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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.
Job Interviews     Careers     Technician    
Question 1 of 30
Why did you choose to become a medical laboratory technician?
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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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Answer Examples
1.
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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2.
Do you feel that you are capable of working independently, rather than having a supervisor or coworker work with you?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am very comfortable working independently. Wherever I work, I try to learn the routine of the lab and what my supervisor expects of our team so that my independent work can be an asset to the team. Although I am comfortable working alone, I also enjoy the company of others and am willing to work with a partner or team."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"I can work independently at the same time I am also a good team player."
Lauren's 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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Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I am capable of working independently as long as I have had the proper training to do the given tasks. I am not afraid to ask questions when I am confused or if something is unclear to me."
Rachelle's Answer
The fact that you mention your ability to ask for help is a great touch. Excellent response.
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3.
Are you comfortable performing venipunctures?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Prior to continuing my education as a medical laboratory technician, I worked at a local hospital as a phlebotomist. I am very comfortable with my venipuncture skills and am willing to lend a hand in the blood lab, as needed. I think it is important to put forth an effort in keeping my skills sharp..... (no pun intended)."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I am. I took a phlebotomy training course a year ago and would not mind practicing this skill."
Rachelle's Answer
100%!
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4.
How do you handle times when you have a disagreement with a coworker?
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.'

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe if we think about it, each of us could remember at least one disagreement with a friend or co-worker. Although I consider myself to be pretty easy-going, I am also very passionate about my patients and the care that they receive. I have been aware of disagreements between other co-workers, but really like to think of myself as more of a peacekeeper. I feel like professional people should be able to discuss things logically and come to an agreement that is satisfactory for everyone involved."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer shows a very strong willingness to collaborate. Well done!
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5.
What are some things that you do to help prevent contamination within your work space?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Preventing contamination is one of the most important jobs of a medical laboratory technician. I follow all set safety and sanitization protocols before, during and after each test procedure. By doing this, I am doing my part to help prevent contamination."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
To the point and specific. Good work! Overall, you seem highly prepared for this interview :)
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6.
Some medical laboratory technicians at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am not married and have no children at this time. So, I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the late shift, as I am a bit of a night owl. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Your response shows teamwork and dedication - exactly what the interviewer will be seeking.
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7.
What advice would you give others who are considering pursuing a career as a medical laboratory technician?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would tell someone who is considering a career as a medical lab technician to read and gather as much information as possible about the specialty and then chase their dreams until they catch them!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Very well-thought out response. Bravo!
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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.
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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10.
What is one of your weaknesses, and what do you do in an effort to overcome that 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 blood bank lab technician.

Ryan'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."
Ryan'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."
Anonymous Answer
"Sometimes when I am overwhelmed with multiple exams, quizzes, and readings all due in one week, it's hard for me to find out where to start and how to manage my time efficiently. To overcome this weakness, I have learned to plan by keeping a planner to be able to have an overview of all my tasks at hand. This allows me to prioritize assignments by due date and importance."
Rachelle's Answer
Your response is highly proactive. Nicely done!
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Anonymous Answer
"I am too caring. I delayed my short and dinner break. We can no go to the restroom as we want."
Lauren's 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.
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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12.
Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills?
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.

Ryan'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'."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
13.
Are you familiar with some errors that may occur when using a pipette and how to prevent those errors?
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.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If pipette operators do not pre-wet the pipette tip prior to initial delivery, sample volume can be lost due to evaporation within the tip. Aspirating and expelling sample liquid at least three times before delivery can mitigate this risk, and is especially important when handling volatile solutions such as organic solvents."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Unnecessary tip wiping can lead to sample loss, especially if wiping with absorbent materials, which can carry sample from the pipette tip."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Great! Specific and focused.
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Anonymous Answer
"Inaccurate. Calibrate when expired."
Lauren's Answer
Your response is fragmented and hard to understand. Rephrase your response to include full sentences and detailed explanation.
"From my experience, pipettes can cause inaccuracies. Calibrating pipettes, when expired, will prevent future errors with the tool."
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14.
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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15.
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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30 Medical Laboratory Technician Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Why did you choose to become a medical laboratory technician?
  2. Do you feel that you are capable of working independently, rather than having a supervisor or coworker work with you?
  3. Are you comfortable performing venipunctures?
  4. How do you handle times when you have a disagreement with a coworker?
  5. What are some things that you do to help prevent contamination within your work space?
  6. Some medical laboratory technicians at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
  7. What advice would you give others who are considering pursuing a career as a medical laboratory technician?
  8. Tell me about a time you experienced a significant change in your workplace, and how did you adapt to the change?
  9. What would you do if a patient complained to you about one of your coworker's conduct toward him/her?
  10. What is one of your weaknesses, and what do you do in an effort to overcome that weakness?
  11. If you had a team member who constantly seemed to be abandoning his post and leaving unfinished work, how would you handle the situation?
  12. Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills?
  13. Are you familiar with some errors that may occur when using a pipette and how to prevent those errors?
  14. What is one of your biggest fears about being a medical lab technician?
  15. If you began to feel overwhelmed with your workload or other work related issues, how would you handle the situation?
  16. 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?
  17. Do you have any plans that may interfere with being able to commit to long-term employment with us?
  18. Can you give me some examples of some equipment that you feel proficient operating within a medical lab?
  19. Has there ever been an emergency situation in your department, and how did you/would you react in such a situation?
  20. If you were the person interviewing employee candidates, what qualities would you look for to fill this position?
  21. Other than technical work, such as testing specimens, what other duties are you accustomed to performing within a medical laboratory?
  22. What sets you apart from other medical laboratory technicians, and why do you feel you will be a good fit for us?
  23. If a lab specimen were delivered to you without the proper labels and identification on it, what would your response be?
  24. Has there ever been a time that you had difficulty drawing blood from a patient, and if so, how did you handle that situation?
  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?
  26. Have you ever had a patient be combative toward you? If so, how did you handle the situation?
  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?
  28. If a test system deficiency was discovered or suspected, how would you handle the situation?
  29. Have you ever received negative feedback from a supervisor, and if so, how did you handle it?
  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?
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