I’m so glad I found these just before my first phone interview, they really helped me prepare and think about what I wanted out of a position at the company. These are questions for anyone interviewing for a job, in any field, but can definitely be applied to jobs in science and research fields.
A few of my favourites:
“Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.”
The team you work with is extremely important when working in a research team and it can be very difficult if your style of working is totally different from those around you. Are they in the lab after hours everyday? Are they sociable? Does this matter to you?
“Do you offer continuing education and professional training? This is a great positioning question, showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.”
Some places offer tuition reimbursement or will give you time off to study and expand your skills. These are great benefits to be aware of.
“What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.”
This sometimes catches people off guard, which can lead to interesting insights about the company. I asked this during my last interview and it turned out to be the interviewer’s first day! It turns out employee turnover was really high, which didn’t reflect well on employee satisfaction.
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