The most recent UK labour market statistics may point to another fall in the number of unemployed people between February and April 2016, but there are still some 1.67 million people out there who are not in work but seeking and available to work. This doesn't count the many who are already in roles but 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, and therefore plenty of people still attending - and often very nervous about - job interviews.

To guide you if you are one of them, here are just some of the questions that you are most likely to be asked at interview, and how to respond to them.

"What attracted you to this job?"

This is one of the most predictable interview questions of all. However, it is also one that requires you to do your research in advance about the employer and then demonstrate this before the interviewer, while tying 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?"

It has become horrendously clichéd to respond to this question by citing a quality that clearly isn't much of a weakness at all, but actually a strength, such as "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 is a required element of many science jobs, as is leadership. This 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.

You should therefore describe such a situation, your role in the group and the overall task being performed. Examples of potentially suitable situations to cite include when you led a group project at university or put on a music or drama production. Not only the result, but also what you learned from the process should be covered in your answer.

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

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

It is, though, advisable to try to keep such ambitious talk within the context of the organisation with which you are seeking a role right now.

There is definitely an art to answering 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.  


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


Whether the role that you have your eye on is in R&D, quality assurance or such a specific field as pharmacology or molecular biology, there's one challenge that you will almost certainly have to face: the job interview.

You might think that a great interview performance in front of a recruitment team is all about what you say, but actually, what you do is hardly any less important.

It's something that a prospective employer will begin to judge as soon as you step into the interview room - that's right, before you even say anything.

Getting your eye contact right

Eye contact with the interviewer is one of the most important things to incorporate into your body language, as it signals that you are interested in and paying attention to them.

However, there's an art to getting eye contact right. Relentlessly fixing your eyes to those of the interviewer right through your exchange may be unsettling or even make you look blank and uninterested.

Instead, go for what body language expert Dr Lillian Glass calls "direct face contact", whereby every two seconds, you look at a different part of the interviewer's face, rotating from their eyes, to their nose, to their lips.

Using your head is important, too

Combining the aforementioned eye and face contact with the occasional nodding of your head further indicates your attentiveness and understanding of what the interviewer is saying.

Such nods can be further complemented with smiling at appropriate moments and laughing when the interviewer does, all of which helps to show your personality.

Try to resist interrupting the interviewer, and when it's your turn to speak, maintain an even and polite tone of voice that is neither overly soft and timid, nor too loud and domineering.

Strike the right pose

Where many candidates for jobs fail in achieving the right body language is not getting their overall body posture right.

There's a big difference, for instance, between the leaning forward that we all naturally do when we are engaged in a conversation, and the slouching that simply makes you look uninterested. To achieve the former, lean only slightly forward, with your chest high but your shoulders back and down.

Again, much of achieving the right overall body language is all about balance. It's a good idea, for instance, to gently mimic the positive body language of your interviewer, such as a subtle nod or posture change.

Matching their handshake works well too, but an overly firm handshake can suggest arrogance, while a weak one may indicate someone who is precisely that.

Body language is an in-depth field that we cannot possibly cover comprehensively here. Nonetheless, these basic rules should help you to improve your interview technique when competing for the most sought-after jobs. 

It's one of the big questions that you will ask yourself during your life: how do I find my dream job?

It's not necessarily as simple a question that it sounds, even for those who already know their interest is in jobs. After all, is your idea of a 'dream job' something that you love and are good at, or is there a specific ambition associated with it, such as a certain lifestyle or salary?

Here are five of our favourite tips for landing your ideal role in 2016.

1. Go on a journey of discovery

What is it that you actually want in a job? What are you passionate about? To what kind of jobs (or indeed, any jobs) do your existing skills and interests best match, and if you are deficient in any area, what do you need to do next?

Assess yourself with career tools like those of the National Careers Service, research particular fields like immunology, chemistry or clinical work, get in touch with experts in your desired sector about how to break into it... there's plenty that you can learn with little more than a computer and an Internet connection.

2. Focus on steady, incremental progress

Many people may have yearned for a job change for years, only to find themselves procrastinating over actually taking the steps to get there.

You don't need to turn your career on its head with a day or week - instead, focus on smaller things, such as attending a relevant event or registering with a recruitment agency, that will help you steadily towards your goal.

3. Don't think only about the money

There's a saying that if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.

It's true in many ways. While you obviously can't completely discount the money element, allowing it to dominate your job search is rarely a reliable way to find your dream job, which is - after all - the whole objective behind this article.

4. Gradually ease into your new career

Unless you are a recent or soon-to-be graduate or have sufficient financial backing to undertake a long unpaid internship in your desired role, and certainly if you already have a steady job, you may be reluctant to make the big jump into a new career.

The good news is that you don't have to - indeed, it may be best for you not to risk everything. Don't feel guilty about keeping your steady existing job for now while taking a part-time course, volunteering or work shadowing to explore your potential career change.

5. Be realistic about what constitutes a 'dream job'

Even the most popular and well-paid jobs have their positive and negative aspects, but at the same time, don't lapse into thinking that literally any job that pays is a 'dream' one.

No job situation is absolutely perfect, but there are definitely roles that will make you feel more rewarded than others.

Keep an open mind, prepare to work hard and contact one of the leading recruitment agencies, Hyper Recruitment Solutions about how we can power your career to new levels of success in 2016!  

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