A chiropractic assistant is vital to a successful practice. The assistant is responsible for the management of patients and the office and often lead in vital aspects of patient care, such as the initial interview, patient education, assisting in examinations and X-rays, scheduling and billing. The chiropractic assistant is in a position to leave an important and lasting impression on a patient. For these reasons, it is important to hire the right person, and this starts with asking candidates the right questions during an interview.

The Purpose of the Interview

Interviewing a candidate to fulfill a chiropractic assistant position has one objective and that is to get the candidate talking; your job as the interviewer is to listen. This means you need to ask open-ended questions that elicit information and encourage the candidate to elaborate on her answers. What you really want to know is whether this person will fit in with your office and patient base.

Background Questions

With background questions, you want to find out how much the candidate knows about and understands chiropractic care. You will want to ask the candidate to explain his experience with chiropractic care as a patient and as an employee. You may also want to elicit information regarding the candidate’s ability and experience working with people. Just as important, you want to find out why the candidate wants to work for you and gain an understanding of his career goals. Last but not least, you want the candidate to describe his strengths and weaknesses.

Experience Questions

At this stage, you should have already viewed the candidate's resume. While the resume will outline the candidate’s professional experience, it will not elaborate on that experience. You will want to inquire about the prospective employee's experience handling situations she will encounter at your practice. You will also want to gain an understanding of how the candidate handles responsibility and to provide you with explanations about why she left previous positions. To the best of your ability, you want to gauge whether the candidate's professional goals are symmetrical to your own.

Skills Questions and Testing Those Skills

During the interview process, you will also want to check the candidate’s interpersonal skills. You can accomplish this by bringing in another person who works in the practice, preferably the doctor, and observe how the candidate interacts with an unfamiliar person. You want to ask behavioral questions to get a sense for how the candidate organizes tasks, manages situations, uses judgment and transforms ideas into action. The objective is to understand what skills the candidate has and whether these skills can complement your practice.