physician assistant interview questions and answers

If you are considering a career as a physician assistant, you should be aware of the vast array of questions you may be asked during an interview. Being prepared to answer these questions can help you not only stand out as a great candidate, but also help you feel more confident in your ability to make a positive impression. As you prepare for your next physician assistant interview, this blog post will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the most common physician assistant interview questions and provide guidance on how to best answer them. We’ll discuss the types of questions that you might expect, common answers to those questions, and provide tips on how to make the best impression in an interview setting. With this knowledge in hand, you will be well-equipped to make a great first impression as a physician assistant candidate.

General PA interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work in our hospital?
  • Why are you leaving your last job?
  • Why do you want to be a PA?
  • Why should we hire you as our newest PA?
  • What are some of your strengths as a PA?
  • What are some of your weaknesses as a PA?

Physician Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

7 Physician Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

We’re in a rural area where you would be the primary care provider at the clinic. The doctor is likely to show up only one or two days a week. Share with us your ideas for how you could collaborate with her.

Even if your company is in a busy city, it’s likely that your physician assistant will work often without a physician in the room. You could ask instead, “Since you’ll frequently work without a doctor in the room, how will you plan ahead to make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle?”

What to look for in an answer:

  • Thoughtful answer
  • Practical solution
  • Willingness to collaborate

How do you overcome the challenges of being a physician assistant?

For many people, the reality of a job in medicine means stress, long hours and, sometimes, burnout. This question helps you identify candidates who fit your organization well.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Element that shouldn’t be a huge issue in your organization
  • Rationale behind the frustration
  • Attempt to resolve the problem

How do you get patients to open up to you about their medical history?

Patients often don’t divulge everything they should when a physician assistant asks for their medical history. It could be from simple forgetfulness or shame. Sometimes, the patient just doesn’t think something is important. This question gives you an idea of whether a candidate can get patients to open up.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Practical process
  • Approach that makes life easier for patients
  • Solution that should genuinely help

Give us an example of what you’ve done to enhance patient safety.

The well-being of patients is a top priority at many facilities. Thus, it’s critical to know that a candidate does actually value patient safety.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Practical example
  • Value of the remedy
  • Evidence of initiative

You cannot come to a conclusion about a patient’s condition. Do you make an educated diagnosis based on their symptoms or do you ask another medical professional for assistance?

Physician assistants need to work closely with other medical professionals to provide patients with superb medical care. This question helps the interviewer determine whether a candidate understands their professional limitations. It also allows the interviewer to gauge a candidate’s ability to ask for help when necessary in order to best assist their patients.

The candidate’s answer should emphasize:

  • Team-oriented mindset
  • Humble nature
  • Desire for accuracy

A good candidate’s answer could look like this:

What would you say is our hospital’s greatest asset to the community?

Employees should genuinely want to be at your hospital or facility. This question gives you insight into what factors matter to the candidate.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of research
  • Differentiator among competitors
  • Why the issue matters

Have you ever gotten in a disagreement with a colleague over the management of a patient? How did you handle it?

It’s good to know how your job candidates resolve conflicts. This question goes a little further in that it draws out the fact something about this disagreement was different.
What to look for in an answer:

  • Attempt at a civil resolution
  • Identification of real-world stakes
  • No putting anyone down

Article Contents 18 minread

Review the following PA school interview questions to help you get ready. In terms of interview formats, be aware that some PA interviews will include a Multiple Mini Interview, some will have traditional, panel-style, or group interviews, and some programs may require CASPer. Be sure to check with each school to ensure that you are adequately prepared. You can access our Definitive Guide to Preparing for the CASPer Test here, as well as our Definitive Guide to the MMI Interview and some sample MMI questions.

This post will focus on 110 PA school interview questions specific to this particular profession, but conventional interview questions are also fair game. In addition to PA-specific questions, you should prepare for more general interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself” and “What is your greatest weakness.”

Note: Schedule a free strategy call if you’d like our assistance with your applications, interviews, or standardized tests. Visit our partnerships page if you represent a university, company, or student organization and would like to collaborate with us.

Before getting started, watch this video for an introduction and some background information:

40 Physician Assistant Interview Questions & Answers

Practice from one of the following company question sets to surpass your competition.

Practice from one of the following careers to gain more insight into your interview.

Practice with our topic-based interview question sets if you want to ace your upcoming interview.

Practice with our topic-based interview question sets if you want to ace your upcoming interview.

Practice from one of the following company question sets to surpass your competition.

Practice from one of the following careers to gain more insight into your interview.

This page’s goal is to assist you in getting ready for your job interview. To do this, we develop interview inquiries that we anticipate you may be asked. To assist us in developing our interview questions and writing sample responses, we work with professional interviewers (people with years of experience interviewing candidates). On our pages, there are no advertisements; however, we do try to monetize through paid memberships.

PA School Interview Questions: What is a PA?

Ideally, it goes without saying that you should be well-versed in the responsibilities and areas of practice of a PA before you even begin the interview process. In short, a PA participates directly in patient care, treatment, and education while working in a supporting capacity under the direction and delegation of an MD. There are some restrictions on what a PA can do; for instance, they cannot perform surgery (though they can assist), and their ability to prescribe medications varies significantly depending on the location (including what they are allowed to prescribe if prescribing medications is allowed – e g. , narcotics and other controlled substances). To learn more about the differences and similarities between a PA and MD, check out our blog.

A PA’s more philosophical goal is to improve patient care and access to primary care physicians, as was briefly mentioned above. MDs can devote their time to complex and acute cases (though PAs may help with these) and to research or other scholarly activities by delegating to PAs a variety of illnesses and injuries that are more frequently treatable. In order to facilitate patient treatment, build strong patient-practitioner relationships, ensure thorough patient education, and work with the patient as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, PAs are essential. Time constraints and workload continually put pressure on MDs, limiting the amount of time they can devote to each patient, and geographic restrictions cause gaps in patients’ access to care.


How do I prepare for a physician assistant interview?

Do these 4 things to set yourself up for PA school interview day success!
  1. Identify your major talking points. Practice “The Big 3”
  2. Learn the answers to frequently asked questions and make a mental tool for organization.
  3. Schedule a mock interview.
  4. Record yourself.

How do you answer tell me about yourself in a physician’s assistant interview?

You will have the chance to genuinely improve their quality of life as a PA. As you evaluate and assist patients, you will learn about their lives, including their relationships, vacations, and grandkids.

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