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How to... prepare for interviews

You've done the hard work — you have the qualifications and you've landed an interview. Next comes the step most candidates fret about – the interview. In this guide, the scientists at CY Partners provide steps, reminders and pointers you can use to execute the perfect interview and score your dream job in biomedical science.

How to prepare for interviews

Step 1: Plan ahead

Preparation is the key to success. Set out what you are wearing, familiarise yourself with the location and decide how you will introduce yourself. Practise the interview scenario in your head and prepare answers to interview questions such as:
Tell me about yourself, and Why do you want this job?

Refer to your CV to see what you could use to your advantage — highlight qualities and skills that you have which fit the job criteria. Interviewers love to see that you have prepared well and it will be noted positively. 

When you are planning for a competency-based interview, the questions will be more specific. 

Be prepared to answer in-depth questions based on your past experiences. We have provided prompts that will help you answer these questions thoughtfully and thoroughly:

  • Accomplishments that you are most proud of
  • Situations you feel you have handled particularly well
  • Ways in which you have contributed to the success of the business as a whole.

If the interviewer asks about your skills in the workplace, consider using the STAR method:
S – situation: What was the situation in which you found yourself?
T – task: What was the specific task that you had to achieve?
A – action: What action did you take?
R – result: What was the outcome of your action?


Step 2: Relax 

Don’t rush through your interview. Take your time to deliver the answers and information you’ve prepared for – remember, an interview is not an interrogation. You need to know about the job, the company and their expectations, but don’t be afraid to ask your own questions. Example questions could be:

What opportunities are there for your career progression, promotion or travel?

What is the company’s corporate social responsibility policy?

Accepting a job is a big commitment, so be sure that it is the correct position and employer for you.


Step 3: Finish on a positive note

It’s all well and good if you make a good first impression and present yourself as a confident, relaxed candidate during your interview. But be sure to finish your interview on a strong note and leave your interviewers with a positive impression — clarify exactly what the next steps are:

Will they get back to you? If so, when? 

Is it OK to follow up if you don’t hear anything from them? 

Don’t leave the interview in a rush. Take the time to shake hands, thank them for their time and say goodbye properly. To follow up, it is smart to contact the interviewers the next day to thank them for their time and the opportunity. Manners cost nothing and will leave a good impression, but as a reminder, interviewers will not want to get drawn into conversations with individual job candidates after interviews.


Step 4: Take the results in your stride

If you are not successful and don’t get the job, first things first: take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world. Treat the situation as a valuable learning experience and take full advantage of any feedback the interviewers offer. Even if they did not select you, their advice is invaluable and may just make the difference in your next interview. Don’t forget to thank them for the opportunity – you never know what opportunities may lie within that company in the future. Your interview could open doors to so many opportunities.

If you do get the job… well done! Now it’s time to embrace the challenge and make your mark.   

CY Partners We are an independent recruiting consultancy focusing in the bioscience, pharmaceuticals and medical device fields. From entry-level to senior executive positions, we know how to find the right fit for you. Working closely with our clients, ranging from small entrepreneurial life science companies to large global corporations, we aim to increase performance by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their recruitment processes. We use our wealth of industry-based experience, knowledge in the field and expertise to help our job seekers evaluate their career options, identify suitable positions and support them through the application process. 

0191 477 4733 / info@cypartners.co.uk / cypartners.co.uk


Top tips from the CY Partners team  

“Stay positive. Take everything with good grace and be open to new opportunities that the interviewer may provide you with.”
Tom Kirkpatrick, pharmaceuticals

“Remember, an interview has two sides. You are finding out if you like the company as well as the company finding out if you are the right person for the job.”
Anna Hastie, life sciences

“Make sure to contact the interviewers to thank them and get post-interview feedback – interviewers want to see candidates showing interest before they give their feedback.”
Jack Rowan, QA/QC

“Know your CV inside and out – be prepared to be asked about anything and everything.”
Graham Hankinson, chemistry

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