By Valeria Quintero, PharmaLogics HR Assistant

Over the past couple of years, the current labor force has seen an ever-growing turnover due to huge changes in people coming back for work, or leaving roles that held them through the pandemic. Some sectors have seen soaring highs and a booming market, while others have encountered lows that are sometimes too low to bounce back from. Life sciences is one of the few industries that has maintained employment growth throughout this time. And in that time, recruiting has become more specialized across companies that are looking to acquire talent for their ever-expanding needs. 

Here is how the interview process can separate you from the other 100+ candidates applying for the same role. 

Interview Do’s 

Life sciences recruiters typically speak to more than 10+ candidates per week, and that’s depending on how many requisitions they have open. As such, we can pretty much tell within the first 10 minutes of speaking with someone if they are going to be qualified or a right fit for the role. Keep in mind that we are choosing qualified candidates to present to project managers, chief of staff, and other senior level leaders, so we need to be certain that a candidate’s skills and background are up to par with the role we are looking to fill. There’s nothing better than getting that great feedback from a leader saying, “We need to hire this person!”. Making a qualified match is just as important to your own career as it is to the organization hiring.

With that said here are some Do’s for your next interview: 

  • Have questions ready at the end. Yes, this is something all recruiters say, but having questions at the end shows not only engagement during the interview, but that you are seriously considering the role. 
  • Research the role beforehand. Have a thorough understanding of what the role you are interviewing for entails. You might be surprised how often this aspect is neglected, and it shows during the interview no matter how wonderful your resume is. Also keep this in mind that if you are referring someone else for a role – are they qualified, and will their actions reflect well on you?
  • Know why you are interviewing for that job. You are changing gears and open to joining a new company, and with that we must know why we should take you on board to join a team that took a considerable amount of effort and time to build. 

Interviewing Don’ts 

While some of the Do’s require some sort of preparation or research, these Don’ts are basic guidelines or overall rule of thumb for any interview. While we are interviewing candidates, we not only look for your skills or qualifications, but also how you elaborate and get those points across. 

  • Don’t swear / use obscene language. I know this sounds like a gimmie, but you wouldn’t believe how many people have used this type of language in answering interview questions. While being comfortable during the interview is appreciated, all a recruiter might be thinking is—if this is how you speak when we first meet, how will you come across to clients, candidates, senior members of staff, etc.? This is not a great first impression to make to a potential employer! 
  • Don’t apply for a job solely because it is remote. When recruiters are hiring for these remote positions, we understand the lure of being able to work from home, but this should not be your primary reason to seek out a role. It can lead recruiters to think you’re more interested in working at home and willing to take any role than joining a new company. 
  • Don’t criticize your current or previous supervisors / managers. We understand this is probably one of the main reasons why you are open to a career change, but we want people that are going to thrive under all circumstances and turn their experiences into a learning opportunity. 
  • Lastly, be honest! You are interviewing us as much as we are interviewing you! If you feel that this is not the right fit or right role after the interview, please let us know. We prefer full disclosure before we make a formal offer to you as opposed to finding out a day before your start date, or even the day after we have taken time to prepare onboarding. We understand it is a commitment and ultimately have the same goal, so please advocate for yourself! 

With candidates being more active in their searches, and more transparent about their overall wants and needs for their next role, the interview process has become more of a partnership than ever before. While preparing for your next life sciences interview, remember to do your research, be your best self, and be a candidate that is hard to turn away! 


About the Author: 

Valeria Quintero recently started her career in Human Resources. Prior to that she was a strong sales professional in retail management for a UK based company, where she gained experience working with talented people and building teams. She received her Masters in Finance while studying abroad at London South Bank University.

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