Surgical Tech Interview Prep Guide with Questions

Posted By:   Posted On: July 22nd, 2019

So, you’ve just passed your certification exam to be a Surgical Tech. What’s the next step?

After being certified as a Surgical Technician, it’s time to prepare yourself to land your first position! It’s one thing to have the knowledge for the job, but being able to promote your strengths and skills in the interview process can improve your chance to get hired. Even if you’ve already worked as a Surgical Tech, you still need to update your interview responses to reflect your current experience and skill set.

For those passionate about working in the OR as a scrub tech, we’ve prepared this brief guide with interview preparations and surgical tech questions for you to confidently promote yourself in the interview.

Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash

Interview Prep

Contact Your Network

Start your interview preparation by speaking with instructors and mentors who have either worked as a scrub tech or hired surgical technicians. If you have the ability, visit or communicate with someone at the institution where you began your surgical tech training. See if there are resources they can provide for career services. This could be anything from interview confidence preparation, mock interviews, or resume/CV writing assistance.

If you have a friend or family member currently working as a scrub tech, ask them what questions they had to respond to during their interview. Also, see if they can provide their answers to the questions and how the interviewer responded to those questions. Take notes and keep them in mind when preparing your responses to interview questions (listed below).

Work With an Agency

Whether you are a new surgical scrub or experienced in the OR, consider using an employment agency that specializes in the healthcare field and has connections with hundreds of medical facilities. At Desert Medical Careers, we don’t charge you to help you prepare for your interviews. We also help you find new career opportunities, many of which are not publicly advertised. Healthcare placement agencies are a shortcut to helping you prepare for your interviews because we stay aware of current surgical tech interview questions. Likewise, because we work directly with employers, we have insights into the types of candidates they’re looking to hire.

If you’re looking for surgical tech jobs, please fill out the form below or call us at 602-468-6300.

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Update Your Resume

Check out our “Prepare Your Resume and Build Your Interview Confidence” section to assist with preparing your resume. If this is your first surgical tech job, highlight any relevant educational qualifications (certifications) and any volunteer work you may have done. Have resume questions? We would love to assist you with preparing your resume to get the interest of a potential employer. Call us to set up an appointment at 602-468-6300.

Practice and Practice Some More

Below we’ve compiled a list of common surgical tech interview questions you can use to practice. To help with your interview prep, write down the questions and your responses. It’s best to write down one to three different answers you can use that highlight your enthusiasm, experience, and skillset. This will help you if your interviewer asks for two examples instead of one.

Next, take your responses and practice in the mirror until you feel comfortable and can speak about your experiences fluidly. It will be best if you have a willing friend or mentor to ask you the questions. At first, practice with your questions and responses in front of you, either written down or typed up. However, once you can respond to the questions naturally, practice without your notes so you can get comfortable not having them in front of you.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Interview Questions

As promised, we’ve listed common surgical technician interview questions. There are 15 questions and brief notes to help guide your practice interviews. After reading these notes, brainstorm ways you can include your schooling, experience, skillset, and enthusiasm in your responses.

Of course, your responses will be different if you’ve just been certified. Make sure to focus on related experiences, volunteer work, and coursework to highlight your skills if that is the case.

Surgical Tech Interview Questions

Question 1: Tell me about yourself.

This is a great way to introduce your previous work history or enthusiasm for working at a particular facility.

Question 2: How did you hear about our facility?

Before entering the office for the interview, have a bit of information on the company! Look up their history, track records, and highlights that they’ve gotten over the years. This lets the interviewer know you’re genuinely invested in working with them.

Question 3: Tell me about a stressful or challenging experience (surgery) that you resolved. How did you manage the stress?

Stress management is vital in the OR, as it’s one of the most stressful areas in a medical facility. Make sure to highlight how you efficiently handled stress. For new scrub techs, reference a previous work or school situation where you managed stress.

Question 4: How do you handle disagreements with team (surgical staff) members?

This question tests how well you’re able to dissolve conflict and get back to a healthy work team relationship.

Question 5: How would you go about preparing an operating room for surgery?

For experienced surgical technicians describe your methods backed by previous experiences. For new surgical techs, use the knowledge you’ve acquired to answer to the best of your abilities.

Question 6: What methods do you use to organize, plan, and prioritize your tasks?

Detail ways you like to maintain order and productivity.

Question 7: Describe a time where you applied new technology on the job.

What were the results, and how did it improve the efficiency of the task?

Highlight any medical, spreadsheet, and computer software you have used to improve the process.

Question 8: Could you describe your experience with preparing an operating room for surgery?

For seasoned surgical technicians describe your methods backed by previous experiences. For new surgical techs, use the knowledge you’ve acquired to answer to the best of your abilities.

Question 9: Share an example when you assisted a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or a surgical nurse during a problematic situation. What were the results?

If possible, describe your methods backed by previous work experiences. For new surgical techs, use the knowledge you’ve acquired to answer to the best of your abilities.

Question 10: Describe how you would identify the needs of a patient or surgeon.

For experienced surgical technicians describe your methods backed by previous real-life situations. For new surgical techs, use the knowledge you’ve acquired to answer to the best of your abilities.

Question 11: Have your ethics ever been tested in a work setting? How did you react and resolve the matter?

Begin by describing the problem and then explain what you did to resolve the situation.

Question 12: Share a time when you went above and beyond for your team or a patient.

When an interviewer asks you this, they are looking for dependability and responsibility.

Question 13: Describe how you balance teamwork and independent thinking. Could you share an example?

If they ask you a question like this, give them an example where you provided leadership for your team.

Question 14: Provide an example of your assistance with an entire surgical process.

Answer by giving them an example that includes pre-surgery through post-op. For new surgical techs, provide as much of an example as you can, being clear if it is from coursework or real-life experience.

Question 15: Do you have any further questions?

Don’t shy away from asking the interviewer questions! You could ask them what the day-to-day responsibilities look like, or how the company culture has changed. Another focus question is, “What do you look for in a surgical technician when adding them to your team?” Not only does this give you more insight into the role, but it shows the interviewer that you’re interested in working with them.

Looking for a Surgical Tech Job?

We are based in Phoenix and work with healthcare employers in Arizona and throughout the nation.

If you would like to be placed in a surgical tech contract, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300.