Common Biotech Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 14, 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.

When you're applying for a biotech role, you might get invited to interview if your application impresses the hiring manager. Hiring managers ask specific questions to select the best candidate for the job. Understanding what preparing for a biotech interview entails can help you answer any of the hiring manager's questions confidently and increase your chances of getting hired. In this article, we provide general, experience, and in-depth biotech interview questions you may get asked, review some additional interview questions and sample answers, and explain helpful tips to answer the questions appropriately.

General biotech interview questions

General biotech interview questions are vital because they give the hiring manager an insight into who you are as a candidate. The CEO or chairperson of a biotech company may be among the interviewers, so answering general questions well can help you distinguish yourself from other candidates. These general questions can help determine your culture fit with the existing employees of the company, regardless of their roles. Here's a list of potential interview questions so you can prepare for speaking to a hiring manager:

  • Why do you want to work at this biotech company?

  • How do you forward complaints to a superior team member?

  • In three sentences, what would you say is your biggest strength?

  • In three sentences, what would you say is your biggest weakness?

  • What are the most important lessons you've learned from your previous work experience?

  • How many years of relevant experience do you have?

  • What's the most challenging part about working in the biotech industry?

  • What makes you qualified for this position?

  • What do you believe is the current biggest problem in the biotech industry?

  • How do you stay updated in this constantly evolving industry?

Related: Ten Types of Interview Questions You Can Expect

Questions about experience and background

Because a biotechnologist requires experience working with living organisms on a molecular level, a hiring manager may ask you about the responsibilities you may have had in your previous positions. Here are a few sample questions that an interviewer may ask so they can assess your experience:

  • Tell us about a time when a cell, tissue, or organism you were studying showed irregular behaviour? What did you do and what was the result?

  • How do you design and implement studies?

  • Can you set up laboratory experiments?

  • How well do you work with lab technicians?

  • Can you analyze the results of a lab experiment that you didn't perform?

  • Have you contributed to the creation of a human life improvement product?

  • Describe one of your greatest accomplishments.

  • Have you ever had to create a policy? Tell us about it.

  • Tell us more about your experience as a biotechnologist.

  • Have you ever been in charge of a laboratory budget?

Related: Common Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

In-depth questions

You may answer a few in-depth questions from interviewers because they want a better understanding of your experience with handling conflict. The hiring manager may also ask such questions to assess how you manage crisis situations and if you may be a positive influence on new employees. Some of the questions can be situational questions and your answer can help the interviewer assess your ability to succeed at the company. Here's a list of in-depth questions you may answer during your interview:

  • How do you handle a crisis at work?

  • Do you take work home with you?

  • How do you make sure you maintain a work-life balance?

  • Can you work efficiently as part of a team?

  • Have you ever been in conflict with a team member?

  • How do you grow and develop in a team?

  • What do you think is the best way to improve efficiency in the laboratory?

  • Describe a time when clinical research impacted the development of one of your projects.

  • Describe a time when regulations created a challenge in one of your projects. Were you able to find a solution to this problem?

  • Tell me about a project that involved multiple stakeholders.

Related: 10 Tough Interview Questions and Answers

Biotech interview questions with sample answers

Hiring managers may ask questions from different ranges during your biotech interview. Here are a few examples of biotech interview questions with sample answers:

Why did you choose to start a career in biochemistry?

When hiring managers ask this question, they want to know how interested you are in the position and discover your motivation. Your answer to the question can help them understand how much you value the position. When you answer this question, highlight the features of the job that interests you.

Example: "I find science interesting, and I've developed a natural passion for engaging in science-related activities. Immediately after I finished high school, I had three options to select a major course. I picked biochemistry because I love the idea of engaging in observational and clinical trials to analyze the effect medications can have on people. I chose the course because I'm naturally very observant, and observation skills are crucial for efficiency. I also feel that I can make a worthwhile contribution to creating solutions for medical issues."

Related: 19 Common Interview Questions and Answers

Do you prefer working in a team or individually?

Hiring managers ask this question to examine whether you prefer working alone or if you're comfortable collaborating with team members. When hiring managers want to fill a vacancy, they may select candidates who collaborate effectively with the current team members. Working in a biotech company usually requires teamwork, so you can answer the question using this knowledge.

Example: "While working in my previous job, I undertook most of my responsibilities as a team member. I've learned to collaborate with professionals to achieve a common goal. When working in a team, I can share my observations with my team members to help increase efficiency. I prefer working as a member of a team, and I'm confident I can work effectively in your company, as I believe you are team orientated."

Related: How to Answer "What's Your Management Style?" in an Interview

What do you think is the best leadership style?

The hiring manager may ask this question to confirm if you can function effectively with the company's leadership style. If your answer to this question matches the company's leadership style, the hiring manager may be confident that you're the best candidate for the position. You may try to convince the hiring manager you can work under any managerial style and still maintain high productivity.

Example: "In my previous job position, my team leader used the affiliative leadership style to manage the team's operations. Because of the independence of team members of an affiliative team leader, I have learned to complete my task at my pace. My previous team leader was confident in my professional skills, which helped me develop because I was accountable for my responsibilities. While I believe the affiliative leadership style is the best, I'm confident I can function effectively under any leadership style."

Related: What Does a Biotechnician Do? Plus Skills and How to Become

Tips for answering your biotech interview questions

Here are a few tips that you can use to help you prepare for an interview:

  • Use practical communication skills. During your biotech interview, ensure that you're proactive in your communication. Listen carefully to each question, ask for clarifications, and use the right tone to give a suitable answer.

  • Ask for tips. If you have friends currently working in the company, you can ask them for advice on what to expect in the interview. You can also examine the e-mails from the hiring manager to discover areas you may want to concentrate on during the interview.

  • Be polite. When you arrive at the company for the interview, ensure that you're friendly and courteous to everyone who you engage in a conversation. Extend a greeting or exchange pleasantries with individuals you meet.

  • Control your body language. Hiring managers may also pay attention to your body language during an interview. You can assume a comfortable sitting posture and try to use gestures that portray you as prepared or confident.

Related: Getting a Biotechnologist Career (Advantages and Examples)

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