For both the leading science recruitment agencies and the employers that they serve, relevant work experience isn't a mere 'nice-to-have' on a candidate's CV - it could be the key factor that triggers offers for the most desirable vacancies.

Numerous surveys have served to confirm this down the years, with one such study last year finding that 58% of polled employers rated work experience as "the most popular qualification among those presented." Ranked second was a student's personality, cited by 48% of those quizzed.

But why, for science jobs in fields as wide-ranging as energy, clinical, telecommunications and more, is work experience - and in particular, relevant work experience - so highly valued by employers?

The right experience shows readiness for work

The most compelling reasons to ensure you get plenty of work experience on your CV before sending out your CV for all of those mouth-watering science jobs may also be the most mundane.

The truth is that your studies, as relevant for your specialised intended career as they undoubtedly are, do not - in and of themselves - indicate that you are prepared to walk into an organisation and start making a difference in that prestigious and rewarding role straight away.

You may possess a high level of knowledge in chemistry, immunology or pharmacology, but are you able to be punctual, present yourself well, organise your workday duties and take on a high level of responsibility, including making independent decisions if the circumstances demand it?

You may feel that you can respond with a "yes" to all of these questions, but only a record of past work experience - whether gained on a placement or more informally - will convince many employers that you can do so truthfully.

But work experience isn't just for pleasing an employer...

There's no question that relevant work experience can help to convince an employer that you will be a reliable and productive employee if they do hire you. Candidates with work experience are more likely to be able to work effectively as part of a team, gain a quick grasp of how an employer operates and commit to an employer for a certain period of time - among many other things.

However, you shouldn't merely think of relevant work experience as a way to attract more interviews for science jobs. That's because you should also use such experience to fine-tune your own understanding of the career path that you would like to pursue, as there are certain insights into the day-to-day realities of work in a given science field that only direct experience can bring.

Remember, too, that working in an organisation like that in which you aspire to gain salaried employment in future can be invaluable for building those early contacts that could - directly or indirectly - lead to a job offer. However, such contacts can also be crucial in simply giving you important insights into what truly awaits you if you decide to pursue a given science career path.

For the sake of ensuring that you apply for the right science jobs, as well as better stand out from the competition when you do so, acquiring work experience - the more relevant, the better - will always be strongly recommended by the leading science recruitment agencies like Hyper Recruitment Solutions

  

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 clich├ęd 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.

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 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.

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 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. You also need the right job interview body language, and it can be just as important as what you say.

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. With that in mind, we want to share our interview body language tips with you:

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, but we hope you've found our job interview body language tips useful. 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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