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Blog October 3, 2018

Four Interview Questions HIM Pros Should Be Prepared to Answer

Are you a skilled health information management (HIM) professional seeking a new job? Regardless of how qualified you may be on paper, there are many factors employers consider when making new hiring decisions. If you’re searching for a new job, it’s in your best interest to prepare for your interviews ahead of time – no matter how confident you may feel.

As a HIM professional, here are four common questions you should be prepared to answer during job interviews:

How do you make sure you comply with all laws, regulations, and standards applicable to your job?

The management of any health information requires strict adherence to all laws and regulations, including HIPAA, with regard to patient confidentiality. In any HIM role, it’s important you emphasize to employers a commitment to IT security of all patient data. While you may not be directly working with the IT department, you must have a solid understanding and appreciation for the organization’s IT practices and work in tandem with the department to ensure the proper security of all healthcare records.

How do you handle unexpected challenges on the job?

A job in health information management comes with many unexpected challenges that can create stress and confusion. During an interview, be prepared to provide examples of instances in which you effectively resolved an issue at work. If you worked with others, make a point to highlight your ability to work well in a team to reach a common goal. This will not only highlight your technical skills but show you have strong people skills and can work well with others in your environment.

Explain a time in which you’ve gone “above and beyond” in your job.

A job in health information management requires a constant ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Many healthcare employers seek candidates who are willing to take on new responsibilities and grow within their organization. When answering this question, consider times in previous jobs in which you exceeded the expectations of your role and assisted with other projects or initiatives. Providing examples will demonstrate to the employer you’re ready and willing to advance in your career and make yourself a valuable member of their team.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Though this may seem like a straightforward question, it’s important to be strategic with how you answer it. It’s best to choose strengths that help to set you apart from other candidates and reflect more on you as a person, rather than simply reinforce what an interviewer already knows about you. For example, are you a loyal employee who’s willing to train new hires? Are you committed to improving processes and working with others in your department? These are the types of strengths most sought out by employers. In terms of weaknesses, it’s best to discuss areas in which you’re continually improving. For example, do you often overwhelm yourself by taking on too much? Explain you’ve improved on this weakness by better managing your time and communicating your workload more effectively with those above you. Giving prior thought to your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to articulate them clearly with the interviewer so they enhance your interview – rather than derail it!

Taking some time to consider the questions above will make you more prepared for HIM interviews and ultimately help you shine above other candidates. The more effort you put into your interview preparation, the easier it will be to navigate the interview process and land a job!

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