Lab tech interview questions

Written by sherrie scott
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Lab tech interview questions
Lab technicians are reviewed on their knowledge of the occupation. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Job interviews typically follow a particular format, but most have a specific focus. Laboratory technician jobs require specialised skills and training, and the interviewer will touch upon the education and qualifications of the applicant. Interview questions for lab tech jobs focus on the career goals of the applicant and the applicant's knowledge of the competencies of the job.

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Job Competency

Job competency interview questions are important because they give the interviewer an idea of how qualified the applicant is for the position. Lab tech job competency questions vary depending on the specific job type. Employers may begin the interview with, "Describe your experience working in a laboratory or clinical environment," or, "Describe your experience with the development of lab sampling procedures."

To assess the applicant's familiarity and comfort level with the hazards associated with many laboratory tech positions, the interviewer may ask "Do you have experience working with infectious specimens, and if so, please describe." Also, applicants may be asked "Describe appropriate infection control protocol" or "are you comfortable working in a potentially hazardous environment?"

Terminology

Laboratory technicians are familiar with medical jargon that sounds foreign to people outside of the profession. Interviewers may ask the applicant questions regarding laboratory terminology to determine the applicant's experience level and familiarity with the occupation. For instance, the interviewer may ask, "Do you know what trace metal clean technique is?" She may also ask, "Do you have experience using cell counters?" or say, "Describe the laboratory equipment used in your last position."

Situations and Tasks

Lab tech applicants will be required to answer questions regarding specific situations and tasks they have been exposed to in previous jobs and the steps taken to remedy problems or provide a service or response. These interview questions usually begin with, "Tell me about a time." For example, a lab tech interview situational question may be: "Tell me about a time when you had to meet a deadline. How did you handle the situation and what was the result." Another request could be, "Tell me about a time when you had to work independently," or, "Tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team." These types of questions are designed to give the interviewer a sense of how well the applicant responds to certain situations on the job.

Work Ethic

Employers want to know how an applicant views her job with respect to attendance, work hours and overall willingness to complete tasks. Lab technicians may be asked, "Are you flexible to change?" or, "How do you feel about a work environment that constantly changes?" Because many laboratories function during nontraditional hours, applicants may also be asked, "Are you willing to work evenings or weekends?"

The laboratory technician occupation is always evolving with new technologies and procedures. Opportunities for advancement occur regularly with many positions. A prospective employer may ask an applicant "what are your career goals in the next five years." More specifically the interviewer may ask "are you currently pursuing or do you plan to pursue professional certifications to advance your career and if so, which ones?"

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