As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you knwo that a Radioactive Iodine Update Test measures thyroid function and how much radioactive iodine is taken up by your thyroid gland in a certain time period. Explain to the interviewer how this test is performed.
"I give the patient a small tablet that contains a tiny amount of radioactive iodine. I perform the first scan 4 to 6 hours after giving the iodine pill and another scan is usually done 24 hours later. My computer displays images of the thyroid gland."
"After giving the patient a radioactive iodine tablet I perform two scans over the next few days. Each scan takes approximately 30 minutes."
Because of your training, you know that a scintillation counter is used to measure radiation in a variety of applications including hand-held radiation survey meters, personnel and environmental monitoring for radioactive contamination, medical imaging, radiometric assay, nuclear security and nuclear plant safety. Although you may not know more than what you learned about in school that's fine.
"A Scintillation Counter, measures radiation."
"Our lab has a Scintillation Counter in the form of a hand-held device. It measures radiation."
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from simply watching a video on their company site!
"I have been a fan of your company's projects and research for as long as I can remember and I am curious what the vision is for introducing your research to new markets?"
"Why did the last person leave this position?"
SNMMI is your bible as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Tell the interviewer that you use The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Practice Guidelines to answer any questions or need clarification on any guidelines.
"I am a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. They have guidance on their webpage as well as news and publications to reference."
"I always reference our training guides in the clinic as well as talk it through with our lead technologist to make sure I'm on the right path."
Because different tissues and organs have varying sensitivity to radiation exposure, the actual radiation risk to different parts of the body from an x-ray procedure varies. Tell the interviewer that you exercise the International Atomic Energy Agency's radiation protection guidelines.
"My colleagues and I wear a radiation dosimeter. We track the levels of radiation each time the patient comes in for treatment."
"Ongoing monitoring allows management of image quality, of radiation risk to patients and operators."
Are you organized, focused and disciplined? Do you use tools to stay on task and help you maintain a better work/life balance? A solid work ethic will demonstrate integrity and a strong sense of responsibility. Explain how you care about the quality of your work. What principals do you incorporate into your day in order to maximize your time and ensure good quality and care for your patients?
"When I arrive to work every day, I check patient charts and check in with the Nuclear Medicine Pharmacist and Physician to see what the status is on some of our long-term patients. I am consistent and thoughtful about the care I provide my patients. I am also very strict about details and maintaining patient records."
"I'm one to lead by example. The first to arrive and the last to leave. My team knows that I'm there for them as well as my patients know they will be greeted by a kind and knowledgable technologist."
Before your interview, make sure you have a start date in mind for the new employer. Whether you need to give two weeks to your previous position, or are unemployed and can start right away, be prepared with an affirmative answer. If you are currently working, you should always show professionalism by offering 2 weeks' notice to your current employer. No hiring manager is ever impressed when they hear 'I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!' Show that you are professional and reliable in all situations.
"As a professional courtesy, I would like to give my current employer 2 weeks' notice. I could start anytime after that."
"I am currently unemployed and am willing to start as soon as needed."
Compliance and safety are critical in every medical environment. Assure the interviewer that you are aware of the consequences if you do not follow safety protocols. Discuss any safety or policy-related training you may have.
"In my current role, I am tasked with training new technicians on our particular safety and compliance protocols. I am very confident in my abilities to comply and have never encountered a safety issue as a result of my error."
The interviewer is asking this question to see if you are serious in the job search or simply floating your resume. Word travels fast so avoid fibbing to make it look like you are a highly sought after candidate.
"Yes, I am very active in my search and have had multiple invitations to interview. Currently, I am in the second interview stage with one company and third interview stage with another."
"This is currently my first interview since I've decided to reach out for new opportunities."
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you perform venipuncture for the purpose of IV access, continuous or intermittent IV infusion of fluid, or infusion of medications. Tell the interviewer your experience and accurateness of this technique as well as your ability to provide information to your patients while keeping them calm.
"I've been placing IV's for 5 years now. I started while I was attending nursing school and now have been working with cancer patients as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for the past 4 years."
"Besides my training, I haven't had much training with IV placement and venipuncture. I'm looking forward at perfecting my techniques."
The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from what is written on your resume. You are certainly not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate! Focus on unique non-work related skills or hobbies. For example, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when it's possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)
"I am an avid marathon runner and have traveled to 10 countries in the last eight years to compete in a variety of races. I am a competitive individual and enjoy keeping fit."
"I'm fluent in Spanish and French."
For some, administrative duties are the boring part of the job. Complete notes, update charts and organized paperwork will make your day go so much smoother. Let the interviewer know that you are an organized person that excels at administrative duties. An added bonus to this answer would be to mention that you enjoy supporting your administrative staff when they need assistance. Always a great idea to show you're a team player. Here's a sample answer: "Whenever I get some downtime I like to work with the administrative team at the front desk. I help them answer phones, pull charts and enter notes. I've found that when we all work together the day goes much smoother."
"Whenever I get some downtime I like to work with the administrative team at the front desk. I help them answer phones, pull charts and enter notes. I've found that when we all work together the day goes much smoother."
"Detailed and legible notes are so important when working in medicine. There is no room for error especially with something avoidable like attention to details with administrative skills."
When an interviewer asks you this, make sure you always keep your answer positive. If you are leaving your position because you don’t like your boss, be sure to phrase it more eloquently. It's always a safe bet to focus your answer on career growth and exciting opportunities.
"Since the company merger last year, the workplace culture I admired so much, is no longer there. I am on the search for a supportive and positive environment where I can continue to flourish."
The interviewer would like some insight into how well you manage stress. Be sure to keep this answer positive and stay focused on the question. It is easy to get derailed and start talking about people or situations that irritate you. That would be the wrong thing to do. Talk about your ability to manage pressure in the workplace.
"I have been told by my previous and current supervisor that I manage stress very well. Being a Nuclear Medicine Technologist is a demanding position, and I knew that before I committed to this career path. I stay calm by being an open communicator and keeping the end goal in mind."
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. "
Organizing work schedules, managing people and caseload is common for someone in a leadership position. If you haven't served in a leadership role and don't have a lot of experience organizing work schedules be sure to let the interviewer know but that you are up for the challenge!
"I haven't had the opportunity to organize my lab's work schedules yet. I've assisted our lead tech and am confident that I could do it on my own."
"I've been organizing work schedules and assigned workload for the past 5 years as a lead tech."
The interviewer can see your qualifications on your resume so they are asking this question to hear more about your professional working relationships with other healthcare professionals. Tell the interviewer how you earn their trust so you may be given the liberty to make decisions on your own. This question can be a chance to describe your communication style.
"I've always had a great working relationship with other medical professionals. I enjoy collaborating to provide the best possible care to our patients."
"I value my professional work relationships with my colleagues. I learn so much from others and know it helps me add more tools to my tool-box to care for my patients even better."
"I would consider myself as a detailed-oriented person. I feel that my best quality is my active listening skills. Eye contact, avoiding distractions, body gestures, and giving feedback are a few skills that I have as a detailed-oriented person."
The interviewer wants to know if you are a team player or whether you would rather work on your own. Some people do their best work as part of a group, while others prefer working independently. A question like this aims to assess your personality and your preferred method of completing a task.
"Working in the medical career field has strengthened my abilities to work both alone and with others. I value the professional relationships I've made working as a disciplinary member."
"I like the dynamics of working in a group, but appreciate sometimes having a part of the project that is my own personal responsibility."
These days, recruiters and hiring managers are asking this question as a screening question. To effectively discuss salary, you need to know your worth. Know what is a comparable salary range for someone in your industry, at your level, with your background.
"I am looking for a salary between $75,000 and $85,000 a year. However, I am flexible, and I would be willing to talk about salary in more detail if offered the position. More than anything, I’m really invested in this line of work and would love to work with this company."
"I'm currently making $65k per year. What is this position offering?"
Speaking to an audience, confrontation or being part of emotional situations can be difficult. The interviewer is assessing your ability to communicate during some of the most difficult situations. When answering this question, tell the interviewer about a difficult situation you've been in and how you were able to communicate effectively and calmly.
"Confrontation can sometimes be difficult. If faced with a necessary and uncomfortable confrontation situation I'm sure to be calm, clear and concise."
"If a patient I'm treating is sick or terminal patient it can be difficult to find the words to comfort them."
When applying for your next role as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you'll need to do your homework. Tell the interviewer why you want to work at that particular clinic. Maybe it’s known for its use of progressive techniques, or maybe you’re interested in the patient base the facility caters to. Tell the interviewer why you want to be a part of their team.
"Your facility has one of the top-rated cardiac units in the country, and I am interested in utilizing my experience with cardiac patients in a hospital engaging in the latest research and techniques."
"Your facility is a training facility. I'm excited to bring my 12 years of experience to a role that can impact student's lives."
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you know that PET and SPECT scans are nuclear medicine imaging techniques which provide metabolic and functional information unlike CT and MRI. Tell the interviewer that the SPECT scan is a 3D scan that shows the distribution of radioactive tracer molecules and gamma-ray emissions that have been introduced into the patient’s body. Unlike a SPECT scan measuring gamma-rays a PET scan measures positrons.
"The main difference between SPECT and PET scans is the type of radiotracers used."
"SPECT scans use gamma-rays and PET scans use positrons."
Workplace relationships are essential to nurturing. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to earn the trust of your new co-workers, should you be offered the position.
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of my co-workers is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
"I will win my new coworkers over by going above and beyond the expectations given to me. I want to be a helpful team member that they can always come to."
Which personal strengths or characteristics make you excellent at your job? Tell the interviewer about your skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks.
" I think three important characteristics to have as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist are good communication skills, being collaborative with your co-workers and being loyal to your employer."
"Three characteristics that I have are my communication, analytical and listening skills."
"I extend my compassion by simply listening to the patient and answering all their questions."
Employers want to know that you have a methodical approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems in the lab. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the face value of the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions as a laboratory assistant.
"I am a great problem solver because I do not allow stress to cloud my judgment and mute my creativity. I am a keen observer with a great memory which allows me to recall unique solutions or ideas."
"I believe I am a great problem solver because I am sure to gather as many facts as possible, through my detailed research. I look at the problem and its potential solutions from multiple angles."
Nuclear medicine technologists use a scanner to create images of various areas of a patient's body. They prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients undergoing the scans. The radioactive drugs cause abnormal areas of the body to appear different from normal areas in the images.