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Before and during your interview

by CK Group

That perfect Science job is in your grasp- your final hurdle is your scientific job interview. Here are a few tips to help you ace your interview:

Before your interview:

  • Preparation - The golden rule for success at a scientific interview is preparation. By doing your research you will go into the interview feeling confident and relaxed and will demonstrate to the interviewers that you are really serious about this science job.
  • Plan your arrival - Make sure you know where you are going, how long it will take to get there and who you are going to be interviewed by. It is a good idea to plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start.

During your interview:

  • Look the part - Make sure you look presentable, ideally in a suit or smart outfit, also make sure your shoes and nails are clean and your breath is fresh.
  • Keep your cool - Be yourself and relax. Interviews are stressful enough without getting wound up. Try to relax and you will find that you can think much more clearly and give better answers. If you do start to get nervous just take a slow, deep breath and think calm thoughts. Remember your interviewer may also be nervous and is only human after all.
  • Don't forget to smile - Not only does this make you look more interested in what the interviewer has to say but it will also help you to relax.
  • Eye contact - Try to keep eye contact with the person interviewing, it will make you look more interested in what the interviewer has to say. If you find it difficult to do this, try looking at the interviewer's ear (this may sound strange but it really works).
  • Be confident and enthusiastic - This will show the interviewer that you are serious about the science job. Answering questions:
  • Don't waffle - Try to give concise answers. If you don't understand the question ask them to repeat it or to expand and be more specific. Remember you can't be expected to give a clear answer if you don't understand the question.
  • Structure your answers - For example, if you asked to explain an occasion when you had to work to a strict deadline, structure your answer clearly in the following way: 1) Set the scene by giving the background of the situation 2) Explain how you approached the issue 3) Explain what the outcome was and what your role was in achieving it 4) Explain what you learnt from the experience
  • Prepare your own questions - Try to prepare at least one question to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.
  • Some good examples include: - If am successful at interview, when would you be looking for me to start? - What training is available? If possible, try to avoid questions regarding holiday or pay. Your CK Science Consultant will discuss these with you at a later date.

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