For Coders: 3 Ways That Preparation Drives a Successful Interview

For Coders: 3 Ways That Preparation Drives a Successful Interview


by Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC

For many coders, walking into a job interview can be one of the most intimidating and stressful parts of the job search process. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! You can take control of the process by preparing yourself for an interview, which will allow you to enter the meeting feeling confident, ready to pose insightful questions, and display your true interest for the available position.

The purpose of a coding interview is not just to show off your coding knowledge and experience. While displaying your coding skills and talents is an integral part of the meeting, interviewers are looking for other aspects of your personality and goals. During the interview, they are making decisions regarding whether or not those goals match with the vision and future of the hospital or physician practice. Interviewers and employers want to realize and understand that you are interested in their facility and the available position, not just any facility and any available position.

I’ve found that the best way to show an interviewer that the position is one that appeals to you, is to reflect that you have taken the time to familiarize yourself with the job and with the hospital or practice. This preparation can reflect on you positively in several ways:

  1. Reflect your interest: Review the employer’s webpage, LinkedIn profile, and news articles involving their past, and growth. Familiarize yourself with their specialties and areas of practice. Discussing the facility or practice history during an interview will reflect that you are appreciative of what brought them to their present-day success, and their place in the overall market.
  2. Interest in the team and the position: Not all coding jobs are designed the same. Your duty as a coder may remain the same in most coding jobs, but every hospital, physician practice, job and position is different, and every employer is looking for the person who will meet their specific needs. Research into the team structure and function can help you to evaluate their specific requirements, and how you may be able to fit in.
  3. Highlight your skills and ambition: Learning about an employer can give you a sense of their culture, and the pace of their growth. For instance, an organization that just experienced growth and is in need of expansion of its coding staff will need a coder who is ready to grow with a team, and provide feedback towards efficient coding and team dynamics. A long-standing physician practice that lost a seasoned coder will need someone who is ready to learn their coding processes, and gain the trust and respect of an established team. Whatever the case, come prepared to show how your talents and personality will fit in with their needs.

An interview doesn’t have to be an intimidating, nervous endeavor. If you prepare yourself beforehand, take notes to remind yourself of important topics, and keep the hospital’s or physician practice’s needs in mind, your personality, skills and talents will shine through, allowing you to leave a wonderful impression.

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About the Author

Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC
Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC, is the Founder and Managing Director of Project Resume, a company that provides professional development, education, and career counseling to medical coders and HIM professionals. Ann began her professional journey when she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration as a student at The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her first coding certification in 2005, and has enjoyed a rich coding career ever since, in medical coding and billing, recruiting, training, education, and management of medical coding teams. Ann’s vision for Project Resume is to ensure that every healthcare professional fulfills their own career dreams. Project Resume can be found on the web at projectresume.net, and Ann can be reached at [email protected]

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