It is crucial to be fully prepared before going for a job interview. Some candidates prepare themselves by looking up at several favourite questions that may be asked for the position they applied. In this article, we will look at 20 interview questions and answers that could be used when interviewing for a laboratory technician position.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Job?
The interviewers are curious about candidates’ level of enthusiasm for the position.
Tip #1: Emphasis your interest in the position offered
Tip #2: Mention what are the expected opportunities anticipated
I am very passionate about science. I am a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Science. Throughout my study, I have enjoyed my experiences working in a laboratory hence I strive to work there as my profession. I believe with my strong interest, I may be able to achieve accomplishments for my intrinsic interest as well for the sake of the company.
2. What Makes You Qualified For This Job?
To tackle this question, candidates are expected to state their qualities which may seem fit for the role.
Tip #1: Check what are the expected qualities sought by the company
Tip #2: Mention some of your best qualities
I am a meticulous and disciplined person. I have a strong passion for sciences, especially chemistry, as they are my major field in education. Aside from my passion and knowledge of the science field, I am also competent in technical skills for electronics and computers. I am well aware that a laboratory technician may work alone or in groups depending on the situation. I am confident in my performance to work alone as well as collaborating with others.
3. What Do You Know About The Position As A Laboratory Technician?
This is to test candidates’ knowledge about the job scopes.
Tip #1: State the roles of a laboratory technician
Tip #2: Be concise and familiar with your answers
The laboratory technician’s main role is to act as the support for any scientific studies carried out in a laboratory. The tasks range from technical work to performing experiments. Some of the specific tasks of a laboratory technician include handling and labeling samples, performing analysis, supporting scientific experiments, and so forth. Aside from the technical tasks, the laboratory technician is also responsible for documenting, reviewing, and presenting results.
4. Can You Handle Conflict In Your Group?
Interviewers want to know about candidates’ conflict management skills, especially in group works.
Tip #1: State what you would do if a conflict arises
Tip #2: Be confident and convincing with your answer
The first step that I will take is finding the source of the problem. If it were within my capabilities, I may take the initiative to bring my team members to discuss the issue together. However, if it is beyond my position, I would seek assistance from a more experienced expert such as senior colleagues, or managers. It is very preferable to resolve the issue in a good manner and nobody gets offended in the process.
5. How Do You Manage If A Problem In The Laboratory Arises?
This question also revolves around conflict management skills, especially in unexpected circumstances.
Tip #1: State what procedures you would do
Tip #2: State the important traits needed to handle the unforeseen situation
I will try my best to apply all the laboratory protocols during emergency time. If the problem is trivial, I will seek experts’ judgement to see what methods are fit to resolve the issue. However, if the problem is of a higher scale and may cause casualties, the most important step is to halt the operation immediately. The most important thing in a time of emergency is to be able to stay calm and lead others to safety. Mental preparedness is also fundamental hence I will always remind myself to be cautious and alert at all times.
6. Share With Us About Your Greatest Achievement
Share about candidates’ measurable performance they have achieved in the past.
Tip #1: Share your exceptional accomplishment, preferably related to the field of the job
Tip #2: Be concise and convincing
The greatest accomplishment is my previous research paper. Due to a few circumstances, the samples that my team was working on did not come out perfectly. My team almost gave up and decided to go with the results due to the time constraint. However, I urged them not to give in and volunteered to experiment one last time. I stayed up the whole night with two other members and experimented a few more times. The result came out perfectly.
7. Share With Us Your Experience With Anything Related To This Field
Interviewers are more interested in candidates who have background knowledge or experience in the position offered.
Tip #1: State any good experience you had while working in a laboratory
Tip #2: Be professional in stating your feelings
During my internship, I was able to learn from one of the top researchers there. We learned a lot of new experiences and performed a new experiment under her supervision. The experiment revolved around researching toxicity effects of extracts on zebrafish embryos. The internship was only for two weeks but it was a great experience for us to apply all sorts of knowledge we had while working in a laboratory.
8. Do You Have Any Experience Working With Someone Who Is Not On The Same Page As You?
Candidates’ answer may display if they can cooperate with people well or not.
Tip #1: State what you would do to resolve the issue
Tip #2: Do not negate other people
If the person is of the same position as mine, I would first consider discussing with that person about our differences. It is better to be respectful of other’s differences rather than pushing your preferences on others. If that person’s action could harm the process in the laboratory, I may need to seek advice from a more experienced colleague to ask for their opinions.
9. What To Do If Your Colleague Does Not Abide By Lab Rules And Protocol?
This question centers on communication skills, especially in group work.
Tip #1: Mention the importance of rules and protocols especially in laboratory
Tip #2: State what measures will you do to resolve this
It is crucial to adhere to all laboratory protocols and rules. Failure to do so may harm the people as well as damaging the laboratory. If my colleagues forget to abide by the rules, I will remind that person to correct that behaviour. If the action persists, I may have to consult with a more senior colleague about it.
10. How Do You Ensure Safety In The Laboratory?
This question will test candidates’ readiness to work in a laboratory.
Tip #1: Provide some examples of common laboratory’s protocols
Tip #2: State some measures to avoid accidents
Some common laboratory rules that we must follow are wearing gloves, covered shoes, lab coats, no food and beverages, and so forth. Another rule that I particularly pay attention to is not overcrowding the laboratory to avoid collisions. Personally speaking, I avoid idling and chatting with my co-workers at all costs while I am in the laboratory as these would divert my attention.
11. Do You Have Any Experience With Mishandling Chemicals In The Laboratory? How Do You Address The Issue?
Interviewers want to know candidates’ experiences in working in the laboratory.
Tip #1: Provide a genuine experience
Tip #2: Talk about how you address the issue
There was a time where some of the chemicals that we were working on spilled. The chemical was considered hazardous. We quickly delegated tasks among ourselves to clean it up immediately. Wiping the spill, spraying alcohol quickly to avoid further damage. It was a shocking experience but we managed to handle it well and no harm was done.
12. Are You Aware Of The Current Advancement In Science And Technology?
This question tests candidates’ knowledge of current issues and advancement.
Tip #1: Share your knowledge and how you keep up with the news
Tip #2: Provide an example of new things you are interested in
I am a technology enthusiast, especially anything related to science. I keep up to date with the current advancement in science and technology by reading magazines and news. I enjoy reading about new innovations from both local and foreign countries. Sometimes, I reviewed researches published by renowned people to learn about new findings in my field of interest.
13. Aside From Technical Work, Do You Have Experience In Any Other Job Related To This Position?
The interviewers want to know what other experience candidates had in this field.
Tip #1: Share some experiences of different tasks
Tip #2: Be concise and mention how well you did on those tasks
Once, I was in charge of record-keeping. My group was also assigned to perform inventory and waste management in the laboratory. Those experiences were new to us but we managed to perform those tasks well under our lecturers’ supervision. Those experiences taught us that our roles are not limited to inside a laboratory only but we are expected to be skillful in other tasks as well.
14. Would You Help Doing One Job Even Though It Is Not In Your Job Scope? (Eg: Cleanliness?)
This question revolves around candidates’ willingness to do other people’s tasks
Tip #1: State the boundary that you must not cross
Tip #2: Be firm in your principle
I am well aware that working in a laboratory involves a lot of consideration for everyone. I am willing to do tasks out of my responsibilities if it is deemed urgent. For example, if one section of the laboratory is left unattended and may be dangerous for the members, I would voluntarily help clean up the place. However, I have to be firm in ensuring that I do not cross my boundary that may disrupt other people’s performances and my exhaustion.
15. What Are The Examples Of Lab Equipment That You Are Familiar With?
The interviewers want to know about candidates’ competency in handling equipment.
Tip #1: State some of the equipment that you are familiar with.
Tip #2: Briefly share your experiences in handling the equipment.
Few examples of equipment that I am competent with are titrators, pH meters, and microscope. There were many times where I was the leader in my group to perform all sorts of experiments and tests. These examples of equipment were used in most of the experiment we conducted.
16. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
Interviewers want to know candidates’ level of readiness
Tip #1: List a few strategies substantial in laboratory
Tip #2: Provide examples of scenarios
I believe tasks in the laboratory could run smoothly if everyone follows the rules and perform their tasks proactively. My mindset is by not procrastinating no matter how minor the task is. It is essential to be fully prepared for any sudden bunches of tests coming in at one time. I believe the essential key to cope with this role is to be patient and flexible at all times.
17. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
Interviewers want to know what challenges candidates may expect for the position.
Tip #1: State examples of challenges that may occur
Tip #2: Mention how to counter the challenge briefly
One of the challenges that I foresee in this position is the constant irregularities that may occur in our analysis. Our experiment results ought to be informative and accurate but sometimes, errors are inevitable. I believe this role requires high patience and persistence.
18. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
This is a personal question to know about candidates’ enthusiasm for work.
Tip #1: Name some ways to stay motivated
Tip #2: Be concise and provide a professional answer
One of the ways of relieving my exhaustion from work is by chatting with team members. Sometimes, I love to spend some time together outside of work. By doing this, it will not only strengthen our bond but will also add up the enjoyment of working together as a team.
19. What Are The Qualities That A Laboratory Technician Needs?
Interviewers want to know if candidates are aware of the fundamental qualities needed.
Tip #1: State a few important qualities
Tip #2: Provide some consequences that may occur if those qualities are absent
One of the key qualities needed in a laboratory technician is to be observant. They need to be attentive towards everything that is going on in the laboratory and address any issues immediately. Besides, it is crucial to be organized and vigilantly abide by all protocols in a laboratory. If these traits were absent from a laboratory technician, mistakes and accidents are prone to happen.
20. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Laboratory Technician
Candidates are tested on what they know about the tasks of a laboratory technician.
Tip #1: List down a few mundane tasks
Tip #2: State a few other side roles of laboratory technician
The roles include performing miscellaneous laboratory procedures and technical tasks. Some of our responsibilities are handling and managing equipment to analyze samples and specimens aside from conducting experiments from time to time. A few other tasks include supervising staff as well as managing resources.
That sums up the 20 probable interview questions and the answers if you intend to apply for a laboratory technician position. This article may be useful for both employee and candidate behalf as references.