Looking for a Coding Job? Making the Most of Every Interview

Looking for a Coding Job? Making the Most of Every Interview

by Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was sitting in an interview with the Vice President at a very successful, prominent hospital group, there to interview for a position that I found on their website.  The job sounded interesting, and I felt that while I wasn’t fully qualified for the position, my job experience and my coding experience made me a good candidate.  Before this fateful meeting, I completed a phone interview with an internal recruiter, and I prepared myself with information about the position, the hospital, the department and their needs.  I was ready!  The interviewer asked me to tell him a little bit about myself, and after I finished speaking, he said:  “That sounds great.  But you’re not right for this job.”

I couldn’t believe it!  Why had I gone through all the steps of the interview process, just to be turned down before the interview had even really begun?  I’m sure my face was a look of pure confusion.  The interviewer began to talk about why I wasn’t right for the position.  He was correct; the job involved working in marketing and sales, and the job description had been written in a way that wasn’t reflective of the daily tasks of the employee.  He also explained to me that another department had an opening in coding education that he thought I might be interested in pursuing.  In the end, I scheduled another meeting with the hiring manager in the education department, who had already heard about my qualifications from the original interviewer.  I landed the education job, and had a very enriching experience in that position.

Although that first moment of rejection created one of the most troubling feelings I’ve had during my interviewing experience, I learned a valuable lesson that day.  I realized that high-functioning teams have members who look out for the well-being of the other team members.  The Vice President had drawn me into the interview process so that he could redirect me to a department where I was a better fit, and could do the most good.  I found it very encouraging that people, even people who don’t know you very well, are looking out for you and for your best interests.

While this particular interviewer was very straight-forward in his intentions, that’s not always the case, and you may have an interview that ends badly, and never get an explanation or follow up.  Nevertheless, don’t let a “bad” interview discourage you.  There is always a learning opportunity in any meeting, whether it is a productive encounter, or one that leaves you feeling uneasy.  Don’t let any meeting discourage you from keeping up your search, and keeping your attitude positive.  The job might not be right for you, but that could lead to another job in that establishment.  Better yet, you can gain some insight into yourself, the type of job you want, and the type of position you’re looking for.  Stay positive, and never stop learning!


Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam Review
The CCA credential exhibits your commitment to the coding profession and demonstrates your coding competencies across all settings – including hospitals and physician practices. This course provides valuable study and test-taking strategies. Those who successfully complete this course are eligible for 8 AHIMA CEUs. For more information, click here.

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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