You’ve decided to embark on a career as a phlebotomist. As a first time interviewee, you might be insecure about the qualifications you need and what interviewers might ask.

Tips on how to survive that daunting interview and some potential questions will be a welcome relief. You’ve probably heard them before, but a few reminders on etiquette will also be helpful.

To begin, your resume should include all your relevant experience in phlebotomy or the health care industry. If you are a student going through an interview for the first time, do include information about your grades in chemistry or biology. These should preferably be excellent.

Any interview would require social awareness and etiquette. Here are some things to remember.

Before the interview

Dress appropriately. Men should be in business or casual attire. For women, avoid plunging neck lines, sleeveless tops and short skirts.Do pull back your hair if it’s long. Ensure that your make up is light. Arrive on time. This is absolutely vital as it relays your professionalism. No employer would want to hire a phlebotomist who is not on task. Remember to check if you have brought an updated copy of your resume.The certification should show that you have completed your phlebotomy training. Have a few copies for anyone else who might be there. Be hygienic. Make sure that any lingering bad breath is taken care of.

During the interview

Make eye contact. Do not ask anything about salary or benefits unless asked. Do not rush into the interview room or appear too eager to answer any questions. This relays impulsiveness and lack of professionalism. At all costs, avoid sensitive topics and focus on your ability to do the job. Don’t afraid to be who you are, though you should never rush to answer an interviewer’s questions. Most interviewers will want to get some grasp of your personality.

Here are some questions an interviewer might ask:

1. What made you decide to become a phlebotomist?

This question is directed at interviewees to find out if the choice they made to become a phlebotomist is a sincere one. It’s usually not a top career choice because it can be quite routine and requires you to react calmly to the sight of blood. Whatever your reasons for choosing Phlebotomy as a career, disclose them honestly.

2. What does a phlebotomist do?

This would be a standard question to ascertain your basic knowledge of a phlebotomist’s job. Even entry level phlebotomists should be familiar with certain processes, like drawing blood from patients and testing procedures.

3. How would you calm a patient who is afraid of needles?

Nobody likes having an injection, particularly small children. Questions such as these are asked to determine if you have tact and good bedside manners. This is crucial for anyone who is embracing the medical profession. If you are able to relate how you have calmed an agitated person down before, interviewers will be glad to hear it.

4. What will you do if you cannot locate a patient’s vein?

This may well happen if the patient’s capillaries are too small or if he has not drunk water in a while. Do a little research to familiarize yourself with the facility’s policy on procedures that should be taken in such an event.

5. How will you stay motivated on the job?

Since being a phlebotomist is routine and somewhat stressful, interviewers will want to know what you will do to remain focused. A distracted phlebotomist is dangerous and might administer injections wrongly. This results in a condition known as Phlebitis, when a patient’s wound becomes inflamed. You may also be asked to go through written and other tests to ensure your familiarity with basic processes and procedures.

Any interview will mean some stress. It will nettle your nerves, but you can survive it if you are prepared.