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Medical Laboratory Technician Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Medical Laboratory Technician interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

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Question 1 of 30

Why did you choose to become a medical laboratory technician?

How to Answer

There are so many career options out there. When interviewers ask you questions like this, they are trying to get to know you, what interests you, what drives you. If you had an experience personally that made you choose this field of work, share it with the interviewer.

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30 Medical Laboratory Technician Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Why did you choose to become a medical laboratory technician?

      How to Answer

      There are so many career options out there. When interviewers ask you questions like this, they are trying to get to know you, what interests you, what drives you. If you had an experience personally that made you choose this field of work, share it with the interviewer.

      Entry Level

      "I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to work closely with people and learn about healthcare related careers. Becoming a medical lab tech was a way for me to become part of the healthcare industry without having to spend a number of years in school. I feel like doing this job will give me an opportunity to learn and grow and also to see if there is a higher degree in this field that I may be interested in pursuing later."

      1st Answer Example

      "I have always been interested in the human body and the way things work together. The function of the body is very complex and something I enjoy studying. I felt like working in a medical laboratory would be a great opportunity to study the effects of disease processes on the human body while contributing to caring for others."

      Experienced

      "My favorite leader was my supervisor for over ten years, who just retired a couple of years ago. He was the type of leader that lead by example by working hard, following all policies and procedures and keeping an open door to talk at any time on any day. He inspired me to hopefully someday pursue a leadership role in a lab where I can lead the same way as he once did."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I love being in the laboratory, and I am deeply fascinated by the human body. I find it so interesting that biological specimens can give such a great amount of information about a patient's health status.



      I would love to be a part of that process by running tests to provide the necessary information to help a patient get better. I believe this career has many challenges that can help me learn new skills every day, which excites me."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent response! Well done.

  • 2. If you had a team member who constantly seemed to be abandoning his post and leaving unfinished work, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Although this is not meant to be a 'trick question,' it is important to remember to answer carefully. The interviewer understands that it takes a team effort to make a lab run efficiently. Further, he knows that if one person does not fulfill his responsibilities, it can cause a strain on others. What the interviewer is looking for is your ability to address a possibly tense situation with professionalism while maintaining as much order as possible within your role.

      Entry Level

      "It can be frustrating when others don't do their job, as we all work together as a team to get things done. However, it is not my job to correct another employee. If the situation is truly one that seems to be habitual and it is affecting my work or the overall production of my team,I will report my concerns to my supervisor and trust them to manage the situation."

      1st Answer Example

      "There are times when everyone feels a bit inadequate or as if they can't finish a job. That's understandable. If a coworker was constantly leaving a job incomplete, however, I think it may be better left to the lab manager to address the issue. In this case, I would ask to speak to my supervisor privately and voice my concerns. I would remember to not be judgmental, as the supervisor may already be aware and taking measures to correct the situation. I will continue to do my job as assigned and offer assistance to others, when I am able."

      Experienced

      "Unfortunately, situations like this may arise in any work environment. I have learned, throughout my career, to not pass judgement too quickly. There are often times that a person is going through something personally and it affects their work before they even realize it. I would like to think that I could kindly offer support to my coworker and see if we can work as a team to get things accomplished and caught up. If that approach does not work, I will notify my lab manager and let it be handled."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Talk to him personally. Let him be reminded that drs and patients are dependent on our job and will reflect patient healthcare."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great start. I created more depth in your response so the interviewer can see more of your value system and work style.

      "I value transparency and open communication in the workplace. I would address the situation privately and expeditiously, as their actions are a reflection of the overall company reputation. I treat others the way I would like to be treated, so when having the discussion, I would offer my observations while coming up with solutions to address the issue. I do not want to blame or confront people; that method is unnecessary and not constructive."

  • 3. If you began to feel overwhelmed with your workload or other work related issues, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Working as a medical laboratory technician requires a great deal of time and attention to detail. The interviewer understands the stresses that are often related to being a lab tech. He wants to know that you can identify personal stressors and that you are capable of addressing them before the anxiety of a situation gets out of hand.

      1st Answer Example

      "I am usually not easily overwhelmed, but we do all have times that some situations affect us differently. If I begin to feel anxious or overwhelmed, if possible, I take a break for a few minutes. Sometimes just stepping outside and getting a breath of fresh air helps me to relax. Also, I am not too embarrassed to call on a coworker or supervisor if I need help. Patient care is my number one priority."

      Experienced

      "Working as a medical lab tech, there are times that we all feel overwhelmed. I have found that when I begin to have feelings of stress or anxiety, it is always a good idea to let a team leader know. Sometimes a short break or a slight change in routine is all it takes to relieve those feelings."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would take a moment to breathe and gather my thoughts. After I took a moment to collect myself, I would trace my steps from the beginning to find out why I am getting so overwhelmed. Once the reason is identified, I can come up with a new plan to approach my workload to prevent feeling overwhelmed again. If this does not help, I am not afraid to ask a colleague for help."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Well thought out answer, and it's delivered in an easy to absorb way. Good work.

  • 4. What would you do if a patient complained to you about one of your coworker's conduct toward him/her?

      How to Answer

      This question aims to test your knowledge of internal procedures used within healthcare establishments. While the exact protocol for this may be specific to the place you're applying, there are general rules that should be followed by all healthcare providers, no matter which facility you work in. It is important to explain that all complaints must be taken seriously and be directed to the appropriate member of staff so that appropriate action can be taken. Emphasize that patient concerns should never be ignored.

      Entry Level

      "I've never had a patient complain to me about one of my coworkers. If I were to be faced with this situation, I would assure the patient that I will talk to my supervisor so that he can help address the situation. I believe it is important to let a patient know that any concerns will be addressed, but to not 'choose sides,' as this can make the situation worse. I believe that leaving the responsibility of investigating the complaint with my supervisor is the most appropriate action to take."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "First, I would want to know what the issue was and try to understand both sides. And at the same time, ask apology to the patient what might offend him. And talk to the coworker about the issue and help him or her what he would do not to offend other patients the next time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great start. You are client-focused, which is wonderful. I added language about policies and procedures the employer may have when faced with that particular scenario.

      "If faced with that situation, I would listen to the patient openly and non-judgmentally. I would apologize for their experience, and tell them the situation will be addressed. I would rely on the policies and procedures offered through employment training and follow through with necessary steps in that regard. If acceptable or applicable, I would discuss the feedback with my colleague and offer ways to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future."

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  • 5. If you discovered that a coworker was violating a patient's privacy by discussing his information with someone outside of the care team, how would you respond?

      How to Answer

      Patient privacy is protected by federal law and anyone who works in the healthcare industry is required to understand and follow the law. Failure to do so can result in loss of employment, and possible criminal charges. The interviewer wants to know that you understand your role in protecting a patient's privacy and that you will make wise decisions if you feel a patient's confidentiality has been compromised.

      Entry Level

      "I would notify my team leader or supervisor right away. The law demands that we protect our patient's private information and our patients expect us to honor that."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "First of all, this is not acceptable at all. I would approach my coworker, bring them to the side and express to them that discussing patient information is unacceptable and can result in their termination. I would also express to them that it's part of our job to keep such patient information private. I would also bring up the situation to HR."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Actionable response - very good!

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  • 6. Do you have any plans that may interfere with being able to commit to long-term employment with us?

      How to Answer

      Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

      Entry Level

      "I recently completed school and received my certification as a medical laboratory technician. My hope is to find a position that will allow me to work long term. I do not anticipate any significant changes that would affect that."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I do not have any plans that will interfere with being able to commit long-term. This is the career that I have always dreamed of doing and being able to do something that I love is a priority to me."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You sound very committed to the role. Exactly what the interviewer wants to hear!

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  • 7. Tell me about a time you experienced a significant change in your workplace, and how did you adapt to the change?

      How to Answer

      In any healthcare setting, change is inevitable. Technology, processes, leadership, laws and organizations change. The interviewer is looking for cues from you that you are willing to embrace change without it being disruptive to your work productivity.

      Entry Level

      "When I was in college, I worked at a large grocery store as a cashier. After working there for one year, the company purchased a new touchscreen register system that replaced the old system I was familiar with. For me, knowing how much the new system would help our work process made it easy to embrace the change. Moving forward, I fully understand how the healthcare world needs to embrace change on a regular basis and you'll find that I'm a person that will help encourage a positive outlook regarding change among my peers."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "We have new machines in Chemistry. We daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance in our shift. I need to take a step forward by lerning all those weekly and monthly, as well as the needs maintenance. I always have an interest in learning new skills. That's one of my passion"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Be mindful to not only answer every question adequately, but efficiently. Be mindful of spelling errors by reading each response back to make edits. You want the interviewer to know you take the interview process seriously, since attention to detail is a large requirement of the role you are applying for.

      "My department received all new machines which required daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance. In order to effectively continue my duties, I needed to learn the new machines and conduct the necessary maintenance during my shifts. I liked the change, because it caused me to learn new skills. I am always open to learning new things, and can adapt to changes smoothly."

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  • 8. Can you give me some examples of some equipment that you feel proficient operating within a medical lab?

      How to Answer

      Although medical laboratory technicians may operate a variety of different types of equipment, there may be specific ones that you feel more comfortable working with. An interviewer will usually ask this type of question so that he can see what your 'comfort zone' is, and to determine where you might best fit with your immediate skills. Further, it will give the interviewer an idea of what specific training you may need to help you feel proficient with all equipment within their lab. Be honest regarding your skills, as they will become evident when you are working.

      Entry Level

      "During my clinical rotation, I was exposed to many different types of equipment within a medical laboratory. A few examples include auto-samplers, centrifuges and a chromatography machine. I feel comfortable with these machines, and I am excited about the opportunity to learn about other types of machines and add to my list of skills."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am currently still a student and plan to obtain an internship soon, so I do not have much experience with medical lab equipment. The only equipment that I have had experience with was UroCheck, in my urinalysis course."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Honest and to the point. If you'd like, you could mention a bit about your ability to quickly learn new technology.

      "I have experience with UroCheck from my urinalysis course; however, being a student, my exposure to lab equipment is somewhat limited. With that said, I am technically savvy and am confident in my ability to learn your medical lab equipment very quickly."

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  • 9. Has there ever been an emergency situation in your department, and how did you/would you react in such a situation?

      How to Answer

      Depending on the situation, you will want to respond quickly and make yourself available to assist the doctor in any way you can. Be aware of the surroundings and also observe the patient. Your best response will be one where you are sensitive to the situation by listening closely to the doctor and nurses involved. There may not be anything you can do to help, but if you get in the way, you could definitely create more problems. Ask what you can do and pay attention. If you need to step aside, be respectful and understanding.

      Entry Level

      "That really depends on the situation. I always try to remember to remain as calm as possible and report to my designated area as quickly as possible and follow emergency protocol."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "When I was a volunteer at a hospital in the nurse's wing, two code blues occurred in our wing at the same time. Since I was just a volunteer, I knew from proper training to stay out of all the health care professionals' way until I was told to do a specific task."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect! It's great that you refer back to your training - the interviewer will appreciate this response.

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  • 10. What is one of your weaknesses, and what do you do in an effort to overcome that weakness?

      How to Answer

      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 blood bank lab technician.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am too caring. I delayed my short and dinner break. We can no go to the restroom as we want."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response is hard to follow. Be sure to answer in complete sentences, so the interviewer gets a full understanding.

      "I get so involved in my work that I become hyper-focused. I am working on taking the time for necessary breaks."

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  • 11. Are you familiar with some errors that may occur when using a pipette and how to prevent those errors?

      How to Answer

      Pipettes, also called pipets or chemical droppers, are small tubes of glass or plastic used to transfer a measurable amount of liquid from one container to another. They come in two forms: volumetric pipettes, used to transfer a single specific volume of liquid, and measuring pipettes, used to transfer varying, measured volumes. Share an example of a common error.

      Entry Level

      "Unnecessary tip wiping can lead to sample loss, especially if wiping with absorbent materials, which can carry sample from the pipette tip."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "An error that was common in my clinical chemistry laboratory course was the improper use of the pipette plunger. To prevent this, a quick demonstration on how to use the micropipette in the dispensing and aspiration of the solution would have been helpful."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! Specific and focused.

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  • 12. Do you feel that you are capable of working independently, rather than having a supervisor or coworker work with you?

      How to Answer

      Like any other medical department, medical laboratories have unit managers or supervisors who oversee the day to day operations and assign duties to personnel within that department. However, Medical Laboratory Technicians are expected to learn skills that will enable them to work independently of other staff. The interviewer wants to know that you are comfortable with being given independent assignments. Be sure that your confidence does not come across as 'being cocky.' You can do that by stating that you are comfortable working independently, but that you don't mind working with a partner or team, and that you also ask for help if you are unsure about something.

      Entry Level

      "I have no problem working independently. I do enjoy working with a team, too, because I feel like, as a new medical lab tech, I can learn a lot from my peers."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I can work independently at the same time I am also a good team player."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      It would be better to respond with more specificity. An interviewer will read a general response like this many times. It is your responsibility to offer unique responses that will help you stand out from other candidates with similar skillsets.

      "I am very confident in my abilities and have worked a lot independently throughout my career. I would have no hesitations working alone or within a group."

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  • 13. If you were the person interviewing employee candidates, what qualities would you look for to fill this position?

      How to Answer

      There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

      Entry Level

      "If I were hiring someone, I would look for someone who is passionate about the job and about patient care. I also feel that being approachable and willing to learn is very important."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Team player. Conscious of their work and a multi-tasker."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      I took your content and worded it in such a way as to describe yourself. See below.

      "If I were conducting interviews, I would seek candidates who had a passion for their work. This person would be a team player and contribute positively to the work dynamic and environment. They would also need to be meticulous and mindful of their work with the ability to multi-task. I would seek others who were reflective of my work ethic and style."

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  • 14. Other than technical work, such as testing specimens, what other duties are you accustomed to performing within a medical laboratory?

      How to Answer

      The work of a medical lab technician is not limited to performing experiments and tests. The interviewer wants to know that you are able, and willing, to do whatever the job requires. Share your experience of, not only operating equipment, but your understanding of the importance of other laboratory duties.

      Entry Level

      "As part of my training, I learned different skills that are required of a medical laboratory technician. Other than performing tests on specimens or obtaining specimens from patients, we are responsible for maintaining accurate records of test results, performing scheduled inventory of supplies, and performing or requesting maintenance on equipment, as needed."

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  • 15. How do you handle times when you have a disagreement with a coworker?

      How to Answer

      Any time you work with someone else, there is a chance of having a disagreement about something at one time or another. The interviewer knows this. It's human nature for people to have their own opinions. What is important to the interviewer in this question is whether or not you are willing to compromise and work through difficult situations with your co-workers. Being unwilling to compromise or find alternative solutions to a dispute can affect everyone on the team, even if it is indirectly. Sharing a personal experience is OK, but do not embellish it to 'be the hero.'

      Entry Level

      "I am usually a very soft-spoken person and strive to be the 'peacekeeper.' I can't recall any specific incident of a disagreement. I would like to think if a disagreement should arise that I can remain objective and willing to resolve the issue without incident."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "If there is a disagreement with a coworker, I try my best to understand the logic and reasoning behind what we are disagreeing on. I try to see their point of view rather than trying to demand that they agree with me. There is always a different perspective on one situation. I try to be open-minded."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your answer shows a very strong willingness to collaborate. Well done!

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  • 16. What is one of your biggest fears about being a medical lab technician?

      How to Answer

      While a career in the healthcare industry is very rewarding, the responsibility that each member of the care team has to shoulder can, sometimes, become overwhelming. As a medical laboratory technician, there is a great deal of responsibility, such as handling specimens, monitoring machines for accuracy and reporting results. The interviewer wants to know that, although some things related to your work may cause you to be cautious, you are able to handle those things with professionalism and not allow yourself to become so overwhelmed that it interferes with your job performance.

      Entry Level

      "One of my fears is that I may misread an order or enter the wrong information in the computer and end up having a result that is not correct. I really pride myself on following orders and verifying documentation before and after performing a test so that nothing like this happens."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "One of my biggest fears is not being able to properly identify an abnormal value resulting in releasing false results to the receiving physician. I also do not want to cost the hospital a great deal of money due to my mistakes. I know mistakes happen, but I fear that my mistakes may negatively affect a patient's life."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your example is a good one; however, try to finish your response on a note of confidence.

      "One of my biggest fears is being unable to properly identify an abnormal value, resulting in releasing false results to the receiving physician. I do not want to cost the hospital money due to error or affect a patient in any negative way. I know these types of mistakes happen on occasion; however, I will do everything I can to ensure 100% accuracy at all times."

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  • 17. What are some things that you do to help prevent contamination within your work space?

      How to Answer

      Contamination in a medical laboratory can cause a catastrophe on so many levels. Knowing how to protect yourself and your workplace is crucial. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of preventing contamination and what you feel like you can do to make sure your workplace is free of contamination events.

      Entry Level

      "Following guidelines for safety is the easiest way to prevent contamination. If there is ever a question about a procedure or technique, I always ask before beginning my work so that I can lessen the chances of a contamination."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Before starting my work, I would always disinfect my workspace. When using a micropipette I know to change my tip when switching between different solutions. If my PPE is soiled, I would change my gloves or change my lab coat."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      To the point and specific. Good work! Overall, you seem highly prepared for this interview :)

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  • 18. What sets you apart from other medical laboratory technicians, and why do you feel you will be a good fit for us?

      How to Answer

      In most cases, more than one candidate is interviewed for a position before an offer of employment is made. This is your chance to tell the interviewer what makes you a better choice. However, remember that being confident and being conceited have a fine line of separation. Highlight your strengths, but remember to be humble.

      Entry Level

      "I am passionate about learning more about medical laboratory technology and want to work in a place where I can stay for the long-term and become a strong part of a team. I believe my history of dependability and my drive to work hard will make me a great candidate for this position."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I can see myself doing this career for a very long time, and I believe that I am very passionate about this career. I am very eager to learn more each day when it comes to learning how to operate machinery and perform certain tests. I work hard every day to try and be the best at what I do. I know that MLTs are not recognized for their work sometimes, but it is not about people recognizing my work. It is about my work being able to help patients' treatments."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Try to think of specific and measurable ways that you are different from the competition. It's best to answer with something unique that will be memorable for the interviewer. Feel free to try again, and resubmit :)

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  • 19. Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills?

      How to Answer

      Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. The interviewer wants to know that you value building strong relationships and why you think you have the necessary skills to do so. Share your thoughts.

      Entry Level

      "I do feel like I have good relationship building skills. I like people and enjoy getting to know them. I feel it is important to establish a good working relationship with my peers, as well as my patients."

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  • 20. If a lab specimen were delivered to you without the proper labels and identification on it, what would your response be?

      How to Answer

      Because of safety issues and the risks of misdiagnosis, laboratories have policies in place regarding how specimens should be labeled and handled. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of addressing mislabeled or unlabeled specimens in the appropriate manner. If you have experienced a similar incident, it is OK to share this with the interviewer as long as patient confidentiality is not compromised.

      Entry Level

      "While I haven't yet experienced an incident like this, I know that specific policies are in place in each organization that outline how specimens should be labeled when collected. If an improperly labeled or unlabeled specimen were delivered to me, I would follow the protocols within the department to ensure that the correct steps are taken to prevent error."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would inform the patient, physician or nurse that we would need to obtain a redraw or new specimen. It's irresponsible to run tests on this sample given the fact that there's a possibility that the results may not come back to the right person, leading to a misdiagnosis."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your answer is very clear and shows that you have a full understanding of best practices.

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  • 21. What advice would you give others who are considering pursuing a career as a medical laboratory technician?

      How to Answer

      We all have something of substance to add to the lives of others. Being willing to share your personal insight and experiences with others who may come after you is a privilege. An interviewer will often ask a question like this to see if you are approachable and willing to help others.

      Entry Level

      "If I were to talk with someone considering this specialty, I would encourage them to make a plan of action, to visit universities and community colleges, to ask questions and never stop learning."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would inform others that if they choose to become an MLT, never forget the basics that they learned in their intro courses. Without a proper foundation of knowledge on the material, it's ten times harder to find a solution if they lose the basics."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very well-thought out response. Bravo!

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  • 22. Has there ever been a time that you had difficulty drawing blood from a patient, and if so, how did you handle that situation?

      How to Answer

      Unfortunately, there are times that everyone who draws blood has difficulty with a venipuncture. The interviewer is aware of that and simply wants to know that you are able to handle the situation professionally without causing the patient to be alarmed. If possible, share an experience that you had with the interviewer.

      Entry Level

      "During my internship, I was being mentored by a really great lab tech with amazing phlebotomy skills. On my second day, we had a patient, who was accompanied by police officers, come in to have his blood drawn. The patient was being very unruly. My mentor explained to the officers and the patient that safety for everyone was the main priority and that no one would attempt the venipuncture until the patient was calm enough and compliant with the procedure. Eventually, the patient agreed to have his blood drawn and I was able to obtain the specimen without difficulty. I appreciated the way my mentor took charge and showed me how to address a difficult situation. It was a great learning experience for me as a new lab tech."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There was a time where I was attempting to draw blood on a patient during my phlebotomy externship and I missed the vein. I kindly asked the patient if I could try again but on the other arm. Unfortunately, I missed again. Thankfully the patient was extremely understanding and I had asked the LVN who was supervising me if she could try."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Everyone has to learn! Glad to hear the patient was understanding. This is a great example. Try to add on how this specific skill has improved over time.

      "There was a time where I was attempting to draw blood on a patient during my phlebotomy externship, and I missed the vein. I kindly asked the patient if I could try again, but on the other arm. Unfortunately, I missed it again. Thankfully the patient was extremely understanding. I asked the LVN who was supervising me if she could try. Since this time, I have improved on my skills significantly."

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  • 23. Some medical laboratory technicians at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?

      How to Answer

      Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

      Entry Level

      "While I am not unopposed to working overtime or extended schedules such as holidays, I would like to have the opportunity to spend time with small children, as well."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes. I don't mind working this type of schedule. I plan my personal days with friends and family around my work schedule. I understand that working holidays and overtime is a part of the job."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response shows teamwork and dedication - exactly what the interviewer will be seeking.

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  • 24. Are you comfortable performing venipunctures?

      How to Answer

      While phlebotomy tasks are not always required for many Medical Laboratory Technician positions, being comfortable performing venipunctures with ease is always a plus. One thing is important to remember: When an interviewer asks questions that include 'are you comfortable with....' or 'would you be willing to...', be sure to be honest. If you have experience performing venipunctures, say so. If you don't have experience, state your willingness to learn.

      Entry Level

      "I took a phlebotomy course several years ago. Although I am confident that I can effectively perform venipunctures, if needed, I wouldn't mind having some extra time in the lab, if the opportunity presents itself."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I am. I took a phlebotomy training course a year ago and would not mind practicing this skill."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      100%!

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  • 25. If you had a patient come to your lab stating his physician sent him to have his blood drawn, but he didn't bring a lab requisition slip, how would you help remedy the situation without neglecting other patients?

      How to Answer

      Questions like these are the interviewer's way of gauging your communication and customer service skills. Keep in mind, customer service should be a high priority for anyone working in the healthcare industry. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to communicate effectively with the client and provide good care, all while following protocol.

      Entry Level

      "First, I will explain to the patient that I need to get an order from the physician before I can draw his blood. When a patient understands why he may have to wait, the wait is not usually as frustrating. As soon as I explain the necessity of the order to the patient, I will ask my coworkers to assist with other patients while I contact the physician's office and request the completed lab requisition form. Working together makes our jobs easier and the patients more at ease."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would kindly talk to this patient and help him understand that without a requisition slip, I am unable to draw his blood. I understand that some patients do not like hearing this so I would also inform him that he needs the requisition for his own patient safety. To prevent neglecting other patients, I would inform my coworkers of the situation and ask for their help with other patients."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

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      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response is exactly right. Professional, and still empathetic. Good balance!

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  • 26. Have you ever had a patient be combative toward you? If so, how did you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Unfortunately, there are times when a patient may be more difficult to care for than others. The interviewer wants to know that, when faced with this type of situation, you will be able to maintain your composure and handle the incident professionally.

      Entry Level

      "In this situation, communicating to the patient the steps that I needed to take is extremely important so they understand if they have to wait for a bit before being able to perform the draw. By understanding the situation and what needed to be done, that would put the patients mind at ease. I would contact the physicians office directly to try and expedite the lab order and wouldn't hesitate to ask for help from my teammates to take care of the other patients as well."

      Entry Level

      "I have not had a patient become combative toward me yet. I would like to think that, if/when I am faced with a situation like that, I will remain calm and try to get to the source of the aggression. Many times people act out in fear and if I can be patient enough to find out what is really going on, perhaps I can help my patient overcome that fear and be more at ease, not only with me, but with all of the care team."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have never been in this type of situation. I hope that with proper training, I am able to learn how to handle this situation. But if this were to happen to me I would remain calm and try not to further agitate the patient. I would also call for help if I felt that I could not defuse the situation on my own."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! Proactive response yet very professional.

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  • 27. Personal protective equipment is provided for all of our employees. If you saw a coworker performing a test that required the use of PPE, but he was not wearing it, how would you respond?

      How to Answer

      Exposure to blood and body fluids is one of the risks associated with being a medical laboratory technician. Because of the risk of exposure, policies relating to the use of personal protective equipment are in place in laboratories. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to identify the times that PPE should be worn. Further, the interviewer will be looking for verbiage that points to your ability to communicate with your coworker without sounding condescending.

      Entry Level

      "I worked in a lab where one of my co-workers insisted on pushing up his sleeves- exposing his arms. When I quietly went over to remind him to push them down he mentioned how hot he was and that he was cooling off. We had been having unseasonably warm weather and he was wearing a long sleeved shirt under his PPE. I offered my clean gym t-shirt to him so he would be more comfortable. Since then he wears a short sleeved shirt to work to avoid any further violations. He was thankful I casually approached it and brought it to his attention."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would kindly inform my coworker that proper PPE is extremely important and that they should put it on before continuing their work. Working in the laboratory, there are numerous bodily fluids and harmful solutions that can get on our skin and clothes. I would also express to them that as a coworker, I care for their safety as if it were my own."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful response! Very thorough, and shows your high level of self-awareness.

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  • 28. If a test system deficiency was discovered or suspected, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Ensuring that there are no deficiencies in the testing system is crucial for giving accurate test results. If a deficiency is suspected or discovered, it is your responsibility to make sure that the appropriate staff are notified and the test is run again to assure accuracy before reporting results. Take this time to let the interviewer know that you are familiar with maintaining auditing worksheets, quality control records and preventative maintenance records. Letting the interviewer know that you are proficient in the administrative portion of being a Laboratory Technician will be an added plus to the interview.

      Entry Level

      "During my training, I was instructed regarding the importance of maintaining the integrity and accuracy in the systems that we work on as lab techs. If I ever found a problem, I wouldn't hesitate to let my supervisor know of the issue."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I assume the correct action is to notify the supervisor at the time as well as notify my coworkers of the deficiency so that they are also aware. Since I am not entirely sure, I would like to learn the correct action during this type of situation."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your answer is educated and I like how you expressed a desire to learn further. Very well-rounded response.

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  • 29. Have you ever received negative feedback from a supervisor, and if so, how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be something that leaves you feeling incapable of doing your job. The important thing to remember when answering this question is don't talk negatively about the person who gave you the feedback. Rather state what was said and how you grew from the event.

      Entry Level

      "I once received negative feedback when I was working as a tech the ER. One of my patient's mother was very upset that her child was not being treated as quickly as she thought she should be and she complained to my supervisor that I was not doing my job. After talking with the supervisor, I asked if I could spend some extra time with the patient and his mother so that she could experience the good care that we give. Fear and uncertainty is often a reason that people lash out. Sometimes a gentle word is all that one needs to help relieve a stressful situation."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I have. My supervisor was upset with me for leaving the drying oven on in one of the chemistry laboratories in which I used to work. To handle this, I gave my supervisor my full attention and asked questions on how to improve. I also assured my supervisor that such an incident would never happen again. From then on, I have been extremely cautious about my work, and I double-check everything before I leave."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This example is exactly what an interviewer would want to hear, including how you improved from the feedback, moving forward. Nice work.

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  • 30. The physical requirements of working as a medical lab tech can often be demanding. Do you feel like you are able to stand for long hours, or lift/transfer equipment, as needed?

      How to Answer

      Knowing the requirements for a job before applying is always important. As a medical laboratory technician, there will be a great deal of time spent standing and moving/lifting equipment. When applying for a job that requires some physical exertion, most interviewers will address that need during the interview. If you are capable of handling the physical work, say so. If you feel you can stand for long hours, but have trouble lifting heavy objects,say that, too. It is always best to address these issues during an interview rather than omitting the information just to get a job. This would be a good time for you to express your understanding of the importance of self-care when working a job that requires physical exertion.

      Entry Level

      "I am physically active outside of work and like working in an environment that keeps me busy and active. I feel very comfortable performing a job with the physical requirements of a medical laboratory technician. I utilize my off time to relax and practice good self-care."

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I am able to fulfill these physical requirements during a workday. I am fairly active outside of school so lifting heavy objects and standing for long hours is no problem for me. I understand my physical limits as well."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfection! Great answer.

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