Job Interview Tips

You probably don’t need our science recruitment experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions to tell you that the job market can be an extremely competitive one.

A survey last year reported by Business Insider, pretty much confirmed what so many of those seeking the most attractive and lucrative science jobs already knew when they reported that UK job seekers have to apply for 27 positions on average just to land one interview.

So, if you are fortunate enough to be invited to interview, here are six job interview tips to maximise your chances of success.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Yes, you might have heard this job interview tip often, but it can’t be emphasised often enough. Thorough preparation for an interview is very much the bedrock for success.for success.

As a guideline, most candidates have a tendency to spend just a few hours preparing for their interview, so we would advise you to spend much more time than that. After all, you need to be spellbindingly good to truly impress the recruiter, not just adequate.


  • Get accustomed to 20th-century technology

There are so many examples of cutting-edge (and maybe slightly less than cutting-edge) technology in today’s recruitment landscape that are not exactly going to just go away. Therefore, this is a job interview tip that should be kept in mind for those who do not get along with technology. 

Increasing numbers of companies, for instance, now like to conduct video interviews before meeting with you in person.

So, you should take the time to ensure you are comfortable with whatever technology is used and don’t make any amateurish mistakes that will make a bad impression – such as positioning yourself at an unflattering angle to the camera or neglecting to ensure the lighting and sound are top-notch.  


  • Make sure you have a clear value proposition 

Remember that the interview is ultimately about selling yourself to the recruiter or employer, so you will need to – at the very least – have an extremely clear value proposition to make them truly interested in you.  

To do that, you will need to communicate not only what it is you do, but also who you serve, or who your customers or clients are.

You should also be able to convey what value those customers or clients perceive in your services and what you can offer that isn’t available to those customers or clients anywhere else.  


  • Ask strategic questions

While it’s obviously crucial to provide convincing answers to the questions you are asked, it’s equally important to have interesting questions of your own to ask.

A job interview tip to follow is to ask strategic questions designed to bring you closer to being presented with a job offer, rather than basic tactical questions – such as how to do certain things – that can plant doubt in the mind of the interviewer.


  • Pay attention to your image

Your interviewer is a human being, and like any human being, they tend to remember images rather more easily than words or text. Think back to the last movie you watched – is it the images that you recall most from it, or the actors’ lines?

It’s therefore important to make sure you present the most positive image to the interviewer as soon as you arrive. Are you wearing appropriate clothing? Is your posture good? Are you smiling, or gloomy? 

If you’re struggling for ideas of decent questions to ask, this article from The Guardian on the best 10 questions to ask in job interviews may give you some timely inspiration. 


  • Be oriented towards the future, not the past

It’s all too easy during a job interview to become buried in your past achievements and qualifications. When it comes down to it, what are you going to do for this employer in the coming weeks and months after they take you on?

The future is almost certainly what the recruiter or employer will be mostly thinking about, so it’s what you should be mostly thinking about as a candidate as well.

Would you like to benefit from more advice and guidance like this in your quest for a rewarding new science job? If so, don’t hesitate to familiarise yourself with the HRS Candidate Commitment before getting in touch with our team to learn more about what we have to offer. 
How to Write a Job Description

The most recent Labour Market Outlook report issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) stated that the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels, and this news should lead many science employers to consider whether they really are doing everything they can to inspire and attract candidates.

Your company’s approach to writing job descriptions is one key aspect that you may wish to examine. Writing a good job description is a very important part of any attempt to fill a vacancy, so how does one write a job description that the very best candidates will feel compelled to respond to?

Here are five top tips from the experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions:


1. Be clear and realistic about the role's responsibilities.

The most important part of a job description is the list of day-to-day tasks for which the successful candidate will assume responsibility. Don’t be vague when writing this list, but don’t try to cram too many duties in, either. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 8-12 key areas of responsibility.


2. Use an engaging tone.

Remember that the whole point of a job description - besides outlining the most basic details about the job - is to persuade someone to come and work for your organisation.

A dry and impersonal tone will cause candidates to lose interest before they have even finished reading the description. By placing the emphasis on where your company is going and what you can do for the candidate, you will make your description much more compelling.


3. Avoid discriminatory language.

Even when you don’t specifically intend to discriminate against anyone, the use of certain words and phrases in your job description can have that effect anyway, and this may restrict the range of candidates that apply for your vacancies. Bad news if you're trying to diversify your workforce!

As the GOV.UK website details, employers discriminate against candidates in a number of different ways, so you should take every measure to ensure that your job descriptions don’t prevent suitable candidates from applying for your vacancy.


4. Use terminology that candidates will understand.

Of course, if you’re advertising for a senior role in pharmacology, engineering, another specialised science sector like those that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, using certain industry-specific terms may be a good way to ensure that you only hear from qualified candidates.

However, if certain technologies or practices within your organisation are known by names that outsiders are unlikely to recognise, you could find yourself inadvertently deterring perfectly suitable candidates. Read your job description carefully and do your best to eliminate any confusing or ambiguous jargon.


5. Play it straight with the job title.

Required skills and day-to-day responsibilities should make up the ‘meat’ of your job description, but there are certain other basic elements that all job descriptions need if they are to be truly effective - and you need to get those elements right.

Consider the job title, for example. This definitely isn’t a part of your job description where you should be using any confusing or obscure terms. The job title should be something that all candidates will immediately understand; this will attract more interest, more, and of course more applications.


Are you an employer looking to bolster your science recruitment efforts? If so, visit the Hyper Recruitment Solutions website to find out how we can help you.

The productivity gap between the UK and other developed nations is undoubtedly one of the most troubling issues of our current economy.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has stated that UK workforces are 31% less productive than their US counterparts and 17% less productive than the rest of the G7 countries, despite the number of hours worked by Britons being similar to these other nations.

It is an issue that no organisation launching a science recruitment campaign should ignore - but what are five of the factors that are exerting the greatest influence on staff productivity?

1. Staff attitude

The people who you recruit to your organisation's science jobs need to have the right attitude, but all too often, employees do not enjoy their work and therefore spend more of their time watching the clock or thinking about the money than making a major contribution to their employers' fortunes.

Do your bit to improve employee attitudes by placing them in roles that play to their passions and strengths, in addition to formally recognising their achievements.

2. Ill health

Did you know that during 2014, sickness absence was an average of 2.8% of working time per annum, or 6.5 days per employee, costing employers an average of £16 billion?

Employee ill health is unquestionably a great drain on the productivity of UK workforces, with public sector organisations feeling the worst effects - a median of 3.5% of working time is lost due to sickness time in such organisations, compared to the 2.2% recorded for private sector firms.

3. Technology tools

It isn't just those organisations in more technical fields, such as information systems, that need to keep up to date with the latest technological developments that could benefit their employees' output.

Between 1995 and 2005, the IT revolution was found to be responsible for 0.6% of labour productivity growth and 1% of overall growth in Europe, the US and Japan, so you can rest assured that when your staffers are equipped with the right tools, they will get more done.

4. The 'higher ups'

Are you providing your workers with the supervision that they need to deliver the maximum productivity, not just answering their queries, but also encouraging, motivating and inspiring them, in addition to formally recognising and rewarding their achievements?

Unfortunately, all too many supervisors concentrate on the negative aspects of their employees' performances or don't keep promises to them, thereby eroding the respect that staff members have for them and therefore, their commitment to delivering the best work.

5. Downsizing and outsourcing

It may be tempting to save money by farming out more of your organisation's work to independent professionals or simply downsizing your company, but have you considered the effect that this has on existing staff members' morale?

If your current employees suspect that your firm is on a downward slide, their own focus can suffer as they contemplate their own position within the organisation and potential alternative career opportunities.

One of the most sure-fire employee productivity boosting measures will always be to simply recruit the best-suited individuals in the first place. Your organisation should therefore never underestimate the assistance that a leading science recruitment agency - such as Hyper Recruitment Solutions - can provide in your hunt for the best pharmaceutical, clinical and other science talent. 



If the term ‘research scientist’ sounds quite broad, that’s because it is – indeed, research scientists are active in almost every area of science. Nonetheless, whether you are interested in a career in geosciences, meteorology, pharmacology or something different altogether, it’s helpful to know something about what life as a research scientist generally involves.

Working in a lab is more exciting than it sounds

Before we go any further – yes, life as a research scientist very much lives up to the stereotype of being based almost entirely in a laboratory, although of course, that may be music to your ears rather than something to dread!

In any case, the range of employers of research scientists is extremely diverse, encompassing the likes of government laboratories, utilities providers, environmental agencies, pharmaceuticals companies, public funded research councils and specialist research organisations and consultancies.

Much the same can be said of the many responsibilities – as a research scientist, you could find yourself taking on tasks ranging from the planning and conducting of experiments and recording and analysing data, to the carrying out of fieldwork and the presentation of results to senior or other research staff.

What other aspects of the job do you need to know about?

If you are thinking of aiming for a career as a research scientist, it’s helpful to know what personal qualities and professional qualifications will serve you best in your quest. It should go without saying that research and analytical skills are vital, but you will also need to possess excellent communication and presentation skills and an ability to teach.

As for more formal qualifications, as outlined by the National Careers Service, a 2:1 degree in a relevant science subject is usually expected for entry. In practice, you will almost certainly need a relevant postgraduate qualification as well, such as a PhD or research-based MSc, particularly for permanent roles. Experience of working in a research setting could also aid your search for such science jobs.

Your life as a research scientist, i.e, working patterns, hours and environment will depend on the kind of employer for which you are employed as a research scientist. Those working in a university research department can usually expect a 35-hour, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday working week. If you work in industry, however, there may be a greater expectation that you fit in with shift patterns, such as in the evening, at the weekend or on public holidays.

Research scientists can look forward to good progression opportunities

There’s a good level of scope for career advancement as a research scientist. While salaries start at an average of about £14,000 a year, they can go up to as much as £60,000, such as if you progress from a scientist with research councils and institutes to senior research or laboratory management positions.

Research scientists in academic roles who are more experienced and have published original research often rise to the status of senior research fellow or professor, leading their own teams.

There’s a lot to learn about what life as a research scientist is like, as well as about how we can help you to effectively compete for science jobs. Get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today about the work that we do to assist talented graduates and professionals into rewarding science roles, or explore the National Careers Service’s guides to some of the most exciting related jobs in science and research

The CV has been said to be dying – or at least nearing its end – on more than a few occasions in the past. Just look at reports from the likes of the Daily Mail that candidates are increasingly replacing their CVs with ‘MeVies’ – footage of themselves designed to catch an employer’s eye – or statistics shared by Dr Tim Sparkes for People Management indicating that only one in 10 Millennials provided a digital CV at their last interview

Nor is it a surprise that people might come to such conclusions. After all, we are seemingly living in a more ‘connected’ world than ever. Why do you still need such an outdated or cumbersome thing as a CV, when you can simply text or email a prospective employer, perhaps directing them towards your LinkedIn profile? 

Well, for one thing, many potential employers will still end an online conversation with you by asking you to send them your CV. As much as they might appreciate you telling them everything about yourself that makes you such a great candidate for their vacancy or company, they still usually like to have something simple and concise to glance back at – and nothing fulfils that role quite as well as a CV.

A digital profile isn’t the answer to everything

There are a few other reasons why online profiles and portfolios haven’t completely replaced the CV as yet. For example, while you could theoretically alter your LinkedIn profile to target only the latest vacancy for which you happen to be applying, it would be quite a hassle to have to do so every single time you contacted a company about a role.

A CV, by contrast, can be tweaked and tailored so that at any one time, you can have several alternate versions from which to choose, depending on the latest employer or sector that you are targeting. You can emphasise certain skills and experiences while de-emphasising others, and the prospective employer will still see that same information and layout whenever they look back at it.

By contrast, you can’t control exactly who, and from exactly what industry, is looking over your LinkedIn or other online profile at any one time. That’s not to suggest that your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have its own invaluable role, not least as it is capable of containing information that you might not be able to fit onto a two-page CV.

However, a polished CV remains a crucial part of your armoury when you come to market yourself to employers. This is why, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we furnish our candidates with all of the advice they need to refine and tailor their CV for science jobs.

CVs remain a key part of your wider branding package

It’s impossible to say exactly what will happen to the CV in the years to come – many theories have been proposed about its likely fate, and many new and ongoing trends cited.

What is clear, though, is that right now, the CV continues to play a crucial role in candidates’ dealings with science recruitment agencies and employers. It’s a portable and easy-to-refer-to part of your wider branding package that should also include the likes of online profiles and portfolios and cover letters.

Whether you are looking for a job in biotechnology, pharmacology, the environment or any of a wide range of science sectors, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we will help you to make your own CV as relevant and impactful as possible. Simply contact our team today to learn more

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