Ideal lab technicians are highly organised, efficient individuals. If you are late, dishevelled or flustered you have already put your suitability for the job into question. As with any job interview you need to give yourself good time, arrive smartly dressed and cool as a cucumber (on the outside at least!). Show interest and enthusiasm for the role and company but remember to focus on your expertise for the job.
Key skills for lab technicians
What skills does a lab technician need? A lab technician, without exception, needs to be details-orientated and have a process-focused mindset. Emphasise these qualities before discussing any other relevant skills you may have. Demonstrate your detailed knowledge of the equipment and processes you’ll be using. Sometimes it seems like stating the obvious but it’s important to make the hirer aware that you totally understand how vital attention to detail is.
Once you’ve established your eye for detail other you can discuss your other desirable qualities. Good communication skills are important so that you can understand the researcher’s requirements as well as being able to communicate any issues or limitations regarding the processes you conduct. Try to be specific and to the point and demonstrate your clarity of mind throughout the interview. A willingness to learn is really important as you may well be required to learn how to use additional equipment or perform new processes.
Your career path
You may see the role of lab technician as a stepping stone into a research career. Even if this is the case the employer is unlikely to hire someone who intends to move on after a year or two. The role can be highly rewarding in itself and the hirer wants to see commitment and enthusiasm for the job in hand. When asked about your career path focus on how you could progress within the company rather than discussing your plans to complete a PhD.
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