News. Insights. Information.

Stay up on the latest.

Four Questions a Surgical Tech Gets in the Job Interview


Job interviews can be stressful experiences. It can be very helpful to know what to expect ahead of time because the interviewee can think about answers. Surgical techs can think about the following questions and even use them for mock interviews to get more comfortable with the real thing.

1. How much experience do you have?

It’s important to note that many employers require at least twelve months of paid experience in the applicant’s specialty. Although employers can look at the applicant’s resume for this answer, asking the question verbally gives them an opportunity to learn more about the candidate and the experience.

For example, the interviewer can ask how the candidate used a specific skill or reacted to a certain situation in a past job. When answering this type of question, the candidate can outline the situation, challenges, actions, and results; however, it may also be helpful for the candidate to note what he or she learned from the situation.

2. How do you handle stress/challenges in the OR?

The OR can be a stressful place, but it’s essential for everyone working there to remain calm; that’s why this is a common question. Because these skills are critical to the job, interviewers will ask for examples of how [the candidate] might react to certain situations during complicated surgeries.

This question may arise in a couple of different ways: interviewers use open-ended questions, but at the same time, they want to hear stories and examples of when the candidate was put under pressure and how she reacted. Effective candidates have one or two stories prepared.

3. What technical skills do you have?

Clearly, excellent technical skills are important for anyone working in an operating room environment. An interview question may cover an understanding of surgical instruments and preparing and closing an operating room, it may also address a candidate’s ability to learn new developments quickly.

It may cover a number of other topics related to technical skills, as well, including passing instruments safely, manipulating equipment, handling fine sutures and needles safely and efficiently, and working with small supplies and instruments that require calibration.

4. What soft skills do you have in dealing with different personalities?

Soft skills, the skills that involve non-technical and interpersonal skills, are important, too. For example, it’s important for surgical techs to be team players, well-organized, and adaptable. In addition, they should be able to put a patient at ease during the preliminary process of positioning and draping for surgical procedure.

It’s also important for surgical techs to be able to respond appropriately when they are called out for making mistakes. They need to be able to take criticism without getting flustered, and they must learn from their mistakes. It may seem like a tongue lashing for a small mistake is harsh, but a mistake in surgery may be the difference between life and death.

Are you ready for your interview?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We know interviews can be tough – and we hope this helps you feel more prepared for your next one. If you’d like to interview with us, give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.