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. People often struggle to think of questions to ask in an interview, particularly when you're put on the spot and haven't prepared.
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.
Luckily for you, we have a variety of questions you should ask in the interview that are bound to make you stand out from the crowd. So, 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 when asking this question in your job interview.
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 - asking this interview question both reflects well on you and is informative in your own understanding of the job.
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 always good practice to read up on the organisation you are seeking to join as much as possible prior to the interview (as well as wising up on the industry rivals and what they are doing). Knowing this information will enable you to ask this informed question in your job interview, thus marking yourself out as having a real interest and understanding of the department, company and wider industry.
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 to ask in a job interview as it allows you to direct 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 all helps you to make a great final impression.
We hope our advice on what questions you can ask in an interview has helped to build your confidence prior to your interview. Join us here at the leading science recruitment agency Hyper Recruitment Solutions, and you can continue to benefit from the highest standard of interview advice.