Even though the unemployment rate is falling year by year, there are still some 1.67 million people out there who are not in work but are actively looking for a job. This doesn't count the many people who are currently seeking a career change and interested in the science jobs that we routinely advertise here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

In short, there remain plenty of people out there looking for a new role. Therefore, there are still plenty of people attending - and feeling nervous about - job interviews.

If you are one of those people, here are just some of the most common interview questions and how to respond to them. 

Common Job Interview Questions

  • "What attracted you to this job?"

This is one of the most predictable and common job interview questions. However, it is also one that requires you to do your research about the employer in advance and then demonstrate it at the interview. While detailing your knowledge, you should also try to tie it into the skills and interests that you feel make you suitable for the role.

In the process, you might draw attention to such aspects of the organisation or department that you admire as its stated values or client base.

  • "Can you tell me about yourself?"

You've already detailed your work history on your CV that the interviewer has (or at least should have!) already read, so this really does need to be a summary rather than a rambling soliloquy.

This is a good opportunity to draw attention to particular aspects of your candidacy that you would like the interviewer to remember, and to talk about your personality and ambitions in a way that enables the interviewer to positively envisage you as part of their team.

  • "What are your weaknesses?"

As this is such a common job interview question, it has become horrendously clichéd to respond by citing a quality that clearly isn't much of a weakness at all, but actually a strength. For example, "I work too hard" or "I'm too much of a perfectionist".

However, it may be even worse a strategy to deny that you have weaknesses, given how this can make you appear arrogant or lacking in self-awareness. Instead, cite a genuine weakness - such as insufficient self-confidence or a lack of expertise in a particular area - that you are working to improve.

  • "Describe a situation in which you led a team"

Teamwork and leadership are a required element of many science jobs. This common job interview question is designed to discern your capabilities in planning, organising and guiding other people's work, as well as in motivating those people to perform their duties.

Therefore, you should describe the situation where you led a team, your role in the group and the overall task being performed. Examples of suitable situations to cite include when you led a group project at university or put on a music or drama production. You should cover not only the results, but what you learned from the process too in your answer.

  • "Where do you see yourself in five years' time?"

Many candidates worry about offending the interviewer in their response to this question by saying that they would like to have moved on from the position they are interviewing for in five years. However, this is an acceptable answer in most cases - after all, science employers do like to see determination and ambition in their candidates.

However, it is advisable to try to keep such ambitious talk within the context of the organisation within which you are seeking a role.

There is definitely an art to answering the most common interview questions, one that we can assist you in perfecting as a candidate with our leading science recruitment agency. 

Remember that we also provide plentiful opportunities for those searching for science jobs online in the complete range of fields, from pharmacology and FMCG to bioinformatics and engineering.  


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. People often struggle to think of questions to ask in an interview, particularly when you're put on the spot and haven't prepared. 

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.

Luckily for you, we have a variety of questions you should ask in the interview that are bound to make you stand out from the crowd. So, if you want to show your seriousness and suitability as a candidate, consider these five questions to ask 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 when asking this question in your job interview. 

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 - asking this interview question both reflects well on you and is informative in your own understanding of the job. 

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 always good practice to read up on the organisation you are seeking to join as much as possible prior to the interview (as well as wising up on the industry rivals and what they are doing). Knowing this information will enable you to ask this informed question in your job interview, thus marking yourself out as having a real interest and understanding of the department, company and wider industry.

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 to ask in a job interview as it allows you to direct 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 all helps you to make a great final impression. 

We hope our advice on what questions you can ask in an interview has helped to build your confidence prior to your interview. Join us here at the leading science recruitment agency Hyper Recruitment Solutions, and you can continue to benefit from the highest standard of interview advice. 

Job Interview Dress Code

Whether you like it or not, when you are applying for a science job, you can expect (no matter your field of expertise) to be judged by your appearance at the interview.

Indeed, in a survey of male and female executives, 37% said that they had decided against employing a candidate because of how they were dressed.

Job interview dress code, then, really is an important issue. Here are 3 useful tips to bear in mind when you're dressing for your next interview:

1. Don't be afraid to be dull

First impressions count for a lot, and you want the interviewer to remember you for your high level of competence and suitability for the role, not for the garish tie you were wearing. Sometimes, it really does pay to play it safe.

If you are male, it may be a good idea to opt for this classic combo:

  • Plain, low-key tie
  • Tailored suit (single-breasted)
  • Long-sleeved white shirt
  • Black socks
  • Black leather shoes
For female candidates, the following items of clothing can help to make a great impression:

  • Long-sleeved shirt or blouse
  • Mid-length black skirt or dress
  • Tights
  • Moderately high heels

Being reassuringly dull, of course, also means avoiding many of the interview dress code gaffes that immediately lower an employer's perceptions of a candidate. Steer clear of jeans, T-shirts, dangling jewellery, and overly revealing garments.

2. Echo the style of your prospective employer

For certain roles or departments, however, it is possible to be a little too dull in how you dress. In certain cases, it may be better to convey a dynamic, high-energy image, and sometimes that means dressing a little more casually. 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 style of clothing that you will be expected to wear once you've joined the organisation has the important effect of communicating that you are a 'safe pair of hands' and 'one of us' as soon as the interviewer sees you for the first time.

3. Maintain basic cleanliness and hygiene

When you are getting your outfit ready, you should also ensure that is clean and free of small blemishes such as:

  • Deodorant marks
  • Dog hairs
  • Straining zips
  • Fraying hems
Prospective employers probably won't comment on any of these things during a job interview, but they will notice them, and it may well affect their final hiring decision.

Decent grooming and hygiene are also imperative - a good impression made by shrewd wardrobe choices can easily be undone by dirty fingernails, unkempt facial hair, or bad breath.

You should pay close attention to your hair, too, making sure it looks neat but modern, and colouring it freshly for the interview (if you dye it).

All accessories, like briefcases and handbags, should 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. This is just one more reason to refresh your interview wardrobe when searching for the best-paid and most exciting roles with a science recruitment agency like Hyper Recruitment Solutions/

 

Whether you are an experienced pharmaceutical, R&D or medical professional or instead a recent graduate and relative newcomer to the world of science jobs, in your search for a rewarding role, you may occasionally have reason to use a recruitment agency. Such businesses have a proven record, more than 600,000 people having found new, permanent jobs through them in 2014.

Recruitment agencies have long been powerful allies for candidates, assisting them with a wide range of requirements related to job-seeking. But how can you make the most of the services of a science recruitment agency like Hyper Recruitment Solutions?

What are science recruitment agencies?

Recruitment agencies provide services for both employers and candidates, effectively trying to match the right employer vacancy to the right job-seeker. From a candidate point of view, they can take much of the stress and time out of hunting for the perfect role, not least as in the case of the more sector-specific agencies like our own, they already advertise a range of relevant vacancies.

A recruitment agency helps to ensure that you don't feel like you are on your own in your job search - here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, our services range from advice on specific science sectors and trends to career coaching and guidance on interview styles and preparation.

Choose the right recruitment agency, therefore, and you can be as equipped as possible to not only find the most attractive science jobs being advertised right now, but also succeed at the all-important application and interview stages.

Don't just treat the agency as a go-between!

Whichever agency you choose in your search for science jobs - and none of them should charge you for their services - you should remember that it is their role to find the best candidate for their client employers' vacancies. You should, therefore, aim to impress the agency in much the same way you would an employer.

Nonetheless, good science recruitment agencies know that you will also likely approach them in the knowledge that you are not yet the 'finished article'. You may feel your CV and cover letter need to be 'polished up', for instance, or you may be unsure what level or nature of role you should target.

Take a proactive approach to reap the rewards

It is in an agency's interests to provide its applicants with the highest standard of such services so that the candidates it puts forward to its employer clients for a given role are of a high quality that reflects well on the agency.

You should, therefore, take a proactive approach with your chosen science recruitment agency, keeping hold of your consultant's full contact details and storing them in your mobile and online address books, in addition to providing them with your own full range of contact information.

Naturally, your CV is one of the most crucial elements in your job search strategy, so you should provide the most up-to-date one possible to the recruitment agency, following up with a call to your consultant.

By remaining in regular contact with your consultant and keeping them informed of your latest requirements - including your availability, salary requirements and more - you can further maximise your chances of being looked upon favourably by the agency when it is looking for candidates to put forward for a relevant vacancy.

While even a leading science recruitment agency like Hyper Recruitment Solutions is by no means a 'magic bullet' or substitute for a lack of preparation and hard work on your part, it can certainly be an invaluable partner in your search for the next exciting step in your science career.  


Many of those pursuing science jobs will have been extremely unsurprised by the recent news that almost one in four British workers are actively seeking a career change, with job satisfaction among Brits hitting a two-year low.

But if you are one of them, are you doing the right things to accelerate your progress up the career ladder? Here are five of the best ways of ensuring exactly that.


1. Have a definite career plan

It's staggering to think of how many people seem to have merely 'slipped' into their present career with no definite plan. Of course, you don't have to be certain about everything if you want to get ahead, but it's nonetheless advisable to have constructive goals of both short term and long term nature and periodically review your progress against a predetermined timescale.


2. Build your network

The old saying that 'it's not what you know, it's who you know' has more than a semblance of truth. It's why, whether you are seeking science jobs of a clinical, FMCG, medical or completely different nature, you should keep attending all of the relevant industry events and refining your social media presence - for which you may be interested in perusing our guide to using LinkedIn. 


3. Investigate variations on your existing career path 

You may be qualified for a wider range of science jobs than you may think - or if you aren't, you may be only another course or contact away from an interesting new path. Be willing to relocate or accept a pay cut for a certain period of time if it offers better long-term prospects.


4. Keep a running file of achievements

If it can be done in a way that doesn't come across as overly pushy, it can be helpful to embed examples of your competence in your boss's mind. You may, for example, send them an email each week outlining everything extra you did during the last seven days over your basic responsibilities. Or why not forward them a note with every instance of positive feedback from a client, perhaps reminding them how thankful you are to have secured this client and how valuable they are for the organisation?


5. Demonstrate your leadership potential

Employers love to see workers who show confidence and initiative above the norm - in short, who demonstrate through their present role that they have the potential to take on greater responsibility in a more senior, management position. Great leaders consistently demonstrate that they can make decisions, accept the consequences of their actions and set a good example, all of which are likely to make you a strong candidate for future promotion within your present company.

In today's extremely competitive job market, every step that you can take to maximise your employability makes a difference. One other such step could be engaging a science recruitment agency to assist you in landing your rewarding next role in chemistry, molecular biology, immunology or another in-demand science field.

Simply contact Hyper Recruitment Solutions now for the most tailored help in working up the science career ladder.   

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