Updated on June 18th, 2018 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
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Finding a job can be tough. It can seem like a numbers game at times; you send out 25 resumes and get one interview. Once you get to the interview stage, you'll want to do further research about the company. Start with the website, reviewing their mission, values and culture. You can read employee reviews to see what their experience was like. Do your homework so that you can respond confidently. You can also talk about a recent news article or award they won. Wow them with your research!
"I was impressed when I found out about your community involvement. That is a value that is extremely important to me as well. I also like your approach to patient care. Your mission stood out above a lot of the other companies I researched."
Entry Level Example
"Coming into my first position, it is important for me to find an employer that values growth from within and education for their employees. Having talked to several employees here, I get a strong sense that your organization does both of those things. On top of that, I love the fact that your organization does a lot of work with the underserved population in the city. One of my reasons for pursuing a career in healthcare was to help those less fortunate people that can't afford high level healthcare."
"After working in the field for many years and attending training courses with employees here, I found that they are always on the cutting edge of new technologies in the field and that is the number one driver in me applying here. I am not openly searching for a job anywhere, but rather specifically looking to work for you. Your employees always have great things to say about the organization and how it values its employees."
What do you expect work to be like from your experience? You may have little on the job experience, but you have a clear understanding of the job description and your education to back you up. The interviewer is checking for understanding and expectations. You may have a lot of questions about what a typical day would look like, but start with what you know: You'll be on your feet all day. You need to prepare, maintain and clean equipment. You prepare the patient each time you do imaging, taking down their medical history, positioning them on the table, performing the imaging and then labeling and reviewing it. Show your understanding that there may be difficulties with patients who are scared or if they are heavy you may have to do some lifting. It's a physical job, so be sure to show them you can handle it.
"In my current job, a typical day starts with me making a plan for the day based off of the scheduled patients for the day. I make sure to take note of any gaps in scheduling to plan ahead for cleaning and maintenance duties. As I see patients throughout the day, I make use of downtime between patients to replenish supplies and clean the exam rooms as needed. When possible, I also chip in around the department where needed if others are in need of assistance. At the end of the day, I make sure that the department is ready for second shift by restocking supplies and cleaning as needed as well."
Entry Level Example
"During my work experience while obtaining my degree, I got a very good sense of a typical workday as an X-ray Technician. I know that a majority of the day is spent on my feet and to prepare for that physically, I take good care of myself both nutritionally and physically. As a work day progresses, I know that working with each patient on a one on one basis while completing all tasks necessary with them is very important, even when things get busy. Between patients and at the end of the day, I have to keep up with the administrative tasks like cleaning and restocking supplies as needed."
"In my current position, my work day begins with a huddle with our first shift crew where we communicate the hand off of patients that may be held over from their shift to ours. After the huddle, I make a plan for the evening by looking at our patient schedule as it stands then. I make not of any gaps in the schedule to know where emergent patients can fit in and also plan ahead for cleaning and prep work. Then, I start seeing my regularly scheduled patients. I find that in having a plan, I am able to handle any unexpected patients or tasks that come up throughout each shift."
Speaking to patients in language they can understand is one of the challenges of working in the medical field. So what exactly is a computerized axial tomography scan? A CT scan, or CAT scan, is able to take a series of images from different angles in order to show a cross-section of a particular area of the body. When talking to patient, you can explain how this process will aid in diagnosing their problem. If it's a broken bone, you can explain how they will be able to see if there are other areas that were broken that didn't show up in the X-Ray. It will be helpful to show the doctor if surgery is required or if there are any other issues that need to be addressed.
"I have found that most patients like to understand what is happening to them if they are having a CT scan. In layman's terms, I explain that the CT scan is a more advanced x-ray image that gives more of a 3D image of the area in question. Then, I explain what myself and the physician are able to decipher once the results are complete. This helps put patients at ease prior to entering the scan."
Entry Level Example
"Most patients don't understand medical jargon, so I would tell them that a CT scan is taking many x-ray shots around the body part to produce one cross-sectional image. I would let them know that once the radiologist receives the results, they get a clear picture to see if the patient is suffering from a wide range of conditions like blood clots, tumor, infection or a fracture."
"I find that patients are at ease when I have fun with them in explaining the unique tools that I get to work with on a daily basis. Young and old alike are in awe of the advanced equipment, so I start talking about the CT scanner and explain what it does. After they understand the purpose of the machine, I translate that into the results that it can help find. I tell a story of a former patient that had a blood clot found in their leg that could have been life threatening if it hadn't been found by the use of the machine and that today, they are my colleague at work."
What is your career plan? This is a great question to prepare for before your interview. Starting with the goal, think backwards to lay out the milestones. This position might be a step forward toward your goal of becoming a radiologic technologist. Your interviewer will be looking to gain insight toward your career goals and where your goals fit into their department. It is important to know the culture of promotion in the organization that you're interviewing with, so make sure to do all of the research you can.
"I'm excited to get started on my path towards becoming a radiologic technologist. The knowledge and experience I will gain from working with your team will give me the tools to be successful in the field and help me to reach my goals. I am ideally looking for an employer where I can grow throughout my career with."
Entry Level Example
"Coming out of technical college as an X-ray Tech, my goal is to someday work as a Mammography Technician. I aspire to help women in the diagnosis of breast cancer as early as possible because the disease has touched my family so closely. I'm hopeful to work for an organization where I can both gain a great deal of entry level experience and have the opportunity to grow into the future with."
"Ideally, I'm looking to find work as an X-ray Technician with a stable employer that I can retire with. Unfortunately, a changing climate with my current employer has reduced my hours and my contributions towards my retirement and it is time for a change for myself. I absolutely love my job and helping patients on a daily basis and want to work for an organization where I can feel the same passion in caring for patients on a day to day basis."
Life as an X-ray Technician requires the ability to work and make critical decisions on your own and your interviewer will be trying to gauge how you do that. Give an example of when you worked without supervision. Show your interviewer you can self-manage while handling challenges and paying attention to detail without needing anyone to check your work.
"In my current role, I work on second shift where my direct supervisor and manager are not in-house for most of my shifts. I was entrusted with the lead role on our small team of second shift staff because of my ability to make critical decisions while following organizational procedures. "
Entry Level Example
"I worked by myself in a lab during college where I maintained the equipment and analyzed the data I found. I enjoyed the responsibility and had no problem meeting deadlines. During regular one on one meetings with the lab manager, I received consistent feedback that my work was excellent."
"For most of my career, I've worked in an extremely busy radiology department under little supervision. My manager oversees a department of 25 techs and isn't the type of manager to watch over my shoulder while I work. She trusts me to make decisions with my patients and equipment that I work with based off the work that I have performed in the past. With that said, if an issue comes up that I can't handle, I don't hesitate to get in touch with her first thing."
6. How do you stay current in this field? Technology changes rapidly, so there is always something new to learn. You will likely be required to continuously enhance your skills throughout your career. Continuing education on new models of machines and the latest research in radiology will help you to stay current. List publications you are reading and courses you are taking to show your thirst for knowledge and desire to stay relevant. Here is an answer example: "Having worked as an X-ray Tech for six years, I've already witnessed the need to stay educated in a continually changing world. I'm fortunate where my current employer has supported continuing education credits and I recently took a course on the challenges to imaging obese patients. This class alone has helped me immensely in becoming a better technician." Here is an entry level answer example: "Coming new into the field, I already have a great sense of how the job evolves over time from my professors and my internship experience. To help stay on top of changes, I subscribe to the "Radiologic Technology" publication. As well, I look forward to being a lifelong learner in the field by continuing my education as needed." Here is an experienced answer example: "Having worked in the field for years, I've personally witnessed many great advancements in both technology and processes to help serve our patients better. As new equipment has been introduced to my employer, I learn as much as I can about the equipment and I'm currently the trainer for new staff on our equipment. As far as other advancements in the field go, I participate in as many continuing education credits as I can and appreciate the fact that I've been able to learn and grow throughout my career. I look forward to continuing this in the future as well."7. How do you handle unexpected situations that might cause you to be late for work? Breakdowns, wrecks, traffic jams, snow storms... the possibilities that could interfere with your route to work are endless. So how do you take the most responsible approach to these predicaments? Showing that you take initiative and think ahead are the best examples to share during your interview. You want to come across as dependable and reliable. And when something goes wrong to keep you from showing up on time, always take the proactive approach. Here is an answer example: "I always arrive to work at least 15 minutes before I am expected to be there, just to give me extra time in case something happens. I also make sure I have the numbers of my co-workers and boss so that I can call to let them know if I'm stuck or might be running late." Here is an entry level answer example: "Having worked my way through schooling, I have an excellent attendance record on the job. But to ensure that I'm always ready for the unexpected, I always keep the contact information for my supervisor and my co-workers in my phone should I need to contact them. I fully understand that life happens and when a co-worker was ever in need of coverage due to an emergent situation, I never hesitated to jump in and help." Here is an experienced answer example: "In these situations, it is always imperative to abide by the organizations attendance policy. With my current employer, it is necessary to contact your manager as soon as you know you will be late or will be missing a shift. Recently, I had the dreaded flat tire on my way to work and I had to call a friend to come help me. Right away, I contacted my manager to let him know that I would be handling it as soon as I could and would be on my way. He was very understanding and appreciative for letting him know."8. Give me an example that demonstrates your communication skills when a patient didn't understand you. Don't expect your patients to waltz into your lab in great shape. Some may have hearing problems or cognitive issues that impair their ability to understand instruction or explanations. How will you handle those situations? You may have to physically move a person to get them to go where you want them to go. Being able to adapt to every patient and explain things in a way that makes sense to them can be a challenge. Your interviewer will be looking to see how you handle patients with high needs so try to come up with a great example here. Here is an answer example: "I am patient and ask questions to check for understanding. I recently had a patient in our department that was elderly and had trouble with both her mobility and her memory. She was having a simple x-ray to see if she had broken her foot in a fall and was experiencing a high amount of pain. In talking with her, it became obvious that she didn't remember the incident. I reviewed her patient notes from the referring physician and I proceeded to talk to her about her injury based on what I read. This seemed to help her in remembering the incident and helped her to understand the importance of the images I was about to perform on her." Here is an entry level answer example: "During my internship, I was fortunate to be able to work with a diverse group of patients at a critical access hospital in a rural part of the state. In one of my first days on the job, we had a young boy come in to have an x-ray performed on his arm that was suspected to be fractured. While with his mother, he was obviously scared to be there and in some obvious pain. In a really quick talk with his mother, I found out that he absolutely loved dinosaurs so I tried to incorporate them into my conversation with him. I explained to him that his arm may be broken and the x-ray was important for the doctor to be able to see what was going on. I told him that he was a pretty lucky boy because back in the days of the dinosaurs, they didn't have fancy machines to look at broken bones like we do now. He laughed and proceeded to cooperate well while we took the ordered images." Here is an experienced answer example: "In my time working as a Rad Tech, I have found that small talk with patients can go a long way to ease their minds and help them understand what we are doing in the imaging room. I recently had a local jail prisoner come in and was accompanied by two deputies. While mild-mannered, the inmate didn't understand the need for an x-ray due to the fact he was having chest pains and was questioning both of the deputies and me as well. I explained to him that the chest x-ray was a great tool to help physicians detect things like an enlarged heart, blocked blood vessels and potential tumors. By simply explaining the purpose of the imaging, he was able to become more at ease for the chest x-rays."9. If a patient is nervous, how will you calm them down? You may be used to the routine of imaging patients with fractures and mysterious illnesses, but patients come into the room with a lot of questions and fears. It's not the machine or the radiation they fear, it's the unknown. As an X-Ray technician, it's important to understand where the patient is coming from. They can have a lot of anxiety around their recent diagnosis and the fear that things are much worse than they appear. Your role is to educate them about the procedure, answer questions and showing your care for their situation. You cannot reassure them everything will be fine, but you can remind them what a good thing it is that they are there, taking time to investigate what's going on. Getting an X-Ray or a CT Scan is essential to identifying specific health problems. Do your best to explain what you're doing and how it will be helpful for them to start the treatment process. Here is an answer example: "Coming into a dark exam room can be very intimidating for patients. To help calm them down, I make as much conversation with them as I can while explaining every step of the process that I am taking. I find that in educating them on what I'm doing, they have a better understanding for the process and are much more calm when taking the image that is needed." Here is an entry level answer example: "My empathetic approach will serve this position well when it comes to patients that are nervous. Patients need to know that I know where they are coming from and understand their fear and nervousness. By talking to them and walking them through what exactly the imaging will tell the physician, they'll be able to relax for a well placed image." Here is an experienced answer example: "Knowing that I can't make promises to patients about a diagnosis, I find the best approach to patient care is to the personable and knowledgeable on my processes. I make small talk with the patient to help build trust. On top of that, I talk about the equipment that I'm using and explain what it will be doing to help the physician better see what is going on inside of them. By taking this approach, I find that patients are able to calm down and relax for the images to be taken."10. Why did you choose your area of specialty in radiology? Flouroscopy, Digital Mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging... all are types of imaging technologies. With so many options to choose from, why did you choose to focus on X-Rays? For many, becoming an X-Ray technician is a starting point on a new career path. You may also be specialized in CAT scans, which will make you even more marketable. Whatever your specialty, talk about the aspects of the career that you investigated to decide if it was right for you. Rather than stating, 'I needed a career change and I knew it was a growing field,' talk about your interests and strengths that brought you to this decision. How will working in this field benefit you? Here is an answer example: "When I was in high school, I had the chance to participate in a work shadowing program in my community and I absolutely loved the week I spent shadowing an X-ray Tech at my local hospital. I was enamored by the technology involved and how patients were helped so greatly by the services. Knowing that I wanted to pursue some sort of career in healthcare, this was what sealed my fate for my future." Here is an entry level answer example: "I was inspired to go into this career field by my older sister, who is currently a Sonographer in Texas. She started her career as an X-Ray Technician and pursued further education in sonography while working her first job. To her, having a well-rounded background was important and I hope to follow in a path similar to hers. My dream for the future is to pursue a degree in Nuclear Medicine as a technologist and I am looking for an employer where that growth would be supported." Here is an experienced answer example: "Having been in the career for some time, I was initially inspired to go into the field to care for patients that were similar to me after I was found to have a rare heart condition from an x-ray when I was in high school. Without that x-ray, my condition may never have been found and treated to keep me here today. As I've worked as a tech for many years, I find great joy in helping my patients each and every day and wouldn't ever dream about going back in time and choosing a different path."11. How do you fill downtime? Texting your boyfriend and getting on social media are probably not the best responses! Even though you may need time to reset, you want your interviewer to know that you understand how valuable your time is and that you take your job seriously. If you want to stay accurate in your records and imaging, you might need to make the most of those 10 minutes of free time after you have cleaned everything and disposed of used gowns by taking a walk or grabbing some coffee. Express to your interviewer that you use your downtime wisely. Taking time to reorganize yourself, double check patient charts and review images shows that you can be depended on to do the job right. Here is an answer example: "Downtime is extremely important in my current position as that is the only opportunity we have to ensure that exams rooms are sanitized and stocked because downtimes can turn busy at a moments notice. In the rare event that these tasks get completed with more downtime, I talk to my colleagues to see where they need help and I never hesitate to help out when needed." Here is an entry level answer example: "During my internship, I receive great advice from my preceptor on how to handle downtime. On top of the typical cleaning and stocking of exam rooms, that is the perfect time to get caught up on email. Working for a large organization, plenty of all-staff and departmental emails are sent and the ability to sit down and read and respond to them isn't always there in an eight hour day." Here is an experienced answer example: "Throughout my career, after items like housekeeping and catching up on image preparation are completed, I have jumped at any opportunity I could to cross-train and learn something new. With the chances I've had to learn more about the administrative side of the business and watching other techs in Mammography, CT and Nuclear Medicine, I feel that I have become a more well-rounded tech in my job."12. Tell me about a time when you solved a problem at work or school? Even though your job may seem pretty straight forward, there can be mechanical issues or miscommunication among people that will require your critical thinking abilities. Take some time to think about an example that is relevant. Troubleshooting technical issues would be a great example, as those may be the most common errors you need to research and repair. If you give an example of a miscommunication or technical issue, focus more on what you did to solve the problem than the actual problem itself. Explain the process of identifying the problem and taking the steps to solve it. Here is an answer example: "A couple of months ago, I was the only tech working on night shift in our hospital and those shifts solely involve working with hospitalized patients and emergency patients. As I was being called for my first emergency patient for the night, I realized that our CT scanner was showing a technical error and would not start properly. As per protocol, I shut down power to the machine and restarted it, only to find that the error still persisted. Knowing it would be down for a bit, I contacted the emergency physician that ordered the scan to let him know I had to walk through troubleshooting procedures for our CT scanner. Being a night shift, he understood and talked to the patient. Luckily, my quick thinking in contacting the manufacturers technical help line, a technician was able to walk me through the steps to fix the issue in a short amount of time." Here is an entry level answer example: "While working towards my associate's degree, I worked part time as a phlebotomist to help gain as much experience in a hospital setting as I could. I noticed one of my fellow co-workers, who was an experienced employee, wasn't following our safety protocol that called for wearing gloves while drawing blood. First, I spoke to my co-worker directly about why the safety protocol was in place and that I was concerned to see her not following it. She brushed me off and continued. To be fair, I let her know that I'd have to report her non-compliance to our supervisor and she became angry with me. Fully knowing that safety is of utmost importance in healthcare, I went to my supervisor and the issue was resolved through her." Here is an experienced answer example: "In my current position, our services were expanded to help cover referrals from other clinics in our area and our patient numbers began to increase right away. Seeing backups in our waiting room and increased patient waiting time, I immediately talked to my manager about a dire need to increase our staffing levels during peak day shift hours. He and I worked together on analyzing data for a week long period and, once compared to prior data, we found that our patient numbers and patient wait times had increased by 30%. A plan to change our staffing was implemented immediately and we ended up posting and hiring another tech to help with the increased need."13. If a patient isn't safely protected, what are some of the harmful effects of radiation? Share your knowledge of the dangers of radiation. There are certain questions you are required to ask every patient before you perform the imaging. Why? Well, if they are pregnant, the fetus is at risk for cancer and tumors. The patient can experience damage to their thyroid and there is a risk of cancer to them as well. Think about what you have learned about the body and how tissues in the body respond to radiation if they are exposed. Here is an answer example: "Radiation has the power to both harm and heal and that is nowhere more evident than on imaging equipment. Studies have shown that repeated exposure can increase risk of cancer and x-rays are considered a carcinogen. Because of that, the safety protocols that are in place for patients are extremely important to follow." Here is an entry level answer example: "As part of my education in the field, I learned the negative effects that radiation from x-rays can have on both patients and technologists in the room during scans. We learned that pregnant patients and those that have a high risk of cancer may not be the best candidates for x-ray or CT scanning and pre-screening questions are in place to prevent them from the imaging if at all possible." Here is an experienced answer example: "Safety measures are in place to protect my patients from potential overexposure to radiation from the units that I work on. I make sure that the patient is protected according to standard based on the image that I am capturing. The new imaging units have come a very long way in limiting radiation exposure to both patients and us techs that are working on the machines. I am a firm believer that the benefits of medical imaging outweigh the risks just based off the number of lives that the machines save on a daily basis."14. What are some of the challenges you anticipate when working with members on a medical team? Depending on whether you are working in a clinic or a hospital, you may have several different doctors and technicians on your team. If you haven't worked in this type of environment before, consider the difficulties that can arise. If you're working directly with a Radiologist, they may not agree with your analysis of the images. Every person in the office is an expert in their area. It's possible for disagreements. If conflict arises, how do you handle it? If you have three bosses to report to, how will you handle that type of pressure? Here is an answer example: "Coming from a large hospital where I work with a large group of Radiologists, I try and alleviate any challenges by communicating in person with each of them and learning their preferences from me. If there has ever been a miscommunication or issue with any member of my team, I am comfortable addressing the issue and taking responsibility for my work." Here is an entry level answer example: "I only have a little experience with the relationship in working with physicians during my internship, but I know the roles of each are clearly defined in every organization. I take my job with pride and have the ability to work with people in any level of an organization. We are all working toward one goal and need to work together cohesively to accomplish that." Here is an experienced answer example: "Through my career, I have experienced challenges working with both my team of colleagues and the referring physicians. With the physicians, I clearly understand my role in our work processes. If there is ever an issue or a disagreement, it is always best to discuss in person and come to a resolution. I have always been comfortable in working with and communicating with my team of physicians and I know that they appreciate my openness with them."15. On busy days, how do you manage your daily tasks? Imagine a busy day at the clinic. You have patients scheduled back to back and little time to clean machines, organize and label records. How do you manage it all? Your interview will be looking for insight on how you stay organized and how you handle yourself when things get busy on the job. It's important to reiterate that you remain calm while handling your duties one at a time. Talking about teamwork in these situations is also important. Here is an answer example: "I strive for consistency and accuracy. Whether it's busy or slow, I follow a routine of providing excellent patient care and thoroughly reviewing and maintaining accurate records. I don't let the rush interfere with the quality of my work." Here is an entry level answer example: "Working under the pressure of a busy day does not phase me. During my two pursuing my associate's degree, I worked for a local pizza shop and was the evening delivery driver. There were plenty of times where we were overwhelmed with orders. During these times, it was important for me to have a plan of attack and to take things one at a time to provide the best service to everyone. By creating a plan, I was able to step back and look at the big picture. I think these abilities will translate well into this job when patients are backed up in the waiting room." Here is an experienced answer example: "In my current position, a busy day in our clinic wouldn't be successful without a total team effort. Sometimes we know that a day will be busy ahead of time and other times we get swamped at the snap of a finger with no warning. When these times happen, communication among our team is important to prioritize together and handle each patient individually with care. For myself, it remains important during these time to not take shortcuts to try and save time because that is when a patients health and well-being can be compromised."16. How have you shown flexibility in a job in the past? Showing you have been adaptable in the past to work in different environments, personalities and schedules reflect your flexibility. Give an example that gives the interviewer insight into your easy going nature. You will need to be flexible to work with a variety of patients and doctors in order to get the job done, and you may be asked to work odd hours at times. Here is an answer example: "In my last job, I was often asked to work weekends and I didn't mind. Work is a priority for me and I want to get as much experience as I can to further my career. I understand that schedules change and we need to shift things around." Here is an entry level answer example: "During my internship with a large hospital, I was able to roll with scheduling changes with ease due to my preceptor going out on a medical leave with no notice. Wanting the best training I could possibly get, the department director paired me with another great tech to work with while the other was on leave and I had to adjust my work schedule to be with him on short notice. Moving into my first job, you'll find that I am very flexible when it comes to scheduling and availability on the job." Here is an experienced answer example: "Throughout my career, I have been the employee that is willing to help when and where I am needed. People who use the line "that's not my job" really get under my skin because they are not true team players. Just recently, our administrative staff in our department was short-staffed for a couple of days due to a major illness being passed around. During down times, I helped out our admin staff where I could help out without being trained too much. I actually valued the chance to sit in their shoes and gain new perspective of their day to day work lives."17. How would your coworkers describe you? Consider qualities that are relevant to this position. Think about the qualities that correspond with some of the responsibilities of the job description. Reflect on some of the positive comments you have received from coworkers in the past and pick 2-3 traits that show off some of your strengths that will make you an amazing asset to the company. Don't be afraid to brag a little, but keep it relevant. Here is an answer example: "My co-workers would say I'm flexible and willing to cover shifts. I have a positive attitude. I think they would also say I'm careful and focused to get the job done right the first time." Here is an entry level answer example: "My co-workers would say that my two greatest passions that led me to this field are my two strengths: patient care and technical abilities. I am a very caring person and want to see great outcomes health wise for all people. I am also very technically savvy and have always been enamored with tech equipment. Because of these two passions, I decided to pursue as an X-ray Technician coming out of high school." Here is an experienced answer example: "The first thing any prior co-worker would say about me is that I am a consummate team player in any environment. I love to help people succeed in their careers and I love to mentor young techs that are coming into the field. Adding to that, I am willing to help out wherever needed within the department and help out co-workers when needed. I have helped cover shifts in the past whenever needed and help out in day to day duties if a co-worker needs the assistance."18. What do you look for in a supervisor? Think of your supervisors from the past. Which ones brought out the best in you? Do you prefer to be micro-managed or would you rather be given the freedom to work independently? Keep in mind the environment you will be working in. Here is an answer example: "I enjoy working with a supervisor who isn't always looking over my shoulder. I work hard to build a solid relationship with my boss so that they trust me. A boss who is consistent and reliable are two other important qualities to me." Here is an entry level answer example: "As a new graduate coming into my first full-time job in the field, it is important for me to work for a supervisor that is both approachable and willing to give honest and timely feedback to me when necessary. I thrive in an environment with an open door policy and I would feel most supported in this type of environment." Here is an experienced answer example: "Throughout my career, I have thrived the most working under a supervisor that truly promotes a team atmosphere within the department. While the techs do spend some of the day alone, a workplace is much more productive when the team is working together well and cohesively as a unit. There are many ways of promoting a team-based atmosphere and most efforts I have been a part of have been very successful in bringing a team togther."19. How do you make sure you obtain images of the highest quality? There are a few aspects you can talk about to show off your attention to detail here. Tell your interviewer about how you work the machines with precision, how you accurately place the patient and how you give clear instructions to the patient. Every detail in the process of obtaining an image is important. Knowing what details to look for and using caution and care in your approach will ensure the most accurate results. Here is an answer example: "A quality image begins with the order from the physician being detailed with what image is needed. As long as I know that, I know the proper settings for the unit and how to place the patient properly for the highest quality image. With our digital images, I can ensure that the image will be suitable for the physician and if an image doesn't come out as expected, I can re-position the patient and adjust settings to re-shoot the image." Here is an entry level answer example: "I know that a quality image comes down to how the unit is set up and positioned over the patient. To obtain the best images, I learned that giving clear instructions to the patient is also extremely importantly. During my time in tech school, I was fortunate enough to get quite a bit of hands on experience with a couple of different units to get to learn how they work and take the best images. I am very confident in my ability to learn any new units that you may work with here." Here is an experienced answer example: "A quality image is the product of positioning the patient in the correct position while having the x-ray unit on the correct image settings. The patient positioning starts with me instructing the patient on where to be on the table while stressing the need to hold still. During this time, I usually make small talk with them to help keep them at ease. Then, with all of my experience taking images all over the body, I position the unit and snap the images that are needed by the radiologist. The group of radiologists that I currently work with have commended me for the consistent images I am able to produce."20. What type of imaging equipment do you have experience working with? As the need for X-Ray technicians is growing, the educational requirements are changing. It use to be a six-month training, but in 2012 the requirements changed to a three-year associates degree program. Most people receive training on the job to put your education into practice. Even if your experience with the equipment is limited to your training, talk about a few key points: Understanding of how it works, troubleshooting and how to interpret the images. Show your confidence and your willingness to learn. Here is an answer example: "At my current organization, I have worked on a standard x-ray machine as well as a portable machine that we use at times if needed. The current units that I work on are Siemens and I have familiarity in diagnosing issues on these. At my previous employer, I worked on Toshiba units and had an easy time learning those systems. I am very technologically savvy when working on any unit and have the ability to learn with ease." Here is an entry level answer example: "Coming out of my tech program, I have hands on experience working with x-ray units, CT units and a little bit of ultrasound experience. During my internship, I worked at a small clinic that used a Philips x-ray unit and I was able to pick up on how to use it very quickly. I feel very comfortable in being able to learn any machine with a little bit of training." Here is an experienced answer example: "During my career, I've worked with a wide variety of x-ray, CT and MRI units. When learning a new unit, it's important that I understand all aspects of how the machine functions and how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. My current organization promoted cross-training on the units in our department and that helped me gain a much better grasp on the different types of units and how they work."21. How do you feel about working on your feet for long periods of time? Your training gives you an idea of what to expect on the job, but when you are working long shifts you will have a better understanding of what it means to be on your feet all day. The other aspects are assisting patients with illnesses and injuries that limit their mobility. Are you okay with lifting people? Are you fit to be able to handle the challenge? Here is an answer example: "Having been in the job for a few years now, I understand the importance of staying physically fit is to be successful on the job. In my free time, I weight train and run and doing this helps me to prepare to work on my feet for long shifts and be able to help transfer patients as well." Here is an entry level answer example: "I've worked in jobs where I had to stand for long periods of time. Working in retail where I was handling customers and working long shifts makes me feel confident I can handle the physicality of the job. I have no problem assisting patients with mobility issues and I look forward to playing my part in helping them towards the road to recovery." Here is an experienced answer example: "I love the fact that this job has me continuously moving and staying on my feet at my age. I have been able to handle this throughout my career by wearing comfortable footwear and staying in great physical shape. While not a desk job person, I do take advantage of downtime by sitting and working on the computer by catching up on emails and other tasks."22. What would you do if the X-Ray machine was not working correctly? Use your problem solving skills! Talk about how you would troubleshoot to identify the problem. What steps would you take first? Talk about your routine maintenance, checks that you do throughout the day to prevent problems from happening. You could start by saying, 'It depends on what the issue is...' and follow up by talking about what you do if the imaging is blurry. Sometimes you simply need to re-position the patient so that they can be still. If it's not turning on or printing images, tell them the steps you would follow to further investigate. Here is an answer example: "Unfortunately, issues with the equipment do happen and protocols are in place with my current employer to handle issues. First, I have to step back and look at the issue that the machine is having. If images aren't coming out as needed, I have settings steps to walk through adjustments. From there, if the issue continues, we contact customer support and move patients to our mobile backup unit for imaging in the meantime. If the unit simply won't function properly, we contact our customer support for the machine and move patients to our mobile unit immediately. Usually, customer support for the unit can fix the issues remotely with myself on the phone." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I experienced an issue on one of the x-ray machines, I would follow the proper procedures for ensuring that the issue was corrected in a timely manner. I would start by diagnosing the issue to find out what the particular issue was. Then, I would walk through all of the steps that I could take like adjusting settings and rebooting the unit to see if the issue could be corrected. If it couldn't from those steps, I would contact my supervisor to see how to handle the next steps." Here is an experienced answer example: "Like with any piece of equipment, x-ray machines do have issues and I've had a lot of experience troubleshooting issues. If I notice that a machine isn't working properly, I start by finding out exactly what the issue is and work from there to help solve it. If it looks like the machine will be down and out for a period of time, I communicate to my team so we can handle our patients accordingly. From there, I walk through the troubleshooting manual for the machine which comes in very handy. Most of the time, I'm able to solve the problem with the manual. In the case the issue doesn't get fixed, we simply make a call to the manufacturer and they attempt to walk me through additional troubleshooting tactics over the phone."23. What is your availability to work and be on-call? For this question, it is important for you to have done your research on the organization and the job itself. Most of the time, the expected hours will be in the job posting. In your answer, there is a delicate balance between showing the employer that you are open and willing to work the hours needed while also being honest with any conflicts that you have to shifts or days of the week. Being candid with your availability is always the best approach. Here is an answer example: "Having worked a rotating shift between days and PM's for the last five years in a large hospital setting, I still remain open to those shifts as well as night shifts if needed. Having a spouse and young children, I do need to know shifts two weeks ahead of time so we can arrange for child care if needed. In my current job, I am also on-call one in every five weekends and I am open to any call responsibilities." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am very open to shift availability as I enter my first job. Through schooling, I worked PM shifts while going to school full time during the day time and I am able to handle both of those shifts with ease. I am available to work weekends as well as needed by the organization." Here is an experienced answer example: "A big piece that attracted me to this position was the ability to move to a straight day shift position. I have spent a majority of my career working a rotating swing shift between day, PM and night shifts with my current employer. If the need were there to help cover days off, I would remain open to working PM and night shifts as needed. As well, I have worked weekend on call and would just need to know what that schedule would look like."24. Have you every had to work in a department that was short staffed? How did you handle that situation? The interviewer is looking to see how you handle adversity when a department you have worked in was short staffed for a shift or a period of time. It is important for you to show that you are flexible and able to prioritize your work while remaining calm, cool and collected. If you have a particular situation where this happened, us that as a specific example for your interviewer. Here is an answer example: "Recently, our department of techs was facing a medical leave of absence and a week where two other techs were on vacation. We were fortunate enough to be able to plan ahead to rework our schedule as needed to provide coverage. On two of the days, we worked one tech short and during those periods, it was important to remain on top of our duties as patients made their way through our department. While I needed to prioritize patients when things got busy during the day, remaining calm and working through things one at a time was extremely vital to make the week a success." Here is an entry level answer example: "I just recently completed my working internship in my program. One evening, the department I was training in at a large level I trauma center experienced two techs calling in sick. My preceptor was alone for half of the shift and watching how she handled herself during busy times was amazing. First, she communicated with the scheduling staff to have them let patients know there may be an extended waiting time. This communication alleviated potential concerns that could have came from patients. Next, I saw how she calmly handled the growing work queue by handling patients one at a time while working quickly. With each patient, she explained her process and that she would be working quickly. Having experienced this, I now know how to handle a situation like that should I ever be in one in the future." Here is an experienced answer example: "In all honesty, I've had to work under these conditions too many times in my career. The time that sticks out in my mind is a day shift I was working as part of a small team at a private clinic where I had to cover a day by myself. When my colleague called in sick that morning and my director not able to call anyone else in, I first spoke with our Radiologist to let her know that I'd be working solo that day. As well, our administrative staff was notified as well. From there, I worked with the Radiologist on prioritizing the patients as they came in and our plan worked out well. Any time I have experienced these situation of being short staffed, taking small amounts of time to communicate have been huge in making the shift a success."25. Talk about how you prioritize safety in this job as a Radiologic Technologist. A job as a Radiologic Technologist requires safety concerns for both yourself and your patients and safety in the healthcare setting is extremely important. Your interviewer will be looking to see how you keep safety in mind for both you and your patients. Talk about the safety precautions you take in your work to protect both yourself and your patients and mention that safety is a top priority in your work. Here is an answer example: "Working with imaging machines is no joking matter and I take safety as a very high priority in my work. To protect my patients, I always ensure that they are positioned properly and wearing lead protection. As well, I know x ray machines well to adjust the settings to the produce the best and safest images possible. For myself, I follow all safety protocols and use proper lifting techniques when needed." Here is an entry level answer example: "You will quickly find that I am a very safety conscious employee because it is so important in a radiology setting. I will take the time to get to know all of the safety precautions regarding protective equipment and processes for both myself and my patients. My training on the machines themselves will also prove to be beneficial so I can operate them in the safest manner possible." Here is an exerienced answer example: "As a member of my current organization's safety committee for the last two years, I take safety as the number one priority in my work. Policies and procedures are in place for the safety of both patients and employees and I love being a part of putting policy into place. On the job, taking care of my patients and myself in a safe matter is done by following the policies that are in place."26. How do you work as part of a larger team and how does this come into play in a Radiology setting? Teamwork is very important in your work setting and your interviewer will be looking for insight on how you work with other members of your team. Make sure to talk about how you can work with people in all levels of your organization, including colleagues, physicians management. Relating the importance of teamwork back to the patient is also important here. Here is an answer example: "In my departments that I've worked in, being an effective member of a team is very important. Among my fellow techs, I tend to be a leader that others can bounce questions or concerns off of and I thrive being held to those standards. I work very well with my group of physicians and they see me as approachable and knowledgeable in our field. I also don't hesitate to talk to them when needed." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am the type of person that loves to work in a team based environment. During my internship, I was able to see how they team dynamics work within a radiology department between the physicians, nursing staff, administrative staff and the technicians. Communication is extremely important in large team settings like this and I am comfortable working with all people within my department." Here is an experienced answer example: "Having worked in a large radiology department for many years, teamwork is of utmost importance to better meet the needs of our patients. Every player in the department has a unique role to better serve the patients needs and we all need to work together to be able to meet those needs. I bring my level of expertise and experience to the team and don't hesitate to do this with any member of our team. As well, if I need guidance or thoughts from another member of our team, I don't hesitate to reach out to them. I am fortunate right now because our large team functions more like a family than a work unit and that makes work life so much easier."27. If you had a suggestion to improve a work process, how would you go about trying to implement a new process? Processes in diagnostic imaging is important and they are in place for a reason. Over time, many processes get improved to help make the processes more efficient or effective and these improvements most often come from suggestions from employees that are performing them. Your interviewer will be looking for you to be willing and able to give your feedback on work processes to help look for efficiencies. If you have a specific example of a time you did this, that is great. If you don't have a specific example, talk about the process you would take. Here is an answer example: "Work processes are in place for an important reason and the decision to implement new changes in my current organization falls to my department director. Last year, my coworker and I talked to our directory about our rotating coverage in the emergency department. Prior to talking to him, our team of techs would get called to the emergency room when needed and we were on a rotation of who would take those calls to the emergency room imaging equipment. Knowing that the emergency department saw fluctuations in their patients, we proposed that we have one tech designated for that duty each day to be able to build a rapport with staff there each day and to minimize risk for our normal radiology patients in our department. Our director agreed to the change and a new procedure was written by her." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I were to notice that a particular process could be improved to make my work more efficient, I wouldn't hesitate to talk to my supervisor or manager. I know that decisions to make changes most often come from the front line employees, but the decision to make the change comes from management. I would love to work in an environment where my insight is valued and appreciated." Here is an experienced answer example: "During my career, I've successfully helped implement a couple of new work processes and I feel very proud of those. In both cases, I used my knowledge and expertise to see an inefficiency in a process and talked to my leadership team about my observations. In the most recent case, I was tasked with doing some data collection on a process and then trial a new process and compare data between both processes. In the end, the newly suggested process was proven to be more cost effective and efficient and remains so to this day."28. What computer programs do you have familiarity in working on? Have you had experience working on any specific EMR's? With the advancements in digital imaging, X-ray Technicians are required to have familiarity with different computer programs to work on, including electronic medical record systems. Your interviewer will be looking to find out what specific programs you have familiarity working on and how apt you are at learning new programs. Be open and honest with your interviewer about where you have direct experience and stress that you are competent to learn new things. Here is an answer example: "In my current role, I have seen many technological advancements in our field and the ability to rely and work more heavily on computers has followed. I currently work on image viewing software called NovaPACS and was able to become very fluent in using it quickly with little training. This program has made my job much more efficient over the days of physical images. On top of that, I have been using the Cerner EMR for many years to document patient notes." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am a very computer efficient person and am confident in my ability to learn new systems as needed. During my internship, I got the chance to work on the EPIC EMR and the PowerServer imaging system. I found that I was able to pick up on these programs quickly and efficiently." Here is an experienced answer example: "I've been fortunate enough to witness the shift from printed imaging to digital imaging and I've been able to adapt my work to these changes with ease. Learning digital imaging systems took time at first, but now I consider myself very skilled having worked on both the QReads and Clarity."
Writers for XRay Technician Answers and Questions
Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries. Ryan has a long track record of recruiting, interviewing and hiring candidates at all levels of the organizations that he has recruited for. These include entry-level workers, professional workers, physicians and executive level leaders. Ryan has created and worked with many interviewing formats in the industries that he has recruited for and has reviewed resumes and cover letter's for all of the positions he has recruited for.
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 02/27/2014 Last modified on: 06/18/2018
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