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Clinical Laboratory Technician Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated November 16th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Sciences    
Question 1 of 31
What is an HIV test window?
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How to Answer
Understanding things such as test window and what it means is crucial when working with blood. The interviewer wants to know what knowledge you have of HIV and what may happen during this 'test window' time.
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Answer Examples
1.
What is an HIV test window?
Understanding things such as test window and what it means is crucial when working with blood. The interviewer wants to know what knowledge you have of HIV and what may happen during this 'test window' time.

Heather's Answer #1
"The HIV test window is used to describe the time between when the patient becomes infected with HIV until the appearance of the detectable antibodies of the virus."
Darby's Answer #2
"HIV test window is the time between infection with HIV until the virus actually shows up in a blood test."
2.
What is PKU and when is it normally diagnosed?
PKU is a rare genetic condition that affects metabolism. A person with PKU can't create the enzyme tht is needed to break down phenylalanine, which is found in protein. A PKU test is a routine test performed on all babies in the US. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of this test.

Heather's Answer #1
"PKU is one of the tests done as part of a newborn's routine health screening. It helps determine the presence of phenylalanine in the blood, which should be broken down if metabolism is normal."
Darby's Answer #2
"PKU is a disease that causes a baby's inability to break down phenyalinine which is found in protein. It causes problems with metablism."
3.
What makes you think you will be successful at our organization?
Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you meet and exceed expectations with their organization. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

Heather's Answer #1
"I know I will be successful in this role because I have been working in this industry for five years with great training and mentorship. I have a solid understanding of X, Y, and Z (skills listed in the job description). Also, I have all of my updated certifications as outlined in your job description. I am well-prepared for this next step in my career."
Darby's Answer #2
"I feel I have the education and skills necessary to become an asset to your organization and I believe, given the opportunity, I can prove that."
4.
Have you ever worked in an environment in which your co-workers were from diverse backgrounds?
In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. To be successful, it is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

Heather's Answer #1
"The diversity of specialty areas is something I love about the healthcare field. I like the idea of being in a career that challenges me to learn and grow. I believe we all have something that we can contribute to others and I like to embrace the diversity among those that I work with."
Darby's Answer #2
"The largest diverse group I worked with was probably when I did my clinical rotation at University Medical Center. I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"
5.
Have you ever heard of the 'kick and kill' approach with regard to cell depletion?
Interviewers do not expect you have a perfect understanding of every trial or every bit of information that is available. If you are asking about something that you are not familiar with, say so, but show an interest in learning. This tells the interviewer that you are not intimidated by those who may know a little more than you and that you are willing to learn, which is what research is about.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have heard the term 'kick and kill' but I am not really familiar with what it involves. If time allows, I would love to hear some information about it."
Darby's Answer #2
"Yes, I am aware of the 'kick and kill approach.' This is a one-two combination of activating latent HIV infected cells followed by targeting the infected cells for elimination. If this is successful, it could lead to some great advances in curing HIV. It does require strict laboratory monitoring."
6.
Have you ever considered going back to school and obtaining a higher/different degree?
There are people who choose a career and later return to school. Some have the objective to get a higher degree in the same field or to change careers altogether. This question gives the interviewer an opportunity to know you and what your future plans may be. In turn, your answer allows the interviewer the chance to see where you may fit within your organization now and in the future. If you have thoughts of continuing your education, don't be afraid to share that with the interviewer. Just remember to point out why you feel you would be an asset to your organization now.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have considered going back to college a few times, but at this point in my life, research is my passion. I feel I am already in an industry that is important and growing. I feel like, if I were to take any additional classes, I would want them to be something that would add value to the education and experience I have now."
Darby's Answer #2
"I love lab technology and am comfortable where I am, at this point in my career. I have considered in years to come, when I am older, I may transition slightly into the realm of education within hematology. For now, though, I am very happy with what I am doing."
7.
What are some things that you do to help promote balance in your life?
No matter what profession a person chooses, everyone needs some time to unwind and relax. Psychologists today say that a healthy balance in life allows a person to recharge and refocus which can result in better productivity at work. The interviewer simply wants to know what you do for you. Maybe you have a favorite pass-time or hobby. This is yet another way for the interviewer to get to know you as a person.

Heather's Answer #1
"One of my favorite pass-times is writing. After a busy day at work, I like to journal or write articles for a blog that I author. Both of these forms of writing allow me to release any feelings of frustration I may experience, especially after a stressful day or a difficult situation at work. The writings in my journal are private and my way of 'letting it all out.' The blog articles, on the other hand, are my way of using creative writing to share stories with my followers."
Darby's Answer #2
"I really enjoy working out at the gym and, I also take a kickboxing class twice weekly. After a good workout or class, I always feel like I can rest better and wake up energized and ready for the next day."
8.
What is the purpose of a platelet aggregation test and what color tube would you use to collect the specimen?
A platelet aggregation test checks how well a patient's platelets clump together to form blood clots. If platelets are not functioning properly, a person could hemorrhage to death if he experiences a traumatic injury. Share your knowledge of why this test is important with the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"Aggregation is a term used to describe the clumping together of platelets which is essential for proper clotting when a person experiences some kind of cut or other wound that causes bleeding. A light blue top tube is used."
Darby's Answer #2
"This test is done to check the ability of platelets to form clumps and produce a clot. The specimen is collected in a light blue topped tube."
9.
What are some things that you would like people you meet to notice about your personality?
Personality and character are closely related. For instance, someone with an honest character or good work ethic will tend to be more open about his or her beliefs as well as personal and professional expectations. The interviewer is looking for ques as to what character you may bring to the table, so to speak. It is important to remember, body language speaks volume and eye contact is a big indicator of your self-esteem, and your self-esteem is reflected outwardly in your personality. Be confident when you answer and make eye contact with the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I like to give more than I take and pride myself on being part of a team."
Darby's Answer #2
"I would like for people to feel that I am genuine and easy to get along with. Life can be stressful, but we don't have to dwell on difficult things. I want to people to see that, no matter what may be going on whether at home or work, I have a positive attitude and a good work ethic."
10.
What is a CMP?
The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a blood test that gives doctors information about the body's fluid balance, levels of electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and how well the kidneys and liver are working. Describe your understanding of a CMP and what it includes to the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"A CMP is used to check a body's fluid and electrolyte balance. Calcium, sodium, and potassium are some of the levels that are checked with this test."
Darby's Answer #2
"A CMP is a test that helps monitor the fluid and electrolytes within a patient's body. It is important to help determine if there is some type of imbalance, such as with blood sugar or calcium levels."
11.
What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a clinical lab technician.

Heather's Answer #1
"I think one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can get sidetracked easily. I recognize that in myself and have made a conscious effort to plan my day as much as possible and to stay on target."
Darby's Answer #2
"One of my weaknesses is that I often get nervous around people I don't know. I know we all do that to a certain degree, but for me, it has become something that I am aware of. I now try to attend social activities where I know there are going to be opportunities to meet new people so that I can overcome social anxiety."
12.
Why is a discard tube necessary when drawing a light blue top?
Understanding the order of the draw and why a discard tube is necessary is crucial to performing a clinical ljob. Explain your understanding of the necessity of a discard tube to the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"Using a discard tube helps to empty any air out of the butterfly tubing which allows the light blue top to be filled with the appropriate amount of blood."
Darby's Answer #2
"A light-blue top tube that will be used for coagulation testing must be filled to completion. Under-filling the tube changes the ratio of blood to anticoagulant. This can affect the accuracy of coagulation tests that are performed using this specimen. If a winged blood collection device (butterfly) is used to collect a light-blue top tube for coagulation studies, a waste tube should be drawn first. If the air is not displaced from the tubing into a waste tube, it will be drawn into the tube used for testing and cause a short-fill of the tube. Less volume of blood in the tube alters the required blood to anticoagulant ratio needed for coagulation studies."
13.
How would your last supervisor describe you?
The interviewer is asking this question to hear positive impacts you've made at your last job. Tell the interviewer that you were punctual, never called out sick and were dependable. Think of the traits that make an ideal employee in the eyes of a boss. Added bonus if your boss will write a letter of recommendation for you.

Heather's Answer #1
"My boss would describe me as a hard worker, motivated and consistent. I always strive to exceed expectations when I can, and I feel like I've done a good job following through by meeting deadlines and completing projects as they were assigned."
Darby's Answer #2
"My last supervisor would describe me as dependable and hardworking. I feel confident that I would receive a very good reference from him."
14.
What are some ways that technicians can prevent making mistakes when performing venipunctures?
It is imperative to avoid mistakes when drawing blood. The interview wants to know that you understand safety measures to take to prevent mistakes. Share your knowledge.

Heather's Answer #1
"I understand that avoiding mistakes is important and believe following the simple rule of verifying information is the best way to do so."
Darby's Answer #2
"Identifying a patient by having him, or a parent, tell me his name and date of birth is the first way I can think of to avoid a mistake."
15.
Do you feel you have strong relationship building skills?
Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have often been complimented on my relationship building skills. I like to get to know people and ask them questions about themselves; I find it's a great and simple way to start building rapport with others. I consider myself to be a strong relationship builder and take pride in my 'people skills'."
Darby's Answer #2
"I do feel like I have good relationship building skills. I like people and enjoy getting to know them."
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31 Clinical Laboratory Technician Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What is an HIV test window?
  2. What is PKU and when is it normally diagnosed?
  3. What makes you think you will be successful at our organization?
  4. Have you ever worked in an environment in which your co-workers were from diverse backgrounds?
  5. Have you ever heard of the 'kick and kill' approach with regard to cell depletion?
  6. Have you ever considered going back to school and obtaining a higher/different degree?
  7. What are some things that you do to help promote balance in your life?
  8. What is the purpose of a platelet aggregation test and what color tube would you use to collect the specimen?
  9. What are some things that you would like people you meet to notice about your personality?
  10. What is a CMP?
  11. What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
  12. Why is a discard tube necessary when drawing a light blue top?
  13. How would your last supervisor describe you?
  14. What are some ways that technicians can prevent making mistakes when performing venipunctures?
  15. Do you feel you have strong relationship building skills?
  16. Clinical Lab Technicians in our facility may be asked to work on rotation. Are you prepared to work evenings, weekends, overtime and holidays as required?
  17. What sets you apart from other neurologists, and why are you the best candidate for us?
  18. Why did you want to become a blood bank lab technician
  19. Tell me about a time you were trusted with confidential information.
  20. How do you respond to an emergency situation at work?
  21. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  22. How do you handle stressful situations?
  23. Has there ever been a time that you had a disagreement with a co-worker, and if so, how was it resolved?
  24. What is an A1C test used for and what do the different results indicate?
  25. How would you deal with an angry patient, and why?
  26. If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you look for in a candidate, and do you think you possess those qualities?
  27. Would you ever consider relocation? If so, what areas are you open to?
  28. If you could choose a specific schedule or shift, what would that be?
  29. Do you anticipate any changes in your life within the next 12-24 months that may cause you to have to relocate or leave this job?
  30. What is an ANA used for?
  31. Do you feel you are capable of being a good team player?
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