Interviewing can be a stressful process for anyone. If the interview goes well, you could be changing the trajectory of your career in the life science industry. However, if you say the wrong thing, dress incorrectly or can’t manage to deliver a concise answer, you will be left back at square one. Three of the most important things to do in any job interview are: have proper body language, demonstrate you’re up for a challenge and ask questions. Knowing what to ask can make or break your interview. Asking the right questions can help you to prepare, impress your interviewer and even help you to decide if the job is right for you. Here are some key interview questions to ask before, during and after a job interview.
Questions to ask before your job interview
Great news, you've landed a job interview! In order to be as prepared as possible, you need to find out key pieces of information about the interview. There is nothing worse than going into an interview unprepared, with little knowledge of the company or the interview process. Asking the below questions of your recruiter or the human resources representative will assist you in preparing yourself properly for the interview.
What to ask:
Who will I be meeting with?
Knowing who you will be meeting will help you in many ways. Once you know who you are meeting with, you can do your research. Take a look at their LinkedIn profile and check for any similarities with yourself. Perhaps you attended the same university or support the same charity; this can help to build rapport when you first meet. Doing your research on your interviewers can also help you to form your questions. For example: “I see you have been with Company X for 10 years, why do you love working here?” or “I saw on your LinkedIn profile you graduated with a degree in civil engineering, how did you get into the pharmaceutical industry?"
What is the typical interview process like?
Asking this question provides you with information about what to expect during the interview process. Perhaps you have to take a personality test or prepare a project. Asking about the process can help you to plan accordingly and negotiate with your current position for time off. It also helps to manage your expectations and can help you to prepare further.
What does the ideal candidate look like for this role?
Learning about the ideal candidate will allow you to know whether you are in fact a good fit for this position. If they are looking for someone with completely opposite characteristics, maybe this job is better left for someone else. However, the answer to this question could also help you to shape your answers and approach to the face-to-face interview.
Questions to ask during your job interview
The big day! Your outfit is ready, your resume is printed and your shoes are polished, now all you have to do is get there on time and WOW them! Asking the right questions during the interview is essential. If you are asked “do you have any questions?” whether you are on a pharmaceutical job interview, clinical research job interview, or regulatory affairs job interview, the answer is always the same. YES!
The questions asked during the interview are most important. Try and write down a few before your interview so you are not racking your brain trying to remember them. Make sure to cater your questions to your industry. If you are interviewing for a pharmaceutical job, you will want to adjust your questions accordingly.
What to ask:
What does success look like for someone in this position in 1 year/2 years/5 years etc.?
Asking this question exhibits your desire for success. You want to do well in this role. This question will also reveal whether the company supports and encourages success and how the position may evolve.
What are the opportunities for career growth in this role? / What is the expected career path for someone in this role?
Asking about the career path and growth in a role shows initiative. It also shows you are ambitious and thinking about the future. Additionally, this question gives you insight into your potential future with the company.
What are your expectations of someone in this role 30, 60 or 90 days after being hired?
This questions shows that you want to perform well if you are given this position. It will also give you an example of how the company evaluates employees. Perhaps their expectations are too high for you; if so it is better to know now than after accepting the position.
What are the training opportunities offered for this position?
This is important information to know. First, because it allows you to know how the company takes care of employees. Next, it exhibits how real the growth opportunities at a company are. Companies who grow employees from within through training usually have more concrete career paths.
Questions to ask after your job interview
After the questions have been exchanged, now is your chance to really shine. When the interview is wrapping up, you can ask questions that will give you a better idea of your candidacy.
What to ask:
Do you have any hesitations or doubts with me as a candidate? / Do you have any doubts in my ability to do this job well?
This question packs a punch! Depending on the person interviewing, you will get either a very honest answer or a very ambiguous answer. If there are doubts, this is your opportunity to combat them and attempt to change the interviewer's mind.
What is the next step in the interview process?
Unless you have already been told, this question shows you are interested in moving forward with the position. Everyone likes to feel wanted and your future employer is no different. The answer may also give you some insight into the interviewer’s feelings towards you as a candidate.
A job interview can lead to an amazing opportunity. In order to achieve success, preparation is key. Your questions should be thoughtful and worded in a way that is comfortable and natural for you. Take your time, be concise and relax. You got this!