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!  

virtual interview tips

One of the biggest changes in the world of science recruitment in recent years - indeed, in any recruitment field - has been the rise of the virtual job interview.

Virtual interviews can be defined as "any form of interview that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as email, discussion board, real-time chat or video chat system such as Skype."

While many of the usual principles of how to handle a job interview also apply for a virtual job interview, the latter also comes with certain distinctive challenges - so don't forget the below advice when faced with one. Here are some virtual job interview tips for you to consider:

Get comfortable with the technology

Particularly when you are being interviewed for more technical science jobs, it is important to get the associated technology in order and not appear overawed or intimidated by it - any attempted small-talk about how weird it is to be interviewed 'virtually' is likely to create the wrong impression.

If technical issues do occur - as can happen with even the best preparation - respond in a professional way, asking the interviewer to repeat the question if necessary and politely asking if you can disconnect and reconnect if the problem is persistent.

Also keep signalling acknowledgement - such as by saying "yes" or "hmm" or nodding the head - so that the interviewer is in no doubt that you can hear them.

Project the most professional impression

There are so many issues of professional presentation or lack thereof that can arise in a virtual interview if you do not thoroughly and suitably prepare.

Dress remains as important in a virtual interview as it does in a face-to-face one. Indeed, with one recent study suggesting that simply wearing a suit affects the way you think, it is advisable to dress smartly even for a phone interview.

Other presentation issues that can arise during a virtual job interview include your cat walking into the shot, unmade bedding in the background, harsh lighting or an unflattering camera angle - again, all problems that need to be ironed out in the preparation rather than during the interview itself.

Be sure to adopt the right interview manner

In all of your anxiety to project the desired impression of a competent candidate, it can be easy to forget such apparent basics as actually looking into the camera rather than your image on the screen, keeping a straight posture and being subtle in reference to any notes that you have placed nearby to aid you.

Remember, too, not to over-rehearse - in a virtual interview as much as in a 'real' one, a natural manner can go a long way to making you a more engaging interviewee.

There are so many other important things to keep in mind when being interviewed 'virtually', from choosing a professional username if this is required for any videoconferencing technology you use, to keeping a printout of your CV and other key documentation nearby.

If there's one thing that definitely applies to virtual interviews as much as it does to 'normal' in-person interviews, it is the great importance of preparation - so never underestimate it if you are called to such an interview by a recruitment agency. 

We hope these virtual job interview tips help you but if there is anything else you are unsure of, feel free to contact us today

Become more employable

The beginning of a new year is supposed to see people living up to their resolutions and dropping bad habits in favour of far more productive ones. In reality, of course, most of us end up doing more or less the same things as we did the year before.

But there's no reason for you to be the same! Become more employable and nab one of the best science jobs this year with these 10 tips from Hyper Recruitment Solutions:

1. Revamp your CV

Does your CV quickly make clear why no employer should ignore you? Is it well-structured, readable and free of mistakes? Do you adapt it to each new position that you apply for? Make sure the answer to all three of these questions is a resounding 'yes!'

2. Undertake further training

That molecular biology job you've got your eye on may be more attainable with an additional qualification. Even if you don't need a specific formal qualification to get the role you want, there might be other useful skills that you can learn in order to boost your employability. 

3. Improve your interview technique

Many candidates have a sparkling CV, but can't articulate in person what makes them such a great catch. Avoid this problem by rehearsing answers to common interview questions and developing your lift pitch - this will ensure that you're prepared to really impress your potential employer. 

4. Determine what you are worth

Assess what value you actually have to an employer on the basis of your current skills, attributes and experience. Learn to confidently 'sell' yourself during interviews, and remembering that you're interviewing the employer as well!

5. Brush up on your leadership skills

Great leadership isn't just about managing a team - it's also about being able to manage yourself. Can you work well independently without the need to be micro-managed? Are you able to show initiative when working?

6. Build your online presence

Your profile on the web can both assist and damage your chances with employers, who will often Google the names of candidates before offering them a job. Make sure your own net presence is a help rather than a hindrance - see our social media clean-up tips for assistance.

7. Change your attitude

It's especially easy for those who have been unemployed for a while to think they'll never find another good job. Unfortunately, this lack of confidence does not go unnoticed by employers, and it can therefore become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think positive, and this will come through in your applications and interviews.

8. Show flexibility

You may desire a certain salary and hours, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get it. Keep an open mind: even a less-than-ideal role may turn out to be the perfect stepping stone to your dream job.

9. Request feedback from others

What do your current employers and/or colleagues think of your current performance? Ask them about your best and worst attributes - what are your strengths right now, and in which areas could you improve?

10. Keep busy!

Don't be that jobseeker who simply watches TV all day - you should be searching hard for jobs and other opportunities that will make you more employable. Hunting out that dream role is a full-time job in itself!

If you're looking for a job in science or technology, be sure to register with Hyper Recruitment Solutions to get the latest science job listings and further advice on how to be more employable.

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