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There are lots of questions that put you on the spot in an interview, but ‘tell me about a time’ interview questions can be particularly challenging because they’re behavioural questions. This means that the interviewer is trying to gauge how you behave when faced with a particular type of situation.

Some examples of common ‘tell me about a time’ interview questions include:

  • Tell me about a time you were faced with a difficult situation. How did you overcome it?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you learn from it?
  • Tell me about a time you had to work outside of your comfort zone.

There are three easy steps to follow to make sure you provide a well-rounded answer to a ‘tell me about a time when’ interview question. More than likely, you will need to answer this question with a brief story - a story that should loosely follow this format:

  • Explain the context of the story – Explain the difficult situation, mistake or task that you were faced with. This should be highly relevant to the question. You should think carefully about what is and isn’t appropriate to tell the interviewer before you go into the interview.

  • Explain what you did – Your response to the difficult situation, mistake or task is what the interviewer is most interested in. Make sure you have thought carefully about how you word this portion of your answer, and take your time while relaying it in the interview.

  • Explain why you did it – Explaining why you responded in the way you did gives the interviewer an insight into your thought process.

Here's an example:

Question: Tell me about a time when you were behind schedule. Why were you behind schedule, and what did you do to catch up?

Answer: When I was at university, I was behind schedule for one of my assignments because I had been off sick for a week. This meant that I had missed a couple of my lectures and needed to catch up to make sure I knew all the relevant information to complete the assignment.

I decided to spend a few extra hours at the library when I started to feel better - luckily all of the lecture materials I needed were available online. I decided to do this rather than pestering my course mates because I knew they would all be busy getting their own assignments finished!

As a specialist science recruitment company, we at HRS know science industries inside out. If you are looking for employment in a scientific field, use the link below to browse our latest job listings.

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Hyper Recruitment Solutions has been included in the FT 1000 list!

HRS team

We recently learned that Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS) was to be included in this year's FT 1000 list, an annual ranking of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. We are the 42nd fastest-growing UK company in the list, and the highest-ranking company founded by a former BBC Apprentice winner. This is a tremendous honour for us, and testament to the company's ongoing success!


What is the FT 1000?

The FT 1000 is an annually-published list of the thousand fastest-growing companies in Europe. The rankings - compiled by the Financial Times in association with Statista - are based on compound annual growth rate in revenues.

Click here to view this year's FT 1000 list in full.


What does this mean for us?

Ranking among Europe's fastest-growing businesses is, as mentioned above, a great honour for all of us here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, and we'd like to thank all of the candidates and employers who work with us - as well as our hard-working staff in Essex, Manchester and Edinburgh - for making this achievement possible.

There can be no doubt that HRS has become a leading light in the science and technology recruitment industry, and we have established a fantastic reputation for ethical, high-quality service. Our inclusion in the FT 1000 list is just the latest in a number of high-profile awards and honours for Hyper Recruitment Solutions - for example, did you know that we were recently named Best Company to Work for (Up to 50 Employees) at the 10th annual IRP Awards?

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Would you like to join our award-winning team? Visit our Careers page!

Have you been meaning to get your little ones more involved and interested in science? Great – British Science Week is the perfect time to do so! 


British Science Week

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. This incredible week is run by the British Science Association, who are encouraging people of all ages to participate in STEM events and activities.

They are hosting a number of events across the country if you’d like to take your child to one, but you can also get involved with British Science Week at home with the help of their free activity packs. You can view and download the activity packs here:

British Science Week Activity Packs >

If you have your own idea for a STEM event or activity, you can use the British Science Association’s networking platform Science Live to get other people in your area involved. The aim of this week is to get as many people involved in science as possible, so don’t be shy to engage with your community!

We think that this is a great way to get people of all ages involved in science. Hopefully, this celebration will spark an interest that leads to them pursuing careers in science industries too! Will you be doing anything to celebrate British Science Week this year? Why not take our quiz to find out what type of scientist you are?

Take Our Science Quiz >

On the 8th March every year we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day that promotes gender equality & celebrates the achievements of women worldwide. 

Female Scientist

As specialists in science recruitment, we wanted to celebrate women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries this International Women’s Day. It is widely acknowledged that pretty much all STEM careers are saturated with male workers, but in recent years more women have been studying STEM subjects and pursuing STEM careers. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting statistics provided by The STEM Women Organisation:


Number of Women Graduating in STEM Subjects

These figures show that in 2016/17 more women graduated with STEM degrees than they did in the previous year across all core subjects! It truly is amazing to see an increase in the number of women taking an interest in science.

Women & Science in the Media:

One way that women are often inspired to pursue a particular degree or a career is through aspiring to be like other women they see on TV. There are a number of women in the media who, through their work as scientific TV presenters, are really inspiring other women to pursue science careers.

Liz Bonnin

For those of you who haven’t heard of Liz Bonnin, she is a TV presenter who has worked on a number of successful science and nature programmes. She studied biochemistry at university and later completed a masters in Wild Animal biology. In her TV career, Liz has presented over 50 primetime science and nature programmes including the incredibly popular BBC 1 documentary Drowning in Plastic. Liz has travelled the length and breadth of the Earth to pursue her career, and is a true inspiration to women.

Professor Alice Roberts

As an anatomist, biological anthropologist, author, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement in Science and the University of Birmingham, it’s safe to say that Professor Alice Roberts is an amazing role model for women who are interested in science. She has presented a range of science and archaeology TV shows and regularly tours the country to give lectures on her books and television programmes.

Miranda Krestovnikoff

Miranda is not only a biologist, but she is a specialist in natural history and archaeology and she’s a trained diver! This amazingly talented woman has presented a range of television programmes that showcase her extensive knowledge of these subjects, and she has authored two books. She enjoys motivating young people to love and care for nature in the way that she does, and she often visits schools and universities to share her message.

Aren’t these women truly inspirational! We think it’s great that women can use the media to not only promote science and conservation but also to show younger women that science is an increasingly gender inclusive industry. If you’re a woman on the hunt for a science-based job, take a look at the science jobs we have to offer by clicking the button below:

View Science Jobs on HRS >