How to prepare for a Job Interview

Now that you've been offered a job interview, it's time to buckle down and prepare for what's ahead.

Many people think they don't need to prepare for a job interview. It's tempting to believe that your qualifications alone will be enough to get you the job, or that the interview is just a way for the employer to get to know you. Though both of these statements are true to an extent, they are certainly not the whole story.

We at Hyper Recruitment Solutions have helped countless candidates to secure their dream jobs, so today we're going to share some of our best tips on how to prepare for a job interview.

The following tips should stand you in very good stead when the time comes to sit down with your potential employer.

Research the company

Researching your potential employer is one of the most important steps when preparing for a job interview. Hopefully, if you've applied for the job, you already know a little bit about the company anyway; nevertheless, read through the company's website, find out what they do, what their values are, their past projects, their future ambitions, and so forth.

The most important things to take note of are as follows:

  • How long has the company been around?
  • How did they get to where they are?
  • Who do they work with?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their company values?
  • What do you like about the company?
This information will also help you to make sure that this is the company you want to be working for.

Google yourself

In much the same way as you've been researching the company, your potential employer will most likely conduct their own research on you. So try to think like the employer. What's the first thing they'll do when they want to find out more about a potential candidate? That's right: Google them!

Google your name and check what comes up. If your Facebook profile shows up, complete with lots of photos from drunken nights out, be sure to check your account's privacy settings. If some unsavoury images of you appear in Google Images, be sure to delete those pictures from the place where you uploaded them.

Likewise, be sure to delete any controversial posts that may have seemed like a funny joke at the time, but could potentially breach company policy if associated with you. You don't want your potential employer to get the wrong opinion of you!

Prepare for the interview questions

Most job interviews come with a standard set of questions. You know the ones: 'what are your weaknesses?', 'where do you see yourself in five years?', 'provide an example of when you lead a team'. A good way to prepare for a job interview is to write out your answers to these questions and revise. If you don't know the standard questions, you should read our blog post about common job interview questions.

A good tip when preparing for these questions is to try and think of unique answers. Your potential employer will most likely ask every candidate these questions, and may therefore have heard many of the same answers over and over again. Think hard about these questions and try to provide an answer that provides your interviewer with an insight into who you are (rather than just another cliché that tells them next to nothing).

Dress sharp

We are often told to not judge a book by its cover, but interviewers only have a limited time with each candidate, and first impressions are incredibly important.

Dressing smart for your job interview not only shows your potential employer that you really care about this job, it can also give you a confidence boost. If you feel like you suit the part and look good, you will feel more at ease during your interview. Confidence is an attractive quality in a situation that usually incites nerves, so prepare for your job interview by making yourself feel more confident.

For more advice on this front, read our blog post about what to wear to a job interview.

Prepare your journey

Our final tip on how to prepare for your job interview is to be on time (early, if possible!) to your interview. If you are late, this is a clear indicator to your potential employer that you don't care enough about the job that's up for grabs.

Plan ahead and prepare your journey. If the company is based somewhere that's not local to you, check your travel times and the traffic rigorously prior to the interview. If you think you may be late, be sure to call ahead and let them know why you will be late. After all, a traffic jam can be forgiven as long as you handle it professionally and reasonably.

Good luck! We hope our tips on how to prepare for a job interview have helped you. If you're still looking for your dream job, you can browse the latest science and technology jobs here.

Job interview questions and answers

So you've secured a job interview - congrats! The next step is to start preparing for the interview questions that you might be asked.

As you may already know, there are a number of typical questions and answers that come up at every interview. Today we're going to look at what these could be and the best way to answer them.

'Tell me about yourself.'

While this may seem like the easiest interview question to answer, if you're caught off-guard it can actually be one of the most difficult. What exactly do employers want to hear when they ask this question? Is it your academic history, your ambitions, your reasons for applying?

A little bit of each topic is perhaps the best way to answer this interview question. Be sure to detail previous academic history, ambitions, and reasons for applying that make you a great fit for the job. Make sure you don't ramble, though, and make sure all of the information is relevant. The employer is trying to understand who you are as a person and how you would fit into the company.

'Why should we hire you?'

You'll find that you get asked this question in most job interviews, so it's an important one to prepare an answer for. Though it may seem like a rather difficult question to answer, the employer is actually just trying to see how you have thought of yourself in relation to the company.

It's valuable to know how your skills suit the job role, but remember, the employer wants to know how you fit into their company specifically. So when it comes to answering this question, be sure to include details of how your skills suit the job role and how you, personally, suit the company.

This interview question gives you a great opportunity to stand out, so make sure your answer is both memorable and concise. For further advice and information on how to best answer this question, read our blog here.

'What do you know about this company?'

This may seem like a bit of a vain interview question from the company's side, but yet again, it's a very important part of many job interviews. Most companies are proud of their history, culture, and ambitions, and they will want to know you value the same things.

To prepare for this interview question, be sure to do extensive research on the company. Look up important things like:

  • When they started
  • Their biggest projects to date
  • Research they've conducted (if applicable)
  • The company's values and brand identity
Not only will these things help you to answer the question, they'll also help you decide if this is actually a job you want.

'Why did you leave your last job?'

This, understandably, is a very common interview question. Most employers want to know what led to you leaving your last company as it will help them to understand what you look for in a job. Honesty is always the best policy, but if (for instance) you had to resign from your last job because you had a falling out with your boss, be tactful about how you word this.

Here's an example: instead of saying 'I left because I hated my last manager', you could say 'I left my job because the company culture didn't feel like a good fit for me'. It's best to always be reasonably respectful of your previous company - you don't want the interviewer to think you'll end up bad-mouthing their company down the line.

'What's your greatest achievement?'

Compared to some of the other questions we've covered today, this is a much nicer one to prepare for. The best way to prepare for this question is to think back through all the things you're proud of. It's best to think of professional achievements, but you can use more general life events too as long as they reflect your suitability for the job.

You can use any awards you've won, successes with clients, big breakthroughs, or even the grade you received at university. You could even use the birth of your child or your marriage if you think this is relevant to the role; for example, if becoming a parent has made you more conscientious, or planning your wedding made you more organised, these are unique answers that will stand out in an employer's mind.

We hope these common interview questions and answers have helped you prepare for your upcoming interview! If you're still looking for jobs, click here to browse the latest science jobs from HRS.

"Why should we hire you?" is as common a question on the lips of science recruitment professionals as it is among hiring teams in any other sector, and it takes forms that can easily catch out the ill-prepared interviewee. You may be asked what makes you the right fit for the position, why you are the best candidate for the vacancy or what you would bring to the job. Before you go for the interview you need to ask yourself, "why should you hire me?", and come up with an answer. 

Follow these simple steps to ensure you are properly prepared to answer any employer who asks "why should we hire you":

Be employer-focused

One of the first things that any applicant must realise about this question is that they really must answer it from the employer's perspective. It can be easy to effectively only answer why you would like the job - for example, because you have always had an interest in biochemistry or R&D, need the money or would like to move to wherever the role is based. These are not answers to the question of why the employer should hire you.

The frank truth is that a hiring manager does not really care about the benefits to you of getting the job. They're much more concerned about the risk to their position if they make a poor choice of employment, such as someone who leaves the organisation prematurely or does not fit in well with their colleagues or the company philosophy.


They are certainly interested in your ability to do the job to an exceptional standard, get on well with your colleagues and bring skills and experiences that make you stand out from the other candidates.

The information that you must give

Therefore, by setting out an answer that clearly details such factors as your industry experience, relevant past accomplishments, soft skills, technical skills, education/training and/or awards/certifications, you are making the hiring manager's professional life much easier.

When you communicate memorably and confidently that you possess these traits that answer the employer's pain points, whether their field is chemistry, molecular biology, immunology or something completely different, they will be more confident to trust you with the role.

But remember...

With this being only one of the potentially many interview questions, not all of the above parameters necessarily need to be included in your answer. This question is a golden opportunity to sell yourself for your dream clinical, biochemistry or pharmacology role. However, such 'selling' is generally best done with just three or four powerful points - backed up with easy-to-remember descriptions and/or examples - than with a quickly rifled-off list of 12 strengths that you are unable to explain further.

The employer should be left in no doubt as to your unique combination of relevant experience and skills. "Why should we hire you?" will not be your only opportunity during the interview to make that clear - which is all the more reason to provide well-selected highlights rather than the full catalogue of your credentials.

However, it is so often a memorably convincing answer to this or any number of the aforementioned similar questions that separates those who secure sought-after science jobs from those who don't. Good luck!


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