Interview questions for Lab Technicians
The Laboratory Technician is in charge of laboratory equipment and hardware, making sure it is properly cared for, performing maintenance and repairs, and also replacing equipment when necessary.
Laboratory Technicians deliver laboratory services by collecting samples, performing testing, documenting and communicating results, and operating and also maintaining laboratory equipment.
As a laboratory technician, you’ll need strong organizational skills and an adequate knowledge of chemistry in order to collect samples, perform tests, and analyze data. Expect to be quizzed on your knowledge of basic scientific concepts as well as your experience handling lab equipment and conducting tests. Although not mandatory, many labs require you have an associate’s degree or higher.”
1. What are different sterilization methods used in laboratory?
The most common methods of sterilization practised in lab are
• Dry heat: Specimen containing bacteria is exposed to high temperature
• Wet heat: Pressurised steam is used to kill microbes, for example, autoclave that is like pressure cooker that produces steam.
• Filtration: Filtration is used where filters are as small as 0.2um is used
• Radiation: UV has limited penetration, so it is generally safe to use although it is less effective to X-rays and gamma rays. X-rays and gamma rays are used only for special purposes only
• Solvent: Solvent like ethanol and iso-propanol kills microbial cells but not the spores.
2. Why do you want to work in our lab, or in our group?
I can’t stress the importance of doing a proper research before this interview. You should check their latest publications, read all sections on their website, and try to understand as much as possible about the research they do in a lab. What goals do they try to achieve with their research?
3. What is the purpose of their work?
Obviously you can refer to their research in your answer. Perhaps you see the meaningful purpose of their work andwould love to contribute. Or what they are doing actually aligns with your own experience and research, and you want to continue working in the field.
4. What are the responsibilities of Laboratory Technician?
Responsibilities of clinical lab technician varies with the department you are assigned to, but usually it involves
• Wide range of testing
• Running complex analysis
• Examine blood cells with mircoscope
• Scanning of specimen
• Using expensive chemicals wisely
• Maintaining and monitoring various equipment’s
• Checking contamination in chemicals at regular interval
5. Explain what is GLP?
GLP means Good Laboratory Practice. It is a framework or pattern under which research work are planned, performed, monitored, recorded, reported and archived.
6. Tell us about a time when you had a conflict with other person in a lab?
Conflicts belong to every workplace, and laboratories are no exception. Try to recall a conflict, even a minor or trivial one, you had with someone else in the lab.
Perhaps they accused you of making a mistake, or loosing a sample, or you argued for no real reason. They simply had a bad day in the office, or you struggled with something in your personal life and vented your anger in work.
Any conflict you describe, try to be honest. You should just analyze the situation, without emotions, without blaming the other conflict party. If you really made a mistake–which can happen to anyone, admit that you made it. Show the interviewers that while you are a human being and have conflicts, or even sometimes initiate them, you can get over your emotions, are ready to apologize, and will quickly move on and continue working.
7. Explain what is a positive control?
Positive control is a specimen having the analyte at a concentration above a specific limit.
8. Explain what is dynamic range?
It is defined as a range over which a relationship exists between assay response and analyte concentration.
9. Explain why GLP is followed in the lab?
• Following GLP standard, minimizes the chance of error occurs due to humans
• It supports for product registration, and also assures the suitability of data to the regulatory authorities
• It helps to reduce the cost of industry and governments by avoiding duplicative testing
• It helps to re-create a study from the recorded data and information
10. What are the common errors done by technician while handling pipette?
• Failure to pre-wet the pipette tip
• Disregarding temperature – temperature equilibrated
• Tip wiping over and again
• Choosing wrong pipetting mode
• Working too quickly
• Pipetting at a wrong angle
• Using wrong pipette tips
11. What skills or characteristics make you qualified for a lab technician role?
Lab technicians need to be attentive to detail, analytical and organized. An employer may ask this interview question to learn if you have the right skills for this role.
While working in the lab, I know how important it is to be organized to stay on track and follow safety procedures. I’ve always been organized and attentive to detail. Throughout my work, I constantly double-check my work and fill in data as I am going to ensure better accuracy. I also have excellent time management skills. Meeting deadlines is a crucial part of this field, and I have the skill set to be able to prioritize my work and get things done on time.
12. Define what is Aliquot?
An aliquot is the known amount of homogeneous material, used to minimize the sampling error. It is usually used when fractional part is an exact divisor of the whole.
13. What are the different techniques for placing samples in micro-scope?
Different techniques used for placing samples under micro-scope are
• Dry Mount: You simply put section of specimen with a cover slip over a sample.
• Wet Mount: Samples are placed under various liquid medium like glycerine, water, brine and water.
• Smear Slides: In this technique, sample is smear over the slide and on top it another slide is placed without forming bubbles.
• Squash Slides: In this technique, lens tissue is used over the wet mount, and it will remove excess water.
• Staining: Stains such as iodine, methylene blue and crystal violet is used to stain the specimen.