Talk a little bit about some of the moments in your career that you are most proud of. It is okay to boast a little bit, just be sure to be concise and not drag the conversation on too long.
"One of my proudest achievements was to graduate the top of my class in college while working a full time job. It was a lot of long hours and late nights but I am very proud of myself for that accomplishment. Since graduating I have been able to work in a couple of great clinics with excellent references. I am proud of my reputation in the industry as well."
Be sure to research the clinic in multiple areas before you attend the interview. Talk to the hiring manager about some of the most impressive information that you found and also discuss why their goals as an organization align well with yours.
"I have studied your medical clinic online and have also read multiple review websites. Your reputation is unmatched and I am really excited about the state of the art equipment you use. These qualities are exactly what attracted me to your clinic in the beginning."
It is absolutely okay to get a bit personal when you answer this question. The hiring manager would like to see you as a person, not just the words on your resume. Help them to understand a bit more about what makes you tick!
"The accomplishment that I am most proud of was my ability to graduate the top student in my class. While attending school, I was also working and caring for my younger sister. I had a lot on my plate. Not only did I graduate top of my class but I am also the first female in my family to complete post-secondary education."
Tell the hiring manager about an error that you have made and also be sure to talk about how you repaired that error and what the outcome was. Be sure to end your answer on a positive note.
"When I was first beginning my career as a surgical technologist, I missed one of the steps required in testing the equipment prior to the surgery beginning. The particular piece of equipment was malfunctioning and we needed to quickly locate another one that was working properly. The situation turned out well in the end, thank goodness, and I have never missed a part of my pre-op checklist again."
Give a specific example or talk about how you have been previously complimented on your ability to work as part of a team.
"I have taken extra steps in my career to be a team player including volunteering to coordinate team and company events. I dedicate my time whenever possible and want to make sure that I am always a highly contributing team member. Just last Christmas I organized the company holiday party which was a lot of fun."
As a surgical technologist you will often spend hours at a time on your feet. Tell the hiring manager how you are able to handle that without burning out mid-day.
"I am very accustomed to being on my feet most of the day. Before graduating college, I was a server and spent 8 hours a day on my feet. I exercise a lot on my time off and can handle a very physical work load."
This is the time to sell yourself to the hiring manager! What sets you apart from the other candidates being interviewed for the role? Tell the interviewer something unique about yourself that will make you a stand-out candidate.
"I feel that I am the best surgical technologist for you because I graduated top of my class and bring excellent references from previous employers. I am eager to work and have a great track record of reliability."
It is absolutely okay to brag about yourself a little bit! Now is the time to do it. What have you been consistently complimented on, and what do you enjoy doing the most?
"My greatest strength is in my ability to stay calm under pressure. I have experienced a lot of unexpected hurdles in the operating room and I can say that I am able to keep a calm mind and make good decisions no matter how stressful the situation becomes."
This job is not for the weak of stomach! Talk to the hiring manager about your experience in the OR and how you know that you can handle the sights of surgery.
"I am very sure that I can handle the sights of surgery. In my 3 years as a Surgical Technologist I have yet to come across a surgery that I couldn't handle being around. Understandably, the sights, sounds and smells can be overwhelming from time to time but I have always had a strong resistance to that."
When you list the skill that you feel is most important to possess be sure that it is a strong skill of yours! Briefly explain your answer.
"I feel that the most important skill a surgical technologist should possess would be overall attentiveness. The physician needs a surgical technologist who can think one, or even two, steps ahead and that is impossible if you are unable to keep keen attention at all times."
Have you made an error in the workplace? Talk to the hiring manager about the situation and be sure to tell them what you did to own up to the mistake. Accountability is a really valuable characteristic and the interviewer would like to see that quality in you.
"Earlier in my career I prepped the operating room with the incorrect checklist because I was so worried about making a mistake that I wasn't wholeheartedly listening to the instructions given to me. It caused a delay in the doctor's schedule and I felt terrible. I was very sure to never allow that to happen again!"
Everyone has weaknesses and it's okay to talk about them. Be sure to finish your answer on a positive note and talk a bit about what you are doing to improve in this area.
"I feel that my greatest weakness is in my technical abilities. I could be stronger when it comes to the use of some of our software. I have signed up for an evening class that starts next month which I believe will help me to improve my technical skills."
Be sure to not fall into the trap of thinking that the interviewer is your friend and you can tell them ALL about the rules you break at work! The hiring manager is looking for a light example on a time you bent a rule for the greater good.
"I am never one to break the rules out of rebellion but I have bent one or two for the greater good of the patient. One time I can recall is when I had a patient in postoperative care. We have a rule of no mobile phones. It happened that his wife had a medical emergency and so I allowed him to have his phone with him after surgery. It didn't cause any harm to him and he was very thankful for the empathy we showed for his situation."
Talk to the interviewer about some of the challenges you have faced recently, and what you did to overcome those challenges.
"One of the major challenges that I faced in my last position was with the overall organization of the OR. The schedule's weren't always properly laid out and the coding system wasn't always adhered to. I did the best I could to fill in the data and documentation when I could. I felt that the smallest changes could really help and they often did."
Talk a bit about your ability to make timely decisions. Your answer will carry even more weight if you are able to give a recent example, including feedback that you received from your supervisor or manager at the time.
"Last month during a standard procedure we had a very important piece of equipment fail. I asked permission to leave the OR and quickly located another machine. The Doctor was happy that, rather than panicking or trying to make the faulty equipment work, I sprung into action to create an immediate resolution."
Walk through your resume with the hiring manager and expand on your experience. Be brief but ensure that you cover all areas of surgeries that you are familiar with.
"I began my career working in an ObGyn office, assisting in all types of related surgeries. The last 2 years of my career have been spent in Plastics and I have been a part of all types of surgeries including breast augmentation and rhinoplasty."
The level of research you do on the clinic prior to your interview can really show the hiring manager how interested you actually are in the job.
"I have researched your medical center at great length. I see that you have a remarkable amount of positive online reviews and that you specialize in plastic surgery. I am very impressed with your centers' reputation."
Surgical technologists are allied healthcare professionals. Their main responsibility is to assist the surgeon in the operation theater. Surgical technologists are usually employed by hospitals and private surgery clinics, where they sterilize surgical equipment, keep the operating room ready in all aspects, help the surgeon during the procedure and account for all equipment and supplies after the procedure. It is a job that requires a keen eye for details and a high level of precision.
Postsecondary education is necessary for becoming a surgical technologist. Surgical technology programs are available through vocational schools, community colleges and several hospitals and universities as well. Course duration is typically 2 years. Surgical technology training typically includes classroom lectures as well as hands-on experience in supervised clinical settings. Surgical technologists must be dextrous, detail oriented and quick on their feet. They must also have strong team-working and stress management skills and the physical endurance to stand on their feet for several hours at a time.
Surgical technologist interviews focus on ascertaining your job interest as well as your job skills. Do you know exactly what the job entails? How would you prepare for a cardiac operation? Do you know the safety precautions that need to be observed in an operation theater? Are you aware of sterilization techniques? Are you a good team worker and are you good at taking instructions? How you answer all of these questions is important and will impact the success of your interview. Practicing how to answer key questions will help you to be more confident at your surgical technologist interview. At Mock Questions, you will find a long list of commonly asked questions, That's a good place to get started on rehearsing your replies.