Nanomaterials (NMs) of various types, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs), can interfere with standard quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assays, resulting in inaccurate gene expression measurements; however, the precise step in the qRT-PCR pipeline where this interference occurs has not been well described. Here, we investigated where in the process surface-oxidized multi-walled CNTs (oxMWNTs) inhibited qRT-PCR measurement of the expression of the housekeeping gene GAPDH and explored several strategies to minimize such inhibition. We determined that the interference occurred during the reverse transcription (RT) step and found that doubling reaction reagents or adding BSA successfully mitigated the inhibition. We observed assay interference in the presence of CNTs that were surface-oxidized, but pristine CNTs did not cause the same level of interference. These results highlight the importance of monitoring qRT-PCR assays for interference by CNTs that differ by surface chemistry, as these NMs are commonly used in gene expression assays at concentrations that we have shown to be inhibitory.