Sterile processing tech is a rapidly expanding field with the job market expected to grow by 11% between 2016 to 2026. This is mostly due to the growing age of the general population, better healthcare coverage, and lack of automation in the field. Not only is the demand for sterilization technicians rising, but there is also an increase in interest in the area with quite a few people seriously considering it as a career option.
Because of the increasing popularity of sterilization tech, there is now more competition for those wishing to pursue this career than ever before. Almost all candidates are often very comparable to each other and who gets the job may end up coming down to the details. One of those details could be the final job interview. So here a few tips on what to expect from it and how to ace it.
Make Sure You Are Qualified Enough:
To become a sterilization technician, one is expected to complete a short diploma. This course can be of varying length (up to 6 200 hours over months) and involves relevant theoretical and lab-based practical work. By its completion, one is well versed in all the sterile processing competencies and can look for a job.
Note, however, that while some jobs do not require board certification, many of them do. The most well recognized of these are the CRCST (Certified Registered Central Service Technician) and the CBSPD certification (Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution). Each of these requires a particular background in work experience to apply after which one has to pass a certifying exam.
While most openings mention whether it is for board-certified or non-board-certified individuals; some leave it open. In that case, it is essential to evaluate the position and offered salary and manage expectations accordingly. If the wage offered is on the higher end of the spectrum, the job will probably go to a board-certified applicant even if it is not a requirement.
Do Your Research:
A sterile processing job entails you will be working in a healthcare setup such as a hospital, clinic, or dentist’s office. Here your job will be to wash and disinfect surgical tools and other such instruments such as scalpels, forceps, etc. Anyone who has gone through the sterilization diploma would undoubtedly know about the process. However, it would be best to revise your basics in case a technical question comes your way in the interview.
Not only that, but it is also advisable to learn a bit more about the institution you are applying to. Mentioning a few of these things in the interview could leave a good impression. A few things to look for are the quality and size of their setup, employee satisfaction rates, and available resources, particularly related to your job. You should also be aware of the scope of growth at that place, lest you find yourself stuck in a dead-end job.
On the Day of the Interview:
It is best to plan the day of the interview ahead of time. Punctuality is a must. Wake up on time, have a good meal, take a shower, and get ready. A formal dress code should be observed, whether it is mentioned or not. The clothes should be neat, clean, and properly ironed. Remember that you are applying to a job which is based on cleanliness, so these small details do leave a subconscious impression.
During the Interview:
If you come properly prepared, the interview itself will be a piece of cake. Remember to have at least a basic idea of what to say about specific generic questions. What interests you about sterilization tech? Why should we pick you over other applicants? Etc. As mentioned above, also go over some of the technical aspects of the job and come armed with a few facts about the institution which you can sprinkle into relevant questions to dazzle the interviewers.
Do make sure, however, to stay humble and respectful at all times. There is a thin line between confidence and boastfulness, and it would be detrimental if crossed. Do not ask questions such as what pay you should expect, as this may come off as you having only a monetary or shallow interest in the job. Last but not least, remember to believe in yourself and stick to your character. Interviews are quick to catch on to those who are being insincere in their answers.
In the end, try to ask a few questions that show your interest in the job. For example, you could ask to have a tour of their facility at a convenient time. Do remember to thank the interviewer(s) before you leave.
While the interview has a massive role in your last employment, it is only one of the steps to you need to get right. Getting the proper training or certification, having interest and talent in the field and showing commitment are some of the others. Without these and other necessary traits, even if you manage to land yourself the job, you will struggle with it.