Phlebotomy Interview Questions and Answers You Should Know
After completing your studies or certification training, you are officially a phlebotomy technician. Considering all the knowledge and skills that you have learned, you are more than qualified to provide proper phlebotomy care and apply all you know in real-world situations. Having the opportunity to do so, however, depend on how well-written your resume is to get you into the interview phase. As long as you know what to highlight in your CV, you will have higher chances to be shortlisted.
So you have been scheduled for an interview. For most people, it could well be the first and last interview for a particular company, with an outcome that can go either positive or negative. It could be your first and last because you might get hired right away. Or, you might not be accepted at all. This means you need to make a lasting impression at the first chance you get. Well, what better way to ace an interview than to prepare for it like it is your last?
While you get pointers for dressing up appropriately and showing the right attitude, it all comes down to how well you answer questions. Since phlebotomy has certain risks and involves patients, expect questions to be situational.
Here are possible questions that might come up during your interview.
Q: Why did you choose to become a phlebotomy technician?
Because phlebotomy is not as common as being a nurse or a doctor, employers often want to know whether or not your choice of career is sincere, or that you have any idea of what you are getting into. It is imperative that you answer as honestly as possible. Don’t make the mistake of giving them the impression that you are in it for the paycheck.
A1: I have always been fascinated watching medical technologists drawing blood. My fascination turned into an ambition when venipuncture was done on me.
A2: A friend of mine was once confined due to psoriasis. Because his entire body was covered with dried skin and wounds, the phlebotomist had a hard time finding a puncture site. He successfully collected a blood sample, but he really lacked the people skills that would have helped my friend feel at ease. I want to provide a better service than that phlebotomist did.
Q: How much experience do you have in phlebotomy?
This is where you outline all your phlebotomy experience, from your on-the-job training to volunteer work. Don’t worry if your experience isn’t that long, because some employers don’t always consider length of tenure to be a determining factor. But they do want to know what you learned in those experiences.
I have a total of three months experience, including the training I received during my 40-hour phlebotomy course. During that time, I also provided volunteer work for various outpatient draw sites and laboratories.
Q: Are you comfortable performing venipuncture procedures?
What the interview wants to know is how well-versed you are with the procedure and whether or not you can handle the pressures that come with venipuncture. After all, not all patients’ veins are made equal and some people could get nasty when you can’t draw blood the first instance. This is also one way an employer gauges your skill level.
I have no problem whatsoever in performing venipuncture on adults, children or elderly. The extensive training I received in school and in my phlebotomy courses gave me great confidence to do my job properly and accurately. I learned step-by-step instructions, including compliance in safety and phlebotomy protocols.
Q: How would you identify a patient?
Mistakes must be avoided at all times when performing phlebotomy, but it still happens that the specimens get mixed up due to improper identification of clients. This is why this particular part of the process is crucial.
To correctly identify the patient, I will check critical information based on the lab request and then ask the patient to state full name, date of birth and address, and then verify the details provided.
Q: If a child starts screaming or fidgeting, how would you calm him or her?
Having their blood drawn can be a nightmare for some people, but most especially children. Part of your job is to keep patients calm and assure them that the procedure would be quick, although not necessarily painless. What an interviewer really wants to know, however, is how you will deal with a really challenging task of calming a child. Cite a previous experience.
Being friendly and having bedside manner is one way to do it. I will divert a child’s attention by telling a story, or using a toy, if a parent will bring any.
Q: What will you do if a patient is a difficult draw?
Some people don’t seem to have veins where you can collect blood samples. So make sure you have a ready solution in mind, whenever this problem comes up, which is very likely.
I would find out if the patient is dehydrated or fasting as this can cause veins to collapse. If I can’t find a median cubital vein, I would move on to check the cephalic vein. After two unsuccessful attempts, I will then inform a supervisor or the patient’s doctor. I would also familiarize a facility’s policy in handling a similar situation.
Aside from these questions, there are so-called killer questions that can make or break your chances of getting hired.
Q: Why should I hire you?
It may seem illogical for an interviewer to ask considering that they posted a job vacancy, but what he is actually trying to find out is how fitting you are with the work required. So make sure to sell yourself the right way.
With my skills, knowledge and experience in phlebotomy, I can be an asset to your healthcare staff. Backed by years of working with a diverse population, I can help bring repeat patients who expect excellent customer service and quality healthcare.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A lot of aspiring candidates make the mistake of listing down their virtues and other impressive qualities when asked with this question. Although there is nothing wrong with doing so, what employers are really interested in is how your personality can help you do your job well.
I am really pleasant and outgoing, which is why I don’t have any problem dealing with people with different personalities. This also makes it easy for me to properly handle young children. I am also reliable, dedicated and professional, so you can trust me to deliver an excellent job.
No one really knows if a majority of the questions listed above will come out during an interview, but it pays to prepare for just about anything. Make sure you also research about the hiring firm, so you can establish a relation between your capabilities and the kind of employees they are looking for.
Want to answer more questions? Find out how you can best answer the following:
- What do you think is the best part of being a phlebotomist?
- What do you think is the worst part of being a phlebotomist?
- How do you select the best puncture site?
- Why do you want to work in this company?
- What qualities would you bring to the job?