1/20/2014 4:19:28 PM
May 5, 2016
By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com
When biopharma employers evaluate job seekers, they consider factors from education and experience to published work and references. While they will obtain much of this information from your resume or CV, they may seek additional detail in an interview. Your responses to their interview questions are decidedly important and can make or break your chance of employment. However, interviews present another opportunity to impress that many candidates ignore—the opportunity to ask the hiring manager a few questions of your own. Consider the following queries that will make biotech and pharmaceutical employers want to hire you.
1. Why did you decide to hire for this particular position at this time?
This is a valuable question whether you’re applying for a scientist, research associate, QA specialist or other biopharma role. Not only will it show the employer that you’re interested in the company’s current situation, it will also provide you with valuable insight into job conditions. For example, you may view a response such as “the company is growing” or “the last employee was promoted” favorably.
2. If I were to start next week, what would be my first priority or project?
Whether you’re interviewing for an entry-level position or a senior role, this question shows the employer you’re interested in getting right to work if hired. It also encourages the hiring manager to imagine you in the position. You’ll also gain details on the length of the training period, the learning curve and what you can expect in your first few weeks on the job.
3. How do you describe your top performing biopharma employees?
Every employer wants to hire professionals who are willing to work hard, and this question shows you’re one of them. The interviewer's response will also provide you with insight into the employer's expectations, which you can then weigh against your own to determine if the job is right for you. For example, if the employer responds that the best scientists never take time off and spend at least 70 hours a week in the lab, you may decide you’d prefer a more flexible opportunity.
4. How does this particular position help drive results for the company?
Some job seekers are only interested in their own results, i.e. the salary and benefits they can earn from a particular employer. This question shows the hiring manager that you’re different. You’re thinking about the success of the company and want to be a part of it. The interviewer's response will help you better understand how the job—for example, clinical project manager, R&D engineer or research scientist—fits into the organization.
5. Is there anything you’d like me to clarify regarding my skills and experience?
Close with this question and you’ll bring the employer’s focus back to what you can bring to the organization. It will encourage a quick review of your qualifications and previous responses, as well as, provide you with the opportunity to mention any positive points you may have left out in an earlier conversation.
Most employers end an interview by asking, “Do you have any questions for me?” While you may be dying to learn more about salary, benefits, and when a hiring decision will be made, try a few of the questions above instead. You’ll stand out from your competition and increase your chances of securing your next biopharma job.
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