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Medical Laboratory Technician Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Updated January 22nd, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 30
What is one of your biggest fears about being a medical lab technician?
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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.
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Top 30 Medical Laboratory Technician Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What is one of your biggest fears about being a medical lab technician?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I guess if I were to say that I fear something, it would be the fear of giving an inaccurate test result for a patient. Many people don't realize the measures that we have to follow as lab techs to ensure that equipment is properly maintained so that our test results are accurate, or that we have to check and double check labels and orders to make sure that we are performing the right tests for the right patient(s). No one wants to make an error that could result in an accurate plan of care being developed for a patient."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's 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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Anonymous Answer
"My biggest fear is when the specimen processor mislabelled a specimen, which you would not know until when you received a call that is not the correct patient and you resulted already."
Lauren's Answer
You provided a legitimate fear. I suggest explaining the mishap more concisely, and offer methods you take to safeguard against this from occurring. By doing so, you will offer a more well-rounded response.
"One of my biggest fear is mislabeling a specimen for a patient. Due to the serious ramifications associated with this mishap, I remain completely focused and detail-oriented when working with the specimen processor. I demonstrate pride in my work, and take my role very seriously."
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2.
Why did you choose to become a medical laboratory technician?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent response! Well done.
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Anonymous Answer
"After I graduated from high school, I always wanted to become a doctor. But comes after graduation I decide to look for a job."
Lauren's Answer
Your response is fragmented and hard to understand.
"After graduating from high school, I explored my interests and passions. Becoming a medical laboratory technician was the perfect choice for me because I love helping people in a healthcare setting, and I get to utilize my innate skills of organization and attention to detail."
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3.
If you had a team member who constantly seemed to be abandoning his post and leaving unfinished work, how would you handle the situation?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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."
Darby's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"Talk to him personally. Let him be reminded that drs and patients are dependent on our job and will reflect patient healthcare."
Lauren's 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."
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4.
If you began to feel overwhelmed with your workload or other work related issues, how would you handle the situation?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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."
Darby's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Well thought out answer, and it's delivered in an easy to absorb way. Good work.
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Anonymous Answer
"When I work, I always prioritize the stats. Once I get the workflow, everything will be under control and run smoothly."
Lauren's Answer
You offer ways you try to prevent feeling overwhelmed, but the question is asking about when you are in that place of stress. It is fine to keep your original content, but add information that directly answers the interviewer’s question.
"When I feel overwhelmed, I take a deep breath and reassess my workload. Creating to-do lists and prioritizing tasks helps ground and calm me. Once I have organized my workload to be more easily digestible, I focus on urgent matters first and carry on with the rest of my tasks. Working in a high-stress field, it is important to have work-life balance. Outside of work, I make sure to decompress and alleviate stress to be rejuvenated and fresh for work."
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5.
What would you do if a patient complained to you about one of your coworker's conduct toward him/her?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"It is unfortunate that situations like this ever occur. However, when they do, patient safety and concerns should always be acknowledged. If a patient presented a complaint to me, I would notify my immediate supervisor and give him whatever information I have so that he can investigate the validity of any allegations and act accordingly."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Lauren's 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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6.
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?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe that we all should strive to protect our patient's confidentiality. If I were to discover that a coworker violated my patient's right to privacy, I would report it to my immediate supervisor. The consequences of protected information being shared could have an effect on all of us and we should all do our part in trying to prevent this events from ever occurring."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Actionable response - very good!
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Anonymous Answer
"Immediately talk to him in private and let him know the consequences of his actions."
Lauren's Answer
The employer will have protocols when a HIPAA violation is made.
"When a HIPAA violation occurs, I will follow the company’s protocol to best address the issue."
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7.
Do you have any plans that may interfere with being able to commit to long-term employment with us?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I recently became engaged. Although we have not set a date yet, we have agreed to wait twelve months before the marriage. My fiance' just passed the Bar exam here and has been offered an opportunity to join an existing law firm. Presently, our plans are to stay where we are and build a career, not just work a job. Also, we do not plan on having children for at least two years after our marriage. We both feel that being able to become established in our careers and save for our future would be the responsible thing to do before starting a family."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I came here with a student visa, but I am currently on OPT status. I will need to extend my stay in this country as an H1B. The hospital will be able to sponsor me to extend my stay here in the country."
Rachelle's Answer
Assuming the interviewer knows your work status prior to your interview, you could also ask what steps you can take to make this happen. Your response is currently worded in a way that puts all the onus on the employer.
"Initially I cam here on a student visa but am currently on OPT status. I will take the steps necessary for the hospital to sponsor me, extending my status to H1B."
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Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound very committed to the role. Exactly what the interviewer wants to hear!
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8.
Tell me about a time you experienced a significant change in your workplace, and how did you adapt to the change?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"The biggest change that I had to endure was an organizational merger when a private lab I was working for merged with a larger health system. During this merger, our work location changed. Along with that change came the task of learning new company policies and procedures, new equipment, and new coworkers. With a focus on the end in mind and how great it was going to be to work for a much larger and well-established employer, I chose to have a positive outlook and tried to encourage others who were affected by the merge to be positive, as well."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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"
Lauren's 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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9.
Can you give me some examples of some equipment that you feel proficient operating within a medical lab?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"While working for my former employer, we received a new hematology analyzer. I was sent for training to the manufacturer's facility to learn the entire system. I also have familiarity with centrifuges and other pieces of lab equipment as well. I am open to learning anything new and am able to pick-up on new technology quickly."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's 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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Anonymous Answer
"At the hospital, I am comfortable using these machines, Olympus Cobas stago Sysmex. I conquered the daily weekly and monthly maintenance."
Lauren's Answer
The interviewer will be pleased to know the specific machines you are experienced with. I altered your response slightly.
"I have extensive experience using the Olympus Cobas and Sysmex Stago. I am accustomed to performing their daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance."
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10.
Has there ever been an emergency situation in your department, and how did you/would you react in such a situation?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If there is an immediate danger to a patient or someone in my care, I would make sure to offer assistance to get them to safety. I would then follow my supervisor's instruction or facility protocol."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Perfect! It's great that you refer back to your training - the interviewer will appreciate this response.
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Anonymous Answer
"The emergency situation that we do not want to happen is the massive transfusion protocol. Knowing the SOP helps a lot."
Lauren's Answer
The question is asking for your experience with an emergency situation.
"Thankfully, I have not experienced an emergency in the workplace. In the event of an emergency, I would remain calm and rely on protocols such as SOP."
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