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How would you answer an interview question like this?

(14 Posts)
DarkDarkNight Tue 12-Jun-18 10:52:34

I am interviewing for a new job within the organisation I currently work for. They are pretty standard point based questions but I’ve been googling typical questions and I’m not sure about this one:

‘If you have a patient at the desk and a Dr comes up asking for information and the phone is ringing what do you do first?’

I prioritise all day long in my job, constantly stopping routine things to deal with urgent matters but I’m not sure what they want here.

OP’s posts: |
Iamblossom Tue 12-Jun-18 10:55:34

I would say to the patient, "I am going to pick this phone up and ask them to wait, and then I am going to help you, please give me one minute"

Then I would say to the person on the phone, "please hold, i'm just with someone, and I will be with you as soon as I can - or feel free to call back"

Iamblossom Tue 12-Jun-18 10:55:55

sorry *I would say to the Dr

Iamblossom Tue 12-Jun-18 10:56:57

argh - sorry completely misread question.

I would do the above but I would ask the Dr to wait.

Or would I?

Ok i'm going to go now as I have been zero help.

Good luck!!

bunnyrabbit93 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:58:09

I would say

1 patient as presumably they are there and talking to you
2 doctor because again he is there and didn't interrupt the patient
3 phone because at the doctors there is usually a voice saying all the advisors are busy someone will answer shortly

CheeseyToast Tue 12-Jun-18 11:00:19

I would be like fuck fuck fuck

LupinsNotBluebells Tue 12-Jun-18 11:00:43

Surely that would depend on the policy at the practice and how many other staff you have available. I would handle the face to face first, and then the GP because it would then be more confidential as the random patient would have walked away and not be able to hear what the GP asked and the caller can divert to another colleague or call back, but some practices would manage them differently to this.

caringcarer Tue 12-Jun-18 11:03:01

1. I would say to patient excuse me I will will just answer phone to stop it ringing.
2. Answer phone and ask person on phone to hold as you are dealing with patient and will speak to them shortly.
3. See what Dr wants as it may only be a quick query.
4. Go back to patient apologise and resume their query.
5. Go back to phone call apologise for keeping them waiting and resume query.

GrumpyOldMare Tue 12-Jun-18 11:05:17

Excuse yourself to the dr and patient,answer the phone and deal with the query (it may be urgent) then go back,deal with the patient,then help help the dr.

WhatsGoingOnEh Tue 12-Jun-18 11:10:23

I would be like fuck fuck fuck 🤣🤣🤣

Should it go:

1. Dr: busier than patient, possibly dealing with someone more ill;
2. Patient: sad to make them wait, but let's face it - they're already there, aren't they?
3. Phone last.

AnnieOH1 Tue 12-Jun-18 11:12:14

Is there really a wrong answer here? I mean there's not enough information to make an informed choice. For example has the doctor spilled something and needs immediate assistance? Does the phone line have an answering service or is it a line that only rings for internal emergencies? Is the patient waiting to be booked in or just standing having a chat?

I think I would either answer in a similar vein to the above or drag some of the above in with an "in real life" scenario even if it wasn't real such as:

"Oh I remember this happening at my old job. I could see the patient had their repeat prescription request in hand and had just seen their doctor, the other doctor came up with an empty alcohol gel dispenser waving it at me and the phone that was ringing was an emergency line from one of the other GPs. That had to take priority because they only use it in situations where they need more help and/or an ambulance. I quickly said "sorry I need to get this" answered and dealt with the call, while on call I swapped my dispenser for the empty one and the doctor went off happy with a thumbs up. I managed to attract a colleagues attention to deal with the patient at the desk and then apologised to them myself once I was off the call."

I do think the point in the question is more about showing you can assess the order to do something in rather than just taking things first come first served.

NaiceBiscuits Tue 12-Jun-18 11:39:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomeKnobend Tue 12-Jun-18 11:52:52

Dr first, it could be an emergency, besides, everyone is waiting to see him/her, if the dr is waiting then aaaaall the patients are waiting. Then pick up the phone (you can't deal with a patient while the phone is ringing on and on and you have to shout over it), if it's an emergency, deal with it first, otherwise ask them to hold while you deal with the patient at the desk. No idea if that's right but that's what I'd do.

DarkDarkNight Tue 12-Jun-18 12:18:58

Thank you for the responses. No, I think it’s one of those things where there’s no wrong answer, they just want to see how you would deal with it. Some really good answers here, I am bad at explain myself so questions like this make me a bit anxious.

It’s ward based at a hospital rather than GP (I’m currently in clinical services in a part clinical/part admin post). I sometimes deal with members of the public and medical staff now and hate leaving somebody who is standing in front of me to answer a phone, it feels really rude. I often have colleagues around who can pick up the phone or take over with the visitor.

I would be like fuck fuck fuck this is my internal monologue on a daily basis grin.

OP’s posts: |

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