There's no question that it can be tricky to take the stress out of job interviews. However, one of the most effective ways to do that - whether you are being interviewed for a biotechnology, medical, R&D or indeed any other science role - is to have a few questions to hand yourself.

While a lot of candidates for science jobs realise the value of asking their interviewer some questions, not least in showing initiative and interest in the vacancy, too many simply waste the opportunity by asking obvious questions to fill the time.

If you want to show your seriousness and suitability as a candidate, consider these five questions for your interviewer.

1. "What are the key priorities in the first few months of this job?"

You'll learn something from the answer about the day-to-day challenges and constraints of the role. However, you should also bear in mind that you may be asked in turn for your own ideas of what the key priorities should be - so have an informed answer ready.

2. "What size of team and what other teams would I be working with?"

Not only does this question help to convey your team-player credentials, but it can also glean useful information on the kind of working environment and people that would await you in the role. This enables you to judge whether you would get along well with colleagues and be a good fit for the organisation's culture.

3. "What could I do to contribute to this organisation or department's success?"

This is the question that business owners and your interviewer have probably asked themselves often enough, so hearing it from a candidate creates an instant connection, signifying your seriousness about furthering their deepest wishes for the organisation or department. It communicates your instinctive wish to assist the organisation or department with its aims.

4. "I recently learned from X that Y is happening. What impact will this have on the business?"

It's a good idea regardless to read up on the organisation that you are seeking to join as much as possible prior to the interview, as well as about what industry rivals are doing. This will enable you to ask the above question, marking yourself out as having a real interest in and understanding of the department, company and wider industry - and enter a meaningful conversation as a result.

5. "What are the qualities needed to excel in this role?"

This is a direct appeal to the interviewer to outline once more their most pressing priorities for the vacancy, perhaps allowing you to expand on areas of your own strength as a candidate that weren't touched on during the main interview. It's a great question for directing the conversation, especially if you enquire about the importance of a certain characteristic and the interviewer responds in the affirmative, giving you an opportunity to describe your qualifications in that area in greater detail. 

Ending the interview by thanking the interviewer for their time, reaffirming your suitability for the post and requesting information on the next stages of the selection process helps you to make a great final impression. Join us here at the leading science recruitment agency Hyper Recruitment Solutions, and you can benefit from the highest standard of interview advice. 

Whether you like it or not, when you are gunning for science jobs in almost any field of expertise you could care to mention - ranging from the environment or telecommunications to R&D or regulatory affairs - you can expect to be judged by your appearance at interview.

Indeed, according to one survey of male and female executives, 37% of them had decided against employing a candidate because of how they were dressed. The right interview code, then, really is an important issue, for which we can provide the following tips.

Don't be afraid to be dull

Given that you will want the interviewer to associate you with a high level of competence and suitability for their vacancy rather than that garish tie you were wearing, sometimes, it really does pay to play it safe.

So if you are a male candidate, you may opt for a classic combo of a low-key tie, tailored single-breasted suit, white long sleeved shirt, black socks and black leather shoes. Meanwhile, if you are a woman, the likes of tights, high heels, a long sleeved shirt or blouse and a mid-length black skirt or dress can all help to make a great impression.

Being reassuringly dull, of course, also means specifically avoiding many of the interview dress gaffes that immediately lower employers' perceptions of a candidate, such as jeans and T-shirts in the case of male candidates, and dangling jewellery or low necklines as far as women are concerned.

Echo the style of your prospective employer

For certain roles or departments, however, you may fear being a little too dull in how you dress - at least if you want to convey a more dynamic, high-energy image. If in doubt, simply ask the employer or recruiter in advance for advice on the appropriate dress code for the interview, looking for clues of the employer's in-house style.

Emulating the dress that will be expected in the organisation with which you are seeking to work has the important effect of communicating that you are a 'safe pair of hands' and 'one of them' as soon as the interviewer sees you for the first time.

Maintain basic cleanliness and hygiene

When you are getting your outfit ready, you should also ensure that is clean and free of all of those small blemishes - such as deodorant marks, dog hairs, straining zips or fraying hems - that employers really notice, if not usually comment on, at interview.

Decent grooming and hygiene are also imperative - the great impression made by a brilliant interview outfit can be easily undone by the likes of dirty fingernails, an unkempt beard or bad breath. You should pay close attention to your hair, too, making sure it looks neat but modern, and colouring it fresh for the interview if you usually dye it.  

All accessories, like briefcases and handbags, should also look smart and be in good condition.


It's well-documented that dressing smartly doesn't just help to give employers a more favourable view of your capabilities - it could also elevate your actual performance. That is just one more reason to make sure you refresh your interview wardrobe while searching for the best-paid and most exciting roles with the assistance of a science recruitment agency like Hyper Recruitment Solutions

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