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Land the Lab Job: Interview Tips to Help You Stand Out

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Pathologists’ assistants and histotechs recognize that landing a lab job in any economy is challenging. Labs searching for talented PAs and histotechs command a lot of attention, driving up the number of lab professionals competing for the same opportunities. To stand out from the competitive masses, even the most talented pathology and histology lab professionals must accept the phone interview ready to shine — or risk missing out on their next dream job.

Not sure your interview skills are as sharp as they should be? Nicklas Medical Staffing can help. As a leading lab staffing agency, our professional recruiting team works with pathologists’ assistants and histotechs to prepare them for success throughout the interview process. Here are a few of our favorite tips we share with our job seekers to help them land their next lab job. 

Cover the Basics
Every job interview (lab or otherwise) requires a few basic practices for success, such as researching the company in advance, being punctual, and finding a quiet place to talk. At Nicklas Medical Staffing, we cover these pointers quickly to provide a general foundation for our job seekers.

Highlight Your Experience Levels
At some point during the conversation, you will likely be asked to share your professional background and experience levels. Be ready to expand upon the information on your resume and offer details and relevant examples that go beyond what’s on the page in front of them. Be specific. Talk about other jobs you had at similar university, free-standing, or community hospital labs. Demonstrating firsthand insight into a specific type of work environment can set you apart from other job seekers. If you don’t have that specific background, share how excited you are to work at the new lab type. You’ll also want to discuss any skill sets you’ve acquired at various other positions that will be relevant to highlight that you’re a solid match for the open opportunity. Also, pointing out that you’re familiar with the software system can give you an edge over other applicants. 

Discuss Your “Why”
This is where researching the lab in advance will prove a valuable tool. Interviewers will not only ask why you’re a good fit for the position but also why you want to work for them. Let them know that you’ve done your research on the lab — and point out some of the factors specific to the lab that make you excited about the opportunity. Sometimes, it helps to say you have family or friends in the area or even that you like the city as a reason why you’re excited about the lab job.  

Ask Questions
At Nicklas Medical Staffing, we work with our job seekers to find the balance between discussing their strengths while still showing their adaptability and inquisitive nature. When applying for healthcare jobs, it’s best to ask questions and have a flexible mindset about different techniques and different labs. Many job seekers may not have the software experience needed for a position, but demonstrating a willingness to learn new things and technology is helpful.

Know Your Weaknesses
It’s no secret that most interviewers will inevitably ask some version of the “what are your weaknesses, when have you failed, what do you need to work on” question. One interview question that throws most lab professionals off is “tell us about a time when you made an error and how you corrected it.” In medicine, you have to be willing to acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake and articulate how you adjusted your work approach to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Go into the screening ready to give an honest answer that not only shows vulnerability but also provides insight into how you handled the unexpected. 

Let Nicklas Medical Staffing Help You Find Your Next Dream Job

Nicklas Medical Staffing connects PAs and histotechs with leading labs across the country. Contact us today to get the search for your next lab opportunity started. Be sure to download our free eBook, “Pack Your Bags — the Best Lab Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted,” for pro tips on finding your next lab match! 


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