17 Molecular Technologist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a molecular technologist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Molecular technologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and research laboratories. They use their knowledge of molecular biology to help solve medical problems, develop new drugs, and test the quality of food and other products.

Before you can start working as a molecular technologist, you will need to go through a job interview. This is your chance to show the employer that you have the skills and knowledge they are looking for.

To help you prepare, we have put together a list of common molecular technologist interview questions and answers.

Are you familiar with the process of gel electrophoresis?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your knowledge of molecular biology and how you apply it in your work. Use examples from your previous experience to explain what gel electrophoresis is, its purpose and how you use it in your work.

Example: “Gel electrophoresis is a process that uses an electric field to separate DNA fragments by size. It’s used to analyze DNA samples and determine their sizes and shapes. I’ve used this process many times in my past role as a molecular technologist at BioTech Labs where I analyzed blood samples to detect genetic disorders.”

What are the steps involved in gel electrophoresis?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of a specific process that’s important in the role. You can answer this question by describing each step and how it relates to the overall process.

Example: “The first step is preparing the gel, which involves mixing acrylamide with water and then adding TEMED (a chemical that helps the gel polymerize). The next step is loading samples into wells on the gel. Then you need to run the gel at 100 volts for 30 minutes. Afterward, you remove the gel from the apparatus and place it in a tray of deionized water. Next, you wash the gel under running water until all the dye has been removed. Finally, you dry the gel and stain it.”

How would you handle a situation in which a sample was contaminated?

Contamination is a common problem in molecular biology, and interviewers want to know how you would respond if this happened during your work. Your answer should show that you can use critical thinking skills to solve problems and make decisions quickly.

Example: “If I noticed contamination while working on a sample, I would first try to determine what caused it. If the contamination was due to my own error, I would repeat the entire process from scratch. However, if the contamination occurred because of an outside factor, such as another researcher’s sample, then I would contact them to see if they could redo their work. In either case, I would document everything that happened so that I could learn from my mistakes.”

What is your process for handling and disposing of hazardous materials in the lab?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of safety procedures in the lab. Use examples from your experience to explain how you handle hazardous materials and dispose of them safely.

Example: “In my last role, I worked with a variety of chemicals that were considered hazardous waste. To ensure we disposed of these materials properly, our team had a system for labeling containers and disposing of them at the end of each day. We also kept detailed records of what was in each container so we could track it if necessary. This helped us avoid any accidents or violations.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to troubleshoot a problem with a machine in the lab.

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your problem-solving skills and how you apply them to your work. Use examples from your previous experience that highlight your ability to analyze problems, identify solutions and implement those solutions effectively.

Example: “At my last job, I was working with a machine that had been acting up for several days. The machine would freeze or shut down at random times during use, which made it difficult to complete some experiments. After troubleshooting the issue myself, I realized that the problem was due to a loose wire in the system. I fixed the wire and resumed using the machine without any further issues.”

If you had to choose, which area of molecular technology do you find most interesting?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your interests and how they align with the job you’re interviewing for. Your answer should reflect your passion for molecular technology, but it’s also important to show that you have an interest in all aspects of the role.

Example: “I find DNA sequencing most interesting because I love science and genetics. It’s fascinating to see what we can learn from our genetic makeup and how this information can be used to improve healthcare and other industries. However, I also enjoy working with proteins and enzymes because these molecules are so essential to life processes. Understanding them helps us understand ourselves better.”

What would you say is your greatest strength as a molecular technologist?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you view yourself. They want to know what skills you have that will be beneficial in the role, so it’s important to choose a strength that relates to molecular technology. When answering this question, try to think of something specific rather than generalizing.

Example: “My greatest strength as a molecular technologist is my attention to detail. I am very thorough when working on projects, which helps me avoid making mistakes or overlooking any information. In my last position, I was tasked with creating a new formula for a product. I triple-checked all of my work before submitting it to my supervisor, and she told me that my formulas were always accurate.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

This question can help the interviewer determine how well you perform in a fast-paced environment. Use your answer to highlight your ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure.

Example: “I thrive in high-pressure situations because I know that it’s important to complete my tasks as quickly as possible. In my last role, we had a lot of deadlines to meet, so I got used to working quickly and efficiently. I also learned how to prioritize my tasks so I could get them done on time. This helped me learn how to manage my time effectively.”

Do you have experience working with a team of scientists to complete research projects?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your ability to collaborate. Use examples from previous experiences to highlight your teamwork skills, communication abilities and problem-solving skills.

Example: “In my current role as a molecular technologist, I am part of a team that works together to complete research projects for our clients. We have weekly meetings where we discuss the progress we’ve made on each project and any challenges we’re facing. During these meetings, I provide input on ways we can solve problems or improve processes to ensure we meet client expectations. I also use my experience in working with teams to mentor other members of my team who are new to the field.”

When was the last time you updated your knowledge on molecular technology techniques and tools?

This question can help the interviewer determine how much you know about molecular technology and whether you are willing to learn new things. You can answer this question by mentioning a specific technique or tool that you learned recently, along with what it is used for and why you think it’s important.

Example: “I have been taking an online course on DNA sequencing techniques since last year. I find it very interesting because it helps me understand more about my job and how we use these techniques in our lab. I also like learning about new tools and technologies so I can apply them to my work.”

We want our molecular technologists to stay up-to-date on the latest research and developments in the field. How do you stay informed?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your commitment to professional development and how you might fit into their organization. Showcase your ability to learn new things by describing some ways you stay informed about molecular technology developments, including conferences or online resources.

Example: “I have attended several conferences in my field over the years, which has helped me keep up with the latest research and technological advances. I also subscribe to two newsletters that provide updates on current events and news in the industry. I find these resources helpful for staying informed about what’s happening in the world of molecular science.”

Describe your process for documenting your work and recording results.

This question can help interviewers understand how you organize your work and the steps you take to ensure accuracy. Your answer should include a specific example of how you documented your work in the past, including any tools or software you used.

Example: “I use an electronic lab notebook for recording my results and documenting my work. I find this method is more efficient than using paper records because it allows me to access my notes from anywhere with internet access. In my last role, I also used a program called ChemDraw that helped me create detailed diagrams of molecules and reactions. This tool was helpful when working with other scientists on projects.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you would fit in with their team. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that relate to this position. Think about what makes you unique compared to other candidates.

Example: “I think I am an ideal candidate for this position because of my background as a molecular technologist. In my previous role, I worked on similar projects to those required by this job. I also have experience working with a team to solve problems and complete tasks. My communication skills are strong, which is important when collaborating with others.”

Which computer programs or software have you used in the past for molecular technology purposes?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with molecular technology and computer programs. Use your answer to highlight your knowledge of these programs and how you use them in your daily work.

Example: “I have used several different software programs for my molecular technology purposes, including ChemDraw, Chem3D and Jmol. These programs are all useful for creating 3-D models of molecules, which I often do as part of my job. In addition, I also use Microsoft Office for organizing data and Excel for analyzing it.”

What do you think sets our company apart from others in the field of molecular technology?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and see how your personality fits with their company culture. Use this opportunity to show that you have done some research on the organization, including its mission statement and values. You can also use this time to highlight any similarities between yourself and the company.

Example: “I think what sets your company apart from others in the molecular technology field is your commitment to providing quality products and services while maintaining a safe work environment for employees. I am passionate about safety in the workplace and would love to be part of an organization that shares those same values.”

How often do you perform quality control tests on your samples?

This question can help the interviewer determine how much experience you have with quality control tests and whether your work is accurate. Use examples from your previous job to show that you understand what a quality control test is and how it’s performed.

Example: “At my current position, I perform quality control tests on all of my samples before sending them out for testing. This helps me ensure that there are no mistakes in my results and that they’re within the acceptable range. If any of my results fall outside of this range, I’ll repeat the test until I get an accurate result.”

There is a discrepancy between your results and another molecular technologist’s results. How do you handle it?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work as part of a team. Your answer should include how you would approach the situation, what steps you would take to resolve it and any additional information that may be helpful for the interviewer.

Example: “If there was a discrepancy between my results and another molecular technologist’s results, I would first ask them if they had performed all of the necessary tests. If so, then I would review my own notes and calculations to ensure that I hadn’t made any mistakes. If not, I would repeat the test until I got consistent results. In either case, I would document the entire process in our lab records so we could refer back to it later.”


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