round of interviews. 

Next, make sure you create a job alert so that you find out about the latest national jobs in a specific area.