[Histonet] interview

Lee & Peggy Wenk lpwenk <@t> sbcglobal.net
Thu Jan 10 19:22:19 CST 2013

(Quoted material taken from various ASCP BOC (Board of Certification) 

FIRST: make certain they meet the ASCP HT criteria. If it they are truly 
doing the OJT route:
Route 2: At least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of academic credit 
from a regionally accredited college/university, with a combination of 12 
semester hours (18 quarter hours) of biology and chemistry (must include 
credit hours in both), or an associate degree from a regionally accredited 
college/university, with a combination of 12 semester hours (18 quarter 
hours) of biology and chemistry(must include credit hours in both), AND one 
year full time acceptable experience in a histopathology (clinical, 
veterinary, industry or research) laboratory in the U.S., Canada or an 
accredited laboratory* within the last ten years.
*Laboratory accredited by a CMS approved accreditation organization (i.e., 
AABB, CAP, COLA, DNV, The Joint Commission, etc.). NOTE: FOR U.S. 

SECOND: you also say they are willing to do an online training. If that is 
through a NAACLS-accredited HT program, then the ASCP HT criteria is:
Route 1: Successful completion of a NAACLS accredited Histotechnician 
program within the last 5 years prior to the date of application for 

So, you need to contact each of the NAACLS programs that offer on-line 
programs (there's 4-6 of them), and find out what their requirements are. 
High school graduates, some college, so many college credits, what type  and 
number of biology, chemistry and math requirements, etc.

Then you need to make it very clear who is paying (them, the lab, some of 
both) the thousands of dollars of tuition, buying the books, how much time 
you will give them each week to work on homework projects (collecting 
tissue, doing stains, you monitoring them taking exams, etc.). I would have 
them sign a contract about being a trainee and earning less money than the 
minimum starting wage until they pass the ASCP HT exam, and then they get a 
raise to the minimum. And in the contract, if your lab it helping to pay for 
the tuition or book, that they agree to stay at least, say, 2 years after 
passing the HT exam, or else they have to pay the lab back some of the money 
the lab spent on training them (prorated, to amount of time they stayed past 
the time they passed the ASCP exam).

THIRD: If this is a true OJT, notice the "one year full time acceptable 
experience". You say this is a part-time position, so 1 year of part time 
does not equal one year full time. This following is from the ASCP BOC 
Full-time experience is defined as a minimum of thirty-five (35) hours per 
week. Individuals who have part-time experience may be permitted to utilize 
prorated part-time experience to meet the work experience requirements. For 
example, if you are employed 20 hours per week for one year, your experience 
would be computed as 20 divided by 35 multiplied by 52 weeks, or the 
equivalent of 29.7 weeks of full time employment.

My concern is your requirement of them taking and passing the ASCP HT exam 
in 2 years. It might take 2 years for them to earn enough working hours to 
equal 1 year full time experience. I would suggest that you tell them they 
must take and pass the HT ASCP exam within 1 year of becoming eligible. If 
they fail, they can take the exam again in the next quarter (4x/year). If 
they haven't passed it after 4 attempts, odd are they are not going to pass 
it. Or if they bother trying again every 3 months, well, that says something 
about their character also.

FOURTH: for your interview questions
- open questions. No yes/no.
- "tell me about a time you . . . " are great questions. Anyone can make up 
something that sounds good if they are asked "what would you do if . . .". 
But asking them to talk about a time when they had to handle a situation 
gives you an insight into what they did, why, and what they learned from it. 
And you can keep asking Why or What factors contributed or What would you do 
differently or What did you learn from this or Tell more more about that 
time, etc. Don't take "oh, that never happened to me". Oh, yes, all of these 
have. There are no right answers - it's about what THEY did or how THEY 
handled a situation. And you can tell them this, to reassure them. What you 
don't tell them are there are some "wrong" answers - at least ones that you 
don't want, such as someone saying that everyone they have ever worked with 
is an idiot, or all their bosses have been incompetent.

Some good ideas for questions: Tell me about a time at work (or, at school 
if they are recently out of school without a lot of work experience) that 
you . . .
- were part of a team (role, contribution, etc.)
- dealt with conflict with a coworker or supervisor
- worked someplace when the team had a problem working together, or getting 
the work done effectively/efficiently.
- dealt with an angry customer
- changed procedures to better serve a customer
- you went out of your way to show compassion to someone else
- of all the places you have worked at, describe the one you stayed at the 
longest (why? and why left?)
- what factors are influencing you to change your career
- how would you rate your attendance record compared with others - give 
examples of why
- during slow times at work, what do you do during that time?
- during a busy time at work, how do you maintain a high energy level
- when you had to work with someone who was very "different" than you.
- worst example of discrimination you've seen in a workplace (co-worker or 
- you had working with a diverse work team
- had to deal with a difficult change
- the supervisor made changes that you didn't agree with
- you had to manage several tasks at the same time - how do you stay 
organized? What did you do in situations when there just wasn't enough time?
- when you initiated change at work (what type? how get others on board? 
biggest challenge?)
- when you had to deal with a lot of stress in a situation.

Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Program Director
Schools of Histotechnology
Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

-----Original Message----- 
From: Gale Limron
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2013 1:02 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] interview

I just found out today I will be doing 2nd interviews for 3 candidates for a 
part time Histology position at our hospital on Friday of this week. These 
candidates are not histotechs but are willing to do online training and take 
ASCP board exam within 24 months. I would appreciate some help with what 
questions to ask. I did not attend the 1st interviews but these were done by 
our lab manager who does not know a lot about what we do I 
Thank you!

Gale Limron CT,HT (ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Union Hospital
659 Boulevard
Dover, Ohio 44622
330-343-3311 ext 2562

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