Medical Coding Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared for

By  //  January 7, 2022

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Interview prep takes many forms, and one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting your dream job and settling your nerves on the day is to look at the kinds of questions you are likely to face.

This is particularly important if you want to work in a specialist field, like that of medical coding. As such, here are just a handful of interview questions that prospective medical coders must be ready to answer.

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What does medical coding involve?

It might seem obvious, but interviewers will definitely want you to demonstrate that you understand the basics of medical coding.

When you are learning how to become a medical coder, you need to be able to explain what the job involves to experts and laypeople alike.

A simple explanation is that medical coders take clinical statements relating to a patient’s diagnosis and suggested treatment plan, then translate that into codes that are defined by a standard classification system. In turn, this allows insurers to deal with claims made by customers and for healthcare providers to get paid for the work they do.

Which classification systems do medical coders use?

Another common interview question for medical coders will ask them to speak about the coding systems typically involved in their job. Employers will expect you to have knowledge of and training in these systems. The seniority of the position you are applying for will dictate just how much experience and education you need.

Brushing up on the ICD, HCPS, and DRG codes is definitely worthwhile. Even if you know your stuff, rehearsing a reply to this type of question is sensible, as it will save you from becoming flustered under the pressure of interview conditions.

What are the practical applications of medical coding?

It is essential for medical coders to see their role not just in isolation but also as it relates to the rest of the healthcare industry and society.

Interviewers may therefore ask you about the applications of this profession in everyday scenarios. You need to speak about elements like the way it relates to billing in this sector and how it is used for analytical purposes in clinical trials as well as more broadly in statistical modeling for local, national, and international health research.

What experience do you bring to the job?

This is common across all job interviews, so you have to anticipate that you will be asked to discuss your educational background as well as your prior professional experience.

Obviously this will be unique to you, but one thing to keep in mind when talking about prior training and on-the-job experience is that it will be more impactful if it is relevant to the role you are hoping to win. Waffling about a previous position unrelated to medical coding might play against you.

Citing qualifications and certifications is essential at this point as well. Indeed, these achievements might have earned you the interview in the first place, so remember to reemphasize them during the interview.

What targets do you hope to hit in the future?

Lastly, interviewers will want to know that you are forward-thinking and have a five-year plan in place, specifically regarding your career trajectory.

For medical coders, this might mean saying that you hope to elevate yourself to a more senior position, perhaps managing a team of coders or acting as a mentor to newcomers.

Whatever the case, rigorous preparation for a medical coding interview will help you stand out from the crowd.