36 Biomedical Engineer Interview Questions (With Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 24, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Biomedical engineers analyze and design solutions to biological and medical problems to improve patients' quality of life. Getting a biomedical engineering job typically requires you to pass an interview in which you answer questions about the role. Learning about these questions can help you prepare for and excel in your interview. In this article, we list multiple general, experiential, and in-depth biomedical engineer interview questions and provide sample answers to six of them.
General biomedical engineer interview questions
General biomedical engineer interview questions generally give the interviewer an idea of who you are. The interviewer uses these questions to ask about your passions, hobbies, and weaknesses so that they can understand you beyond your resume. Due to the specialized nature of the biomedical engineering field, the interviewer may also ask you about general aspects of the field to test your knowledge and personalize further questions. The following are general interview questions for a biomedical engineer role:
Who are you and what's your background?
What's biomedical engineering?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Why may we hire you?
Biomedical engineers typically work under a lot of pressure. Do you think you can cope? Can you describe a time you managed pressure well in the past?
What are your career goals?
How do you manage stress?
What do you like to do outside of work?
How often do you update your biology, chemistry, and physics knowledge to stay relevant?
What makes you unique?
Questions about experience and background
Interview questions about your experience and professional background are important because they enable the hiring manager to determine whether you qualify for the job opening. The following are common interview questions related to experience:
Can you tell me about your professional background?
Can you describe a time when you had to assist a non-technical person with a technical issue?
What significant achievements did you make in your last job?
In what ways have you grown your experience or skills in your previous jobs?
What computer programs or software have you used to enhance medical procedures or devices?
Can you describe a time when you collaborated with other professionals to solve a patient's issue?
What's your experience with leading a team?
Do you have any experience conducting research, and do you think you may continue researching in the future?
What major challenges did you face in your last role and how did you handle them?
What makes you a great fit for this role?
Interviewers typically use these questions to test your knowledge about specific details regarding your desired position. These questions enable them to assess your understanding of biomedical engineering concepts and techniques and how to address challenges you may face. Common in-depth interview questions regarding biomedical engineering include the following:
Have you previously encountered a challenge with a medical device you designed? How did you handle it?
What do you think is the future of biomedical engineering?
Have you ever designed a medical device that didn't work? How did you address its issues?
Can you differentiate between DNA fingerprinting and therapeutic cloning?
What do you know about epilepsy?
Describe your daily routine as a biomedical engineer
What are the most common technologies used in medical imaging?
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing this field and how can you overcome it?
Can you explain the difference between gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria?
What do you search for in a new position?
Related: 20 Types of Engineering Careers
6 interview questions for a biomedical engineer interview role with sample answers
The following are six questions and example answers to help you prepare for your biomedical engineer interview:
1. Can you explain MRI technology and how to use it?
MRI is a technique researchers and physicians use to generate detailed images of the organs and tissues in the body. Interviewers may ask you this question to test your understanding of various medical imaging techniques, with a particular focus on MRI. Briefly clarify what it is and how it relates to the role.
Example answer: "MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. Its a useful technique for studying the structure of internal organs and other soft tissues in detail. It uses a strong magnetic field that generates images and models of specified body parts. MRI helps diagnose medical issues involving the brain, spinal cord, heart, and blood vessels. It also integrates efficiently with other imaging techniques, such as X-rays and computed tomography scans."
2. What is therapeutic cloning?
Interviewers typically ask this question if the role contains operational processes about DNA duplication. In your answer, briefly describe therapeutic cloning, its importance, and how it works. Also mention where it's most useful and its underlying principle.
Example answer: "Therapeutic cloning involves duplicating DNA or a portion of a DNA strand. You may also refer to it as somatic cell nuclear transfer. It typically occurs with embryos that contain stem cells, are capable of regenerating, and are pluripotent. Being pluripotent means that they can grow into more than 220 different types of cells in the human body. Cloning is making copies of animals for the medicine and agriculture fields. It helps build populations of endangered species."
3. What is the principle behind DNA fingerprinting and how does it differ from therapeutic cloning?
Biomedical engineer interview questions are typically technical, operational, or behavioural. Technical questions assess your understanding of terminologies, operational questions check your knowledge of processes, and behavioural questions evaluate your attitude under certain circumstances. This question is operational, as it tests your understanding of processes. Highlight in what ways the process of DNA fingerprinting differs from therapeutic cloning.
Example answer: "DNA fingerprinting is a genetic fingerprinting technique that uses DNA sequencing to identify an individual. Its underlying principle is the polymerase chain reaction, which helps to discover similarities between DNA samples and individuals that relate to them. This differs from therapeutic cloning, which replicates human cells. DNA profiles are useful in forensics for solving various crimes."
4. What is a microarray and how do you use it?
Interviewers use this technical question to determine your qualifications, skills, and knowledge of specific areas.
Example answer: " A microarray is an arrangement of DNA sequences in a pattern representing an organism's entire set of genes. They're useful in gene expression profiling, single nucleotide polymorphism detection, directing alternative splicing, and other DNA or genomic studies. Companies may also use microarray chips to perform extensive genetic-related experiments simultaneously."
5. What is a pathogen, and what are the common types and characteristics?
This question is relevant as biomedical engineers are likely to encounter pathogens when performing their duties. Respond with a technical approach by defining what pathogens are and their common characteristics. You can also explain the necessary behaviour and attitude when you encounter them.
Example answer: "Pathogens are organisms that feed on other organisms for food. They generally transmit through various routes, including air, direct or indirect contact, blood, breast milk, sexual contact, or other bodily fluids. Various types of pathogens exist, including viral, bacterial, and fungal. Researchers typically associate them with diseases. Despite their disease-causing nature, pathogens are useful for destroying pets and creating vaccines for the diseases they cause."
6. Can you describe myoelectric control and how to apply it in biomedical engineering?
Specific questions are typically the most important to the job. Answer them by showing that you possess the required knowledge. Myoelectric control relates specifically to the field of artificial limbs. You may prepare for more questions relating to it as your interview progresses.
Example answer: "Myoelectric control involves using signals from a residual limb to control the movement of attached prosthetics. This technology uses electrodes to detect signals from the skin on the limb and transmit them to mechanical devices within a prosthetic. Upon receiving the signals, these mechanical devices move and actuate the prosthetic."
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