An interview for a sterile processing technician position will focus on acquired skills in decontamination, and sterilizing of medical equipment and instruments. If you prepare well, you can answer questions about procedures, and timelines easily.
To prepare for the interview process, make sure that you read the sterile processing technician job description with great care. Many questions will most likely run around terminology and your expertise in handling the work. Other questions will include how you handle issues and problems.
Here is a set of interview questions and answers for a sterile processing technician:
25 Common Sterile Processing Technician Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Right after high school, I did some volunteer work at a hospital. There, I realized that I wanted to work as a sterile processing technician. After a year-long training, I took up my post as one, and have been working in this capacity for over 6 years now.
2. What duties have you performed in the role of a sterile processing technician?
As a sterile processing technician, I have been responsible for many tasks such as collecting contaminated equipment and instruments and performing cleaning work on them. Specifically, my work involves monitoring and calibrating sterilization equipment, and reporting any issues. I am also responsible for preparing and delivering equipment to surgical units, and examination rooms.
3. What are a few skills that you think are necessary to possess when working as a sterile processing technician?
Foremost is the knowledge of sterilizing and decontamination processes, within a hospital or clinical setting. Apart from this, it is imperative for people working at this position to be aware of equipment functions that they are responsible for, possess the ability to sort and set instrument trays, and are knowledgeable about handling restocking, labeling and inventory work.
4. What do you like most about this work?
I love the fact that I get to do different types of work each day. As in, the work is the same in essence, but the challenge level keeps changing, which keeps me on my toes.
5. What do you dislike about this work?
I am highly dedicated to my work, so even if I find something a bit off, my concentration is never on dislike – rather, I focus on how I can make myself like it.
6. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
My method of handling conflict is to ensure that it doesn’t take place in the first go. If I am unable to do that, I get down to the root of the problem and resolve it so that it does not affect anyone’s work progress.
7. What motivates you?
Teamwork motivates me greatly. I feel on top of the world when I see that everyone is working towards a single goal.
8. What demotivates you?
Apart from the lack of teamwork, I get demotivated when I am unable to work in a perfectionist manner. But I do realize that being a perfectionist also has a downside.
9. Describe your ideal work environment.
An ideal work environment is where teamwork, empathy, and compassion for each other is prioritized.
10. What is your greatest strength?.
My greatest strength is my ability to work on tight deadlines.
11. What is your greatest weakness?
I feel that I sometimes go overboard with work, even when I know that I am ahead.
12. What have you learned from mistakes in your present workplace?
I have learned that no matter what happens, one has to finish one’s work before one calls it a day.
13. Tell us of a time when you did something which you now consider a great accomplishment.
To be honest, I have many accomplishments to my name. However, the one which stands out the most is the one where I managed to sterilize a newly obtained piece of surgical equipment in record time for a very serious surgery to take place.
14. Have you ever worked with someone with a personality completely opposite to yours?
Many times. I have worked with people bearing all types of personalities, which is actually a fun part of the job.
15. Have you ever taken on a leadership role?
Yes, in my present workplace, I am working in a leadership role, where it is my responsibility to provide training and mentorship to technicians in my team.
16. Do you prefer to work alone, or with others?
I like to work in a team environment. I feel that a team can often achieve goals that are impossible to achieve when you are working solo.
17. Why do you want to leave your current job?
They are shrinking their departments, and while I know that my job is secure, I want to work in an environment where I can fully show my potential. And that is not possible in a limited capacity.
18. Why do you want to work for us specifically?
I want to work for your facility in particular because I have interned here before I started an actual job, and know exactly how well you operate. I want to give back some of what I learned here initially.
19. What is the most difficult decision that you have made?
A coworker I was quite close to decided that it was okay not to clean instruments between two surgeries. I kept telling him that this could be fatal for patients, but he was not too bothered. In the end, I had no choice but to report him to the supervisor. It was a difficult decision as he was a friend, but I am happy that I potentially saved a patient from harm.
20. What did you find most challenging about this work?
What is most challenging about working as a sterile processing technician is that you can be held responsible for infections, if any transpire. This is why you have to be on your toes all the time, where your work is concerned.
21. Has an untoward incident regarding infection ever transpired in a capacity where you were working?
Fortunately, no untoward incident has transpired during the time I have worked as a sterile processing unit, as I am a thorough individual, and this shows in my work.
22. If we decide to hire you, when can you join us?
I am serving my notice period at my present workplace. I can join you within 25 days from now.
23. What are your career aspirations?
I am still learning the ropes, and would eventually like to work in a capacity where I can contribute more to a surgical unit. At the moment, I am still exploring my options.
24. What are your plans for the next five years?
I am hoping to be working as a head of sterilization within the next five years. I am already working in a leadership role, so I feel that I can reach my goals soon.
25. Do you have any questions for me?
I am deeply interested in knowing more about the sterilization techniques that your facility uses.