Going into an interview is always a stressful experience. Even if you’re confident in your skills and training, you can still get stage fright regarding questions you weren’t expecting.
Here are seven common sterile processing supervisor interview questions to consider to prepare for your interview:
- What makes you a good candidate for this position?
- Are you familiar with the current sterilization processes used in healthcare facilities?
- How do you plan to meet the needs of our patients?
- How do you ensure new technicians are trained using proper sterilization procedures?
- How do you store and label sterilized equipment?
- How do you handle the pressure?
- How do you deal with technicians not using proper sterilization processes?
Now that you know what to look for in these sterile processing supervisor interview questions, we’ll dive deep into them, what they mean, and how you can tackle them.
Sterile Processing Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers
1. What makes you a good candidate for this position?
This classic “Why should we choose you?” question always comes up in one form or another.
It’s a chance to toot your own horn to reflect on your prior experiences and expertise.
When you answer this question, refer to your personality, work experience, and qualifications to describe your skillset accurately.
I’ve served five years as a sterilization technician, mastering the processes and familiarizing myself with a dental practice’s day-to-day workflow.
I’m highly detail-oriented, which is a skill I’ve found most useful as a sterilization technician in the past.
Stepping into a supervisory role, my commitment to team-oriented goalsetting and leadership skills are beneficial in a work environment.
2. Are you familiar with the current sterilization processes used in healthcare facilities?
This knowledge check is an integral part of your interview.
As the supervisor, you are responsible for ensuring that all technicians under you operate with current, accurate, and holistic sterilization knowledge.
This department has no room for inaccuracy, so reflect your expertise.
I stay regularly updated with proper sterilization techniques and am highly familiar with sterilizing different equipment and linens.
I always ensure surfaces are clean and dry before being put in the sterilizer, wiping them down with disinfectant and allowing them to air dry completely.
3. How do you plan to meet the needs of our patients?
Even though you serve more of a backstage role in a dental practice, your hiring manager will likely want to assess whether your work ethic and patient-centric mindset are aligned with theirs.
Be sure to speak to the importance of your role in the practice.
Even though I rarely interact with patients directly, I understand that proper sterilization is vital for patient health.
Moreover, supervising an organized and actionable work schedule for the sterilizing technicians under me is essential so that the dentists have access to the equipment before any checkups or operations.
4. How do you ensure new technicians are trained using proper sterilization procedures?
It’s not enough that you’re an expert in the field.
You also need to be able to pass on that knowledge effectively to other technicians since, as a supervisor, you will need to delegate responsibility.
My approach to ready new technicians for sterilization work is to oversee the process, explaining every step and its importance in detail.
Next, I have them repeat the process multiple times, with minimal interaction except to correct mistakes.
Once they have the hang of it, I ask them to teach it to someone else with my oversight.
Doing so helps consolidate the proper procedures to minimize mistakes and ensure everything is done correctly for the patients’ health.
5. How do you store and label sterilized equipment?
Your attention to detail and organization matter immensely in this field, which is why your hiring manager will want to assess your ability to store and label equipment in an orderly manner.
Try to be specific when answering this question to demonstrate forethought and consideration for other staff in practice.
I have a rigorous process for labeling and storing equipment.
First, I ensure that the equipment is labeled by name and number, categorized by type, and placed in designated storage containers.
It’s also essential to train staff under me to do the same to minimize confusion and keep everything orderly.
6. How do you handle the pressure?
Pressure is a natural part of the job in a dental practice, and you can expect to be on the go constantly.
Staying organized and methodical under pressure is an essential part of the job – skills your hiring manager will want to be sure you can achieve.
Pressure has been a catalyst for some of my best work.
Some days are better, but high-pressure days are an excellent indicator of how well the system works.
If the sterilization staff is stressed, confused, and lacks direction, it’s a good indicator that the system needs revision.
On a personal note, I try to handle each day positively and remember that stressful days are worth it to enrich the patient experience.
7. How do you deal with technicians not using proper sterilization processes?
As a supervisor, your role will involve disciplinary action to some degree.
From accidental slipups to intentional negligence, prepare your answer to deal with underperforming technician staff.
If a sterilization technician isn’t sterilizing the equipment, my first approach is to talk with them to see if I can help.
Often, the technician is just confused about the equipment’s procedure, storing, or labeling, in which case, personal attention is required.
In the event of negligence, I must report the individual for misconduct pending further disciplinary action.
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Sterile Processing Supervisor
Heading into an interview can be stressful, but these seven sterile processing supervisor interview questions prepare you well for anything the hiring manager may ask.
Best of luck with your upcoming interview!
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