7 Essential Medical Scheduler Interview Questions to Ask

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Written by Katherine Zheng, PhD, BSN Content Writer, IntelyCare
A medical scheduler meets with nurses and physicians.

Medical schedulers are the backbone to a hospital’s administrative system. Not only do they ensure timely scheduling of appointments, but they also provide valuable customer service to keep patients informed. Preparing thoughtful medical scheduler interview questions is an important way to find the right person who can carry out this role.

Posting a detailed job description can attract a strong pool of candidates, but the interview process will allow you to assess how each applicant aligns with your administrative goals and facility culture. To help you find the best medical schedulers for your team, we put together a list of seven essential questions you should ask during your next hiring cycle.

Medical Scheduler Interview Questions

Medical schedulers simultaneously handle a lot of administrative tasks and patient interactions, requiring them to be highly organized, detail-oriented and communicative. Here are seven medical scheduler interview questions that can help you look for these traits in your prospective candidates.

1. What past experiences have prepared you to become a medical scheduler?

Medical schedulers may not always have direct experience under their belt, but they have likely worked in related roles with transferable skills. This question allows candidates with varying levels of experience to sell their strengths. It also allows you to gauge the qualities that a candidate believes a medical scheduler should have, which introduces how they may approach their work if hired.

2. What types of scheduling software are you familiar with?

Medical schedulers need to keep track of multiple calendars, aligning patient availability with the openings of any doctors or specialists they need to see. As such, having familiarity with scheduling software is an essential part of this role.

This question allows you to gauge what types of software a candidate has experience with. It also opens up the opportunity for you to share more about your facility’s scheduling system. While it shouldn’t be an expectation for candidates to be experts on your specific software, assessing the candidate’s willingness to learn can clue you into how well they might adapt to the role.

3. How would you handle last-minute patient or provider cancellations?

This question will allow you to get a sense of how a candidate thinks on their feet and optimizes the scheduling roster even when things don’t go as planned. Emergencies can happen, and sometimes doctors or patients may need to cancel or move around appointments. A medical scheduler will likely have to deal with a lot of last-minute rescheduling, so it’s important for them to have a grasp of how to handle these situations.

4. How would you handle a phone call with a patient who is upset about getting a later appointment slot?

Customer service is a large part of this role, and it’s not uncommon for schedulers to field phone calls and emails from patients who aren’t too happy when they have to wait for an appointment. This question will allow you to assess a candidate’s professionalism and ability to diffuse difficult conversations.

A candidate’s answer may also give you insight to how they prioritize and manage expectations. Sometimes, a patient’s request may not align with the scheduling priorities at the hospital. It’s important for candidates to understand how to resolve these requests without pushing the scheduling capabilities of the facility overboard.

5. What would your process for sending follow-up reminders to patients look like?

Follow-up reminders are an important part of the scheduling process. Patients may forget about appointments, and an unexpected no-show can cost facilities time and resources. While some no-shows are inevitable, this question allows you to assess whether a candidate has an organized follow-up process that can help prevent these situations from happening more often.

6. Describe your approach to staying organized during a busy day of scheduling multiple patients.

Medical schedulers may often deal with busy days with patients lined up waiting to be seen. This question will allow you to assess how a candidate manages their time and carries out work under stress. Additionally, their answer to this question can reveal what measures they might take to remain detail-oriented even when they’re dealing with a lot of information.

7. What steps do you take to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality?

Maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy is a crucial aspect to any role in healthcare. This question invites the candidate to showcase their grasp of HIPAA practices. Medical schedulers regularly manage patient information, so it’s important for a candidate to describe their ability to be professional and responsible when handling sensitive data.

We Bridge the Needs of Healthcare Facilities and Staff

Whether you’re a facility leader drafting medical scheduler interview questions or a healthcare professional seeking scheduling questions and answers, IntelyCare is here to support your needs. Connect with us today and learn how our innovative staffing solutions enhance the work experience for both staff and facilities alike.