How to Ace Your Interview for a Phlebotomy Job
It’s easy to think that you can handle any interview for a phlebotomy job, what with all the knowledge and skills you’ve learned in school or from your work experience. But ask people who have undergone a lot of interviews and they will tell you that the next one would still feel like the first time. Although you gain pointers from one interview, there will always be surprises on the next opportunity.
So what’s the best thing you can do? Prepare for an interview as if your life depends on it, which could be true if you don’t have any source of income. Know that prep work is a three-way process—before, during and after. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired, you need to give equal attention on all three phases.
- Before an Interview
1.1 Research about the company hiring for a phlebotomist
Doing your research is beneficial for you in two ways. One, it will give you an idea on whether or not the facility has all the equipment and tools that will enable you to use your skills and enhance them. If it only has the basic, you will be stuck with performing just the basic procedures and your improvement will be limited. So think about it.
Two, you will be able to answer interview questions that are somehow associated with the company, such as:
- Why do you want to work in this laboratory or hospital?
- Why should we hire you?
- What qualities would you bring to the job?
Without prior knowledge about a facility or the way they operate, your answers could end up lacking. How will you justify your desire to work with them?
Moreover, you will get an idea if your future is secure in the company, considering their track record or history in the industry. Suffice to say that there are plenty of things you will discover if you do your research.
1.2 Decide what you are going to wear
In any interview, you are expected to dress professionally—in business attire. Unless otherwise specified, you should follow this dress code to the letter. Learn about what is acceptable or not. The unacceptable includes sleeveless tops, really short skirts, plunging necklines, clothes in really loud and bright colors, and over-the-top jewelry or accessories. Women are also expected to pull their hair back, if it’s long, and keep makeup light. It is important that you look decent and professional on this very important day.
1.3 Schedule an interview
That phone call you get from an HR officer is one of the best moments to make an impression. So make sure you brush up on your phone etiquette skills, and keep the following in mind:
- Speak slowly and clearly, so that your words will be understood and heard. Keep your nerves under control as much as possible.
- Avoid talking in slang as this can be a point against you. Be professional on the phone and use proper grammar.
- Speak with confidence and make a good impression. A positive attitude and a dose of self-assurance will send a message that will be well-received.
- Take the call in a quiet environment. The last thing you want to do is to let the person on the other end repeat every word he says. He might think you’re deaf or something.
- Do not interrupt the other person. Make sure to let him finish a question or statement before you respond or comment.
- Always ask questions for clarification. Doing so will give an impression that you are listening and interested, and will save you from embarrassment. What if you heard the instructions wrong?
- Don’t forget to ask a caller’s full name. In case you get asked during an interview, you should know how to spell or pronounce the caller’s name to avoid embarrassing yourself. If the caller happens to be the interviewer, you should know how to say his name when greeting him.
- During an Interview
2.1 Don’t be late
Tardiness is a crime for most companies, so being late for an interview can be likened to a death sentence. Even if you get re-scheduled, the company would put great weight on your tardiness and may have doubts about hiring you. If being late is unavoidable, however, make sure to provide a valid reason.
Besides, there are benefits to arriving early. You can prepare mentally and physically, and have time to fill out some paperwork that may be required from you.
- Dress appropriately
Do you still remember the dress code discussed above? In addition, avoid wearing hats or caps once you are in the office or interview room. Your choice of footwear also matters. An important rule to remember is to never wear sneakers or flip-flops. Will Smith in Pursuit of Happyness may have gotten away with dressing inappropriately, but it usually doesn’t happen in most people’s real life.
2.3 Show recognition to the interviewer
Greet him by last name, as this shows a level of respect and acknowledgement. Even if you are applying for a high position, or you are a lead phlebotomist in your previous job, during an interview, the interviewer is the boss, so make sure you acknowledge him the right way. Remember that everyone loves to be respected.
2.4 Make eye contact
They say people who avoid eye contact are lying. Some would also say that they don’t give importance to the person talking. Since these beliefs are all negative, you should always maintain eye contact. Doing so also shows confidence that is often perceived as being credible. Isn’t this the exact impression that you want to make?
2.5 Show enthusiasm
No matter how remarkable your answers are, if you lack the enthusiasm, the interviewer will think you are not interested with the job at all, much less in working for a particular company. So why should they hire you if you can’t even show a trace of excitement during an interview?
It is important that you smile, speak positively and be assertive. Most of all, you should be grateful. You are being interviewed, after all. Now all you need to do is to provide the interviewer an insight to your capacity as a phlebotomy technician by being enthusiastic about the job.
2.6 Provide complete answers
Make sure to answer all questions thoroughly as they are your ticket to getting hired as a phlebotomist. Considering that most questions are situational, make sure you provide the exact information that you want the interviewer to know, the exact message you want to convey.
Although applicants can get away with vague answers on other jobs, phlebotomy technicians rarely do. You can’t afford to be uncertain when your tasks can change a patient’s life. One mistake can be your undoing. So be thorough in answering interview questions, and bring that meticulous attitude to your future laboratory or workstation.
2.7 Provide an outstanding resume
Your resume should provide an insight to your quality and skills, so make sure to create a well-written and comprehensive CV. Check out tips and tricks to help you get started. You should also remember to use quality paper, as this will reflect the kind of person that you are.
- After an Interview
Once the interview has been concluded, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time. But don’t just stop there. Ask for the name and contact information, then send a thank-you note immediately. Not only will you be able to show your appreciation, but also have the means to follow up.