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Phlebotomist Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated November 12th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 30
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
View Answers
How to Answer
Employers realize that there is life outside of work. Getting to know employees/potential employees and what interests them gives employers an opportunity to develop a relationship with them. Share what you like. Have you been to a destination you'd like to return to? Is there somewhere you've always dreamed of going? This is also an opportunity for you to get to know the employer. Ask questions to show your interest in building a relationship.
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Answer Examples
1.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Employers realize that there is life outside of work. Getting to know employees/potential employees and what interests them gives employers an opportunity to develop a relationship with them. Share what you like. Have you been to a destination you'd like to return to? Is there somewhere you've always dreamed of going? This is also an opportunity for you to get to know the employer. Ask questions to show your interest in building a relationship.

Heather's Answer #1
"Without a doubt, I would go to Italy! I have always wanted to travel and Italy will be one of the first places I go to once I have time to go and really experience it! Have you ever been to another country?"
Heather's Answer #2
"You know, I've been so caught up in school and work that I haven't really taken the time to create a bucket list of things I'd like to do. When I was younger, I always wanted to visit Australia. I think that will be one of the first place I would go."
2.
What is something that scares you about being a phlebotomist?
Any job that involves caring for others can have scary moments. Although a phlebotomist may not have a risk of a medication error, there are still things that can happen that can cause one to feel worried. Admitting things that cause you to be uneasy is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that you know things that you may need to focus on. The interviewer will appreciate that.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have always had a fear of a patient harmed if a needle is broken off into his skin, perhaps if he is being combative."
Heather's Answer #2
"I think the fear of being stuck by a contaminated needle is the thing that scares me the most. It is part of the job and just requires extra attention to detail to be secure."
3.
Why is a discard tube necessary when drawing a light blue top?
Understanding the order of the draw and why a discard tube is necessary is crucial to performing a phlebotomist's job. Explain your understanding of the necessity of a discard tube to the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"Using a discard tube helps to empty any air out of the butterfly tubing which allows the light blue top to be filled with the appropriate amount of blood."
Darby's Answer #2
"A light blue top tube has to have a certain amount of blood in it for the test to be accurate. Using a discard tube helps to rid the tubing of any air that is in the tubing attached to the needle. Air could prevent the blue tube from being accurate."
4.
What makes you think you will be successful at our organization?
Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you meet and exceed expectations with their organization. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

Heather's Answer #1
"I know I will be successful in this role because I have been working in this industry for five years with great training and mentorship. I have a solid understanding of X, Y, and Z (skills listed in the job description). Also, I have all of my updated certifications as outlined in your job description. I am well-prepared for this next step in my career."
Heather's Answer #2
"I feel I have the education and skills necessary to become an asset to your organization and I believe, given the opportunity, I can prove that."
5.
Give two examples of collection tubes and what type of tests they are used for.
When taking a phlebotomy course, one of the most important lessons is which color tube should be used for a specific type of test. The interviewer knows this and expects that you will have an understanding, as well. Share what you know with the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"There are several tube colors. Two examples are light blue top: Coagulation tests, such as patients who are taking Coumadin and a dark green top which is used for whole blood testing using heparin."
Heather's Answer #2
"Two collection tubes are Yellow Top, which is used for DNA testing and paternity testing and a Red Top, which is used for Immunology and Serology testing."
6.
What is an A1C test used for and what do the different results indicate?
The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well a patient is managing diabetes. Taking the time to know what a test is for, rather than simply drawing blood and sending it over to the lab, shows the interviewer that you have a true interest in your job as a phlebotomist.

Heather's Answer #1
"An A1C level is used to help diagnose a patient with diabetes. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate occasions indicates that a patient has diabetes."
Heather's Answer #2
"An A1C level helps determine if a patient has diabetes. It can show whether a person is pre-diabetic or actually has developed diabetes, depending on the level."
7.
What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a phlebotomist.

Heather's Answer #1
"I think one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can get sidetracked easily. I recognize that in myself and have made a conscious effort to plan my day as much as possible and to stay on target."
Heather'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."
8.
What is PKU and when is it normally diagnosed?
PKU is a rare genetic condition that affects metabolism. A person with PKU can't create the enzyme tht is needed to break down phenylalanine, which is found in protein. A PKU test is a routine test performed on all babies in the US. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of this test.

Heather's Answer #1
"PKU is one of the tests done as part of a newborn's routine health screening. It helps determine the presence of phenylalanine in the blood, which should be broken down if metabolism is normal."
Heather's Answer #2
"PKU is a disease that causes a baby's inability to break down phenyalinine which is found in protein. It causes problems with metablism."
9.
Can you think of a time that you had a disagreement with a boss or co-worker, and if so, how was it resolved?
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.'

Heather'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."
Heather's Answer #2
"I am a pretty easy-going person and do my best to avoid conflict. Like anyone else, I am sure there have been times that a co-worker and I have had a difference of opinion, but there has never been an instance that the disagreement was something that would have interfere with my work."
10.
Do you have a preference of what age group you like to work with when performing a venipunctures?
While phlebotomists usually don't get to specify a particular age group they would like to work with, there are some facilities that have large patient populations. Because of this, a supervisor may assign a phlebotomist to work in a specific area, for instance, pediatrics or oncology. This is your chance to voice your opinion about what you want. However, always remember to leave the door open by saying you are willing to work where you are needed. This shows the interviewer you are willing to be a part of the team.

Heather's Answer #1
"I am comfortable with any age group. If I was given a choice, though, I would definitely say that I would like to work with pediatrics. I know several people who would rather not work with children, but I love kids and think I would really enjoy caring for them."
Heather's Answer #2
"I would have to say, at this point, I prefer adults. I have performed venipunctures on various age groups and am willing to work with any one, but I feel the most comfortable with adults at this time."
11.
How do you handle stressful situations?
Stress management will be essential for you to be able to handle tight deadlines, long hours and demanding patients. Before answering this question, think of some tools that have helped you manage your stress. What will you do when you can't take a break when you need it? How will you stay calm when dealing with those challenging personalities? Share any helpful techniques that you use every day to remain clear-headed in some of the most stressful scenarios.

Heather's Answer #1
"I've learned not to take words or actions of stressed patients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself knowing that I'm providing the best customer service and caring for my patients the best way that I can."
Heather's Answer #2
"When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and do my best not to get distracted."
12.
Do you feel you are capable of being a good team player?
Unless you work in a job where you have no human contact or interaction, being able to work well within a team is a crucial skill. Describe what makes you feel like you are a good team player to the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1
"Yes, I do feel like I am capable of being a good team player. I enjoy working with others and want to always do my part to make the teamwork work."
Heather's Answer #2
"I definitely feel like I am capable of being a good team player. I am easy to get along with and am eager to learn from those with more experience."
13.
What do you think are some characteristics of a good phlebotomist?
When an interviewer asks a question like this, he is usually trying to see what characteristics or traits you may be 'bringing to the game,' so to speak. When you answer this question, try to think about what you would like to see in a person who is providing care for you or a loved one.

Heather's Answer #1
" I think a phlebotomist should be kind and sympathetic. Needing to have lab work done can be frightening for some people and if I can make my patient feel at ease, I think that is an important characteristic."
Darby's Answer #2
"A phlebotomist should definitely be kind and show genuine concern for patients. Being sick can be very stressful situation and showing concern often causes the patients to feel more comfortable."
14.
At what point would you ask a co-worker or supervisor to help you with a blood draw?
No one wants to say that he 'can't get the blood' or 'stuck twice already and just can't get it'. However, it is always better to set pride aside and ask a supervisor or co-worker to assist. Two sets of eyes are always better than one. Also, make sure you know your facility's guidelines before you begin a draw. That way if you think you may need someone to step in, you can ask them before the patient becomes too upset because of multiple failed attempts.

Heather's Answer #1
"I usually will not attempt a venipuncture more than twice without asking someone to observe/help me. Sometimes one person may be able to feel a vein a little differently and if we can get the procedure done correctly with as little anxiety to the patient as possible, that is what is best."
Darby's Answer #2
"I usually will ask a co-worker or supervisor who is more experienced with pediatric draws if I am unable to obtain a specimen after the first try. I feel confident in my abilities, but I know that pediatric patients are often afraid of the procedure and if they have to be stuck more than once it can be traumatizing."
15.
Do you anticipate any changes in your life within the next 12-24 months that may cause you to have to relocate or leave this job?
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.

Heather'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."
Heather's Answer #2
"I recently completed a phlebotomy course and became certified. 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."
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30 Phlebotomist Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  2. What is something that scares you about being a phlebotomist?
  3. Why is a discard tube necessary when drawing a light blue top?
  4. What makes you think you will be successful at our organization?
  5. Give two examples of collection tubes and what type of tests they are used for.
  6. What is an A1C test used for and what do the different results indicate?
  7. What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
  8. What is PKU and when is it normally diagnosed?
  9. Can you think of a time that you had a disagreement with a boss or co-worker, and if so, how was it resolved?
  10. Do you have a preference of what age group you like to work with when performing a venipunctures?
  11. How do you handle stressful situations?
  12. Do you feel you are capable of being a good team player?
  13. What do you think are some characteristics of a good phlebotomist?
  14. At what point would you ask a co-worker or supervisor to help you with a blood draw?
  15. Do you anticipate any changes in your life within the next 12-24 months that may cause you to have to relocate or leave this job?
  16. What is an ANA used for?
  17. What is the purpose of a platelet aggregation test and what color tube would you use to collect the specimen?
  18. What is an HIV test window?
  19. What are some ways to avoid mistakes when drawing blood?
  20. If you a drawing blood and using a light blue top specimen collection tube, what kind of test is being performed and what are some things one should know about using this tube/performing this test?
  21. How would you deal with an angry patient, and why?
  22. What is a CMP?
  23. What are some things you think people notice about your personality?
  24. Why did you choose a career as a phlebotomy?
  25. Why would a prothrombin time be ordered?
  26. What are some things to consider when drawing blood from a pediatric patient?
  27. What are some issues that you can think of that may hinder drawing blood in a geriatric patient?
  28. When a venipuncture is performed, if there is no blood or the blood flow stops, what are some steps a phlebotomist may take to remedy this situation?
  29. What tests would you anticipate being done to check a patient's kidney function?
  30. What are some possible risks associated with drawing blood from a neonate?
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