I have both good and bad news for you. The good news is that you won’t compete with many other people in your interview for phlebotomy technician position. On the other hand, the bad news is that you won’t find many vacancies either. People who have this job tend to keep it for many years. Unless a new medical practice opens in the town, you’ll struggle to find job openings for phlebotomists.

Taking this into account, you should do your very best to succeed when you eventually get a chance to interview for the job. Understanding the questions they will ask you, and things they try to find out with each question, is a foundation stone of your success. Let’s have a look at it right now.


Ten typical questions

  • Why did you decide to become a certified phlebotomist? You can say that you really like to do what phlebotomists do in their job, or perhaps that you always wanted to work in healthcare, and decided for a career of a phlebotomists because it is simple to start this career, and you do not need a degree to do this job (you’d need a degree for most other positions in healthcare). You want to play your part in helping people, and this is your opportunity to do so.
  • What do you want to achieve in your job? A difficult question, because we can hardly speak about some tangible achievements. Nevertheless, you should focus on your desire to help the patients, and to perform your duties as well as possible, day in day out. To achieve great level of patients’ comfort and satisfaction, on an ongoing basis, is not a bad achievement for anyone. Alternatively you can say that you do not dream about any big achievements, and simply want to have good relationship with everyone in the medical practice, and do a good job on both easy and difficult days.
  • This is a routine job. How would you maintain your motivation in work? Another tough question. You can say that you do not mind routine. Or perhaps that you understand how crucial precision is in this job, and that health is at stake, and it will help you to keep your motivation and concentration up in work. You can also refer to good collective in the workplace. If people enjoy the time they spend together, if you have fun with your colleagues and there is always some topic for a discussion, it definitely helps to pass the time and find motivation. An encouraging word will also help… What’s more, you do not want to let your colleagues down, and will therefor try your best in work.
  • Do you have any preference when it comes to age group of patients? Ensure them that you are ready to work with anyone, to take blood samples from each and every patient. Phlebotomist should have no prejudice or preference in terms of their patients. Any discriminatory comment would be an immediate showstopper in this interview. Be sure to avoid such.
  • What would you do if you were unable to find a vein? You’d keep trying, and if you couldn’t succeed for a long time (missing three or four times ), you’d go for one of the bigger veins, or ask the physician to help you out.


  • What would you do if the patient was dehydrated and you could not take any blood from their veins? Send them home, ask them to drink more, and come back the next morning. You should suggest this procedure, unless it was necessary to take the blood immediately. Ensure the interviewers that you would not put the patients under unnecessary risk. If they look dehydrated or unfit for the procedure, you won’t take any risks.
  • What do you think characterizes a good phlebotomist? They should have some empathy, understanding for the feelings of the patients, they should be patient, organized, and have a good skill in taking blood samples. In an ideal case they should enjoy their daily job, and manage to handle any difficult situations they may experience with the patients.
  • How would you deal with an angry patient? Trying to understand the reason of their anger, and doing your best to calm them down is a good answer. You can also say that if you struggled to help them calm down, you’d send them home, and ask them to come back another day. It makes no sense to fight with someone in doctor’s office, or to put safety of other patients and medical personnel in danger because of one undisciplined patient.
  • Why our laboratory (medical practice), and not another one? You have three options for a good answer. Either you can praise their laboratory (medical practice) for their work, reputation, benefits they offer to employees, or for anything else that caught your eye on their job offer. Alternatively you can point out a good location of the lab (easy traffic connection for you, you won’t spend hours commuting to work), or working hours that suit your lifestyle and duties you have outside of work (such as taking care of your family or doing some crafts). The last alternative is to say that they were the only lab in the city advertising vacancies for phlebotomists–since you need a job, you decided to apply with them. And why not?
  • Why should we hire you? You can once more summarize why you are a great applicant–your attitude to patients, your patience and empathy, attention to detail, honest motivation, and so on. You can also say that you hope to bring some positive energy to their practice, and be a valuable member of their team, someone they will enjoy sharing the office with. This is important in each healthcare practice or lab, because you will spend a lot of time with your colleagues…

A phlebotomist takes blood from a young woman who lays on her back and tries to relax

Things you should focus on when answering their questions

  • Your motivation to do the job, and to do it well. Show them that you understand the importance of phlebotomists, and why this role exists, and are aware of the meaningful purpose of your occupation.
  • Emphasize that there is no room for an error in your work, and that you maintain the highest level of concentration in your job–regardless of problems you may experience in your personal life.
  • Try to create a good atmosphere in an interview. In interviews of this kind, when all applicants offer similar experiences and education, the personal preferences of the interviewers will often play a major role. Try to be nice to them, show respect and recognition for their practice (laboratory). This should help you to create the right atmosphere in the room.


Ready to ace your phlebotomist interview? Not yet? Continue your preparation with InterviewPenguin.com:

Matthew Chulaw
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