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Career Development

What can you expect in a Medical Secretary interview?

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If you have been invited for an interview for an NHS medical secretary role, there are a few different ways in which you can prepare.

We’ve listed questions you can expect to hear and tips on how to answer to impress the interviewer.

Pre-Interview Tasks

First of all, do your research into the trust or GP surgery that has invited you and gather references from your previous employers. A medical secretary is a varied and exciting role where you are often seen as the face of the NHS, so you will be tested on both problem solving and communication skills.

The type of questions you’ll come across in your interview will vary, but there is a very good chance that you’ll be asked questions that are similar to the ones below:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Everyone feels a bit awkward when they are asked this question, but it’s a really great way of showing off your relevant skills in a broad way. Instead of listing education and previous employers, focus on your strengths and how they apply to the role, by using examples.

For example, instead of saying:

“I currently work in a care home and I’m looking for a new challenge”

elaborate on your answer and say:

“Working in a care home for two years has helped me build my confidence, knowledge of medical terminology and taught me the importance of empathy”

Describe a conflict in the workplace and how you managed it

This question may come in a different form, such as how would you deal with a difficult patient or how efficiently do you manage conflict?.  

The end aim is to figure out how you work under pressure, if you can use your initiative, and if you endeavour to be confident and professional at all times.  

Try and remember a time you felt challenged at work. How did you handle it? If the outcome was great, you can use that as an example. If the outcome was not as good as it could have been, think about what you would do differently to get the result you would have wanted, and use that as an example.

How do you intend to manage your administrative duties?

Instead of just saying “really well, I’m a very organised person”, you should highlight the processes you use on a day-to-day basis. If you often use lists, explain why. If you are really good at prioritising, highlight that.

It’s also a good time to use examples of the admin tasks that you are already proficient so your interviewer knows you’ll be able to hit the ground running if you land the role.

Can you highlight your strengths and weaknesses?

When asked this question, you should concentrate on three or four main strengths that are needed in the medical secretary role. Back your answers up with specific examples that demonstrate your abilities. Make sure they are all relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Weaknesses can be a bit more tricky. Instead of denying you have any, or using a cliched answer like “I work too hard”, you should highlight one or two weaknesses that you may have had in the past, but then detail the steps you have taken to overcome them.

Is a medical secretary role for you?

Try and gather real life examples for each of these questions. If you are great with communication, organised, personable, and confident, make sure this shines through in all your answers.

Take a look at our recent medical secretary vacancies here to apply for your ideal role. For more information about the resources available for medical secretaries, take a look at our blog Top Resources for Medical Secretaries.


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