Job interview questions for an environmental lab technician

Written by claudia stanic
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Job interview questions for an environmental lab technician
Environmental lab technicians often study samples of substances found in communities. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Environmental lab technicians study samples of soil, water, gas and other materials to investigate how they affect the world around us. The technicians may work to discover if a particular substance impacts public health or pollutes the environment. Technicians wear protective gear, which can include protective eyewear, lab coats and gloves, to protect themselves from the elements they study.


A job as an environmental lab technician often requires a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, environmental science, chemistry or a related field. Some positions require a master's or doctoral degree, or a specified amount of experience. A job interview will traditionally cover an applicant's educational history and job background. For an entry-level job, the interviewer may ask the applicant about any internships he has held, which classes he enjoyed the most and what types of work he did in those classes. Interviews for non-entry-level positions likely will cover the applicant's previous job history.


Candidates for environmental lab technician jobs must show that they have the dexterity to handle lab-related glassware and measurement containers. They must have the ability to measure liquids, analyse substances ranging from wastewater to sludge, and follow directions completely and accurately. Technicians in some positions must obtain samples from the field, in places such as wastewater treatment plants. An interviewer likely will ask the job candidate if she feels comfortable completing these tasks, and ask for examples of previous related experience.


Interviewers will want to see that the candidate can work well with others and has a pleasant demeanour. General personality questions will cover what the candidate's personal strengths and weaknesses are, as well as his long-term goals. Interviewers often ask a candidate to outline her achievements, any obstacles she has overcome and how she handles conflict. The interviewer may ask what personality traits the candidate possesses that would make him a good environmental lab technician.


The interviewer will ask the candidate if he can perform all the functions of the job and if he feels comfortable with the schedule and working environment. Schedules can vary and include nights, weekends and holidays. Environmental lab technician jobs typically require long periods of standing while intensely concentrated. The interviewer will ask the candidate if he can do all of those things. Some labs like their technicians to live relatively close by so they can come to work quickly in case of emergency. The interviewer may ask where you live and if you feel comfortable relocating, if necessary.

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