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Illumina Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Wellness     Pharmaceuticals And Biotechnology    
Question 1 of 29
If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to get to know you and your particular interests. If you had zero limitations, what area within pharmaceuticals would you focus on? Be sure to show your passion for your career path and tie your answer into an area of focus related to Illumina Inc..
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Answer Examples
1.
If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?
The interviewer would like to get to know you and your particular interests. If you had zero limitations, what area within pharmaceuticals would you focus on? Be sure to show your passion for your career path and tie your answer into an area of focus related to Illumina Inc..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"At Illumina Inc. I know that one of your primary focus' is on XYZ. This particular focus is one of the reasons why I applied to work here; because the study of XYZ is a particular passion of mine."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"We have so many options when it comes to research topics. If I had to choose just one area of research, I would choose to research autism, and the spectrum, in full. My little brother received an autism diagnosis recently, and I have the drive to learn more about it."
2.
Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?
Some upper-level positions within Illumina Inc. may require a higher level of education. Assure the interviewer that you would be willing to discuss enhancing your knowledge to grow within the organization eventually.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have considered furthering my education to include a Ph.D. It would need to be in tandem with full-time employment, but I would certainly consider achieving this goal through evening and weekend coursework."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Oh yes! I am a big believer in higher education. These days, to be a stand-out candidate or employee, I think that having a Ph.D. is best."
3.
In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
This answer may seem obvious to you because enjoying your time with coworkers is sometimes the best part of the job! If you aren't a naturally social person, this question may seem more challenging to answer.

Talk to the interviewer about how you develop relationships with coworkers when you start a new job. Think about what is important to you about these relationships. Do your co-workers motivate you when you feel overworked? Do your coworkers give you a reason to show up to work when your boss has been giving you a hard time?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I value my relationships with my coworkers because we support each other and make each other laugh when the work environment becomes intense. I have a coworker that I eat lunch with every day. We've helped each other out by simply listening to what's going on in each other's lives. It's nice to have colleagues who understand you on a personal level."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"To accomplish anything in a job, you need your team members. Your team members are who you rely on to get a project done. You will often call them in when you need advice, or to help pick up the slack when you're in a pinch. If you don't have a good rapport with your co-workers, it can limit your ability to be great at your job."
4.
What industry related changes do you foresee in the next 12 months?
Assure the interviewer that you have a keen and honest interest in this industry by discussing the growth and change that you foresee in this next year. If the organization itself has any upcoming news or changes, be sure to mention these as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I read on your website that Illumina Inc. is expected to see a 43% increase in the sales of product ABC. This fact piqued my interest as I have seen reports that forecast a strong increase in the use of product ABC for alternative medical therapies. There are continual changes in this industry, but I see this particular one being very significant in the upcoming months."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was recently reading an article by Q1 Productions that addressed this exact topic. They mentioned in the article that 2018 is going to be a great year for the pharma industry due to the economic upturn. The thought is that this will increase stock prices; thus, allowing pharma companies to grow their offerings, expand operations, and further their research and reach. It's an exciting thought!"
5.
By this time in your career, you should have advanced further, what has slowed down your career progression?
When an interviewer sees slow career progression on your resume, they will immediately want to determine whether this is by your own choice, any outside circumstances, or if you are not motivated to create growth. If your career has progressed slower than you wish, you must be honest with the interviewer when discussing this.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I agree with you that my career progression has been slower than some. You will see that between 2001 - 2009 I worked for the same company without an increase in my job title. The company was too small to offer a promotion to me as the next level was ownership and the business wasn't for sale. After this, from 2009-2012 I was on leave as I needed to care for my ailing parents. The growth since returning to work has been steady but those years were a bit of a standstill for me. I am ready to spring into action now, and forge ahead in my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Early in my career, I was left to care for an elderly, sick parent. Her care required more of me than expected, so I allowed my career to sit and wait. I am happy with that decision. Spending those last precious moments with a loved one is worth the setback."
6.
Describe to me your ideal employer.
A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel as though this is a good fit for yourself. Tell the interviewer what your ideal employer may be. Be specific and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My ideal employer is one that brings charisma and passion to their work. I work best with organizations who have a penchant for learning and promote their employees based on performance."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am looking to join an organization where I continued learning is encouraged. It's important to me, as I carve out my career, to learn new skills under an organization that wants me to grow with them."
7.
What are your strengths?
Which personal advantages make you excellent at your job? Strengths can be skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks.

In a work context, your strengths will help you to complete your to-do list, understand client needs, and help you to apply what you have learned in your training. Talk to the interviewer about a couple of your strengths and why those will help you to be successful in this role.

Some great strengths to mention are:

- Communicative
- Loyal
- Collaborative
- Tech Savvy
- Flexible in Schedule/Availability
- Persistent and Determined
- Eager for Knowledge/New Skills

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think my strengths are in my perceptiveness and ability to be observant of the needs of others. These strengths are part of what makes me an excellent performer in a client facing role."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am not sure what others would pick, but I feel that my strengths are my dedication, determination, and ability to build long-lasting and trusting professional relationships."
8.
How do you define success?
What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see success and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to this particular position, should you be offered the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Success, to me, is achieved when I am pleased with the quality of my work and feel proud to submit it."
9.
Why did you choose a career in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
The interviewer would like to know what drew you into a career within their industry. Show the hiring manager that you have a natural attraction to this particular industry and that you're here to stay.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I chose a career in Pharma/Biotech because I have always had an attraction to the study of medicine, and science, and the correlation between them. It's an ever-changing industry which never becomes dull."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The drive behind my choosing a career in Biotechnology was because I love science and helping others. With these two drivers combined, I knew it would be a career choice that I would be happy with for years to come."
Anonymous Answer
"The drive behind my choosing a career in Biotechnology was because I love science and technology. I wish to contribute my knowledge of and experience in machine learning area to scientific discoveries and human health."
Rachelle's Answer
Very nice answer! I have reworded it just slightly, for the sake of clarity and grammar.
"The drive behind my choosing a career in Biotechnology is my love for science and technology. I wish to contribute my knowledge, experience, and interest in machine learning, to further scientific discoveries related to human health."
Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
10.
List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for Illumina.
After researching Illumina Inc. you should have a firm idea of the qualities they admire most in their candidates. Discuss the attributes that will help you to stand out as a top candidate.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that this role requires stand-out skills in organization, leadership, and an energetic demeanor. I would say that these are 3 of my top skills, and I have many others! My references would attest to these skills as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some qualities that make you a great candidate for any company:

- A robust existing network in the industry
- A great reputation
- Leadership capabilities and experience
- Integrity and likability
- Strong minded
- Thirst for knowledge"
11.
How many years have you worked in the Pharma/Biotech industry? What keeps you interested in our line of work?
Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your work history, highlighting the most relevant positions and skills. Talk to the interviewer about your desire to work for Illumina Inc. long term.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked within Pharma/Biotech for the past 15 years. I started in a lab assistant role and am now at the supervisory level with my current company. I stay in this industry because the opportunities are endless. I would be thrilled to continue my career growth in this industry with Illumina Inc.."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am new to the Pharmaceuticals industry and recently graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Science. I plan to remain in this industry for the entire length of my career. At this point, starting in this apprenticeship role and then, moving forward into a role further focused on the development of new treatments."
12.
How do you stay informed on changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
The Pharma/Biotech industry is fast moving with changes and developments happening all the time. Assure the interviewer that you are engaged when it comes to industry related changes.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I follow multiple medical journals and blogs related to changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry. My favorite is wiley.com which is a strong source for updates in a variety of related medical studies."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have set up some industry related google alerts, and I also subscribe to Pharma Forum, Science Direct, and Medical Futurist, online. I am always looking for new opportunities to learn so if you have recommendations, I am happy to hear them!"
13.
This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.
Your post-secondary career is significant when it comes to displaying your ability to complete a degree, multitask, and apply yourself. Walk the interviewer through your post-secondary experience making sure to highlight any recognition or awards you may have achieved.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Tampa College of Natural and Health Sciences. I graduated with Honours which was an especially proud moment for me since I had also been working part-time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recently graduated from the University of Georgia with my Degree in Pharmaceutical Science. With this degree, I look forward to joining Illumina Inc. and carving out a great career with you. When the timing is right, I do plan to return to school to obtain my Master's Degree in a science-based field. This extension of learning, of course, would be in tandem with my full-time job."
14.
If you could choose any special area of focus with Illumina, which would you choose?
Working for Illumina Inc. could open a variety of career options for you. If you had your choice when it comes to a career path, which career do you think you would choose? Talk to the interviewer about where you'd like to see your career path go with Illumina Inc..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently working as a Clinical Research Assistant and would like to eventually grow into a Principal Scientist role, or something of the like, with Illumina Inc.. My primary goal is to find a long-term home where I can continue to expand my knowledge in the area of (choose an area of study)."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"That is a challenging question when there are so many interesting options at my fingertips. If I had to choose just one area of specialty today, I would choose a topic within animal science. I am passionate about the health of animals."
15.
In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Biotechnology in the past 3 years?
The term 'biotechnology' refers to the use of cells and molecules to create a product within medicine, genetic testing, or even agriculture. What do you foresee as the most significant development that has happened in the past few years?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There have been so many developments in biotechnology the past three years, but I do feel that the biggest was the development in gene editing. It's an incredibly controversial and intriguing practice."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"There is a multitude of biotech developments from which to choose! I was recently reading about these new methods of manipulating human cells to beat a range of diseases. According to Fortune Magazine, Chinese scientists have launched the first CRISPR gene-editing trial for the treatment of cancer. It's all pretty incredible, isn't it?"
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29 Illumina Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?
  2. Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?
  3. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
  4. What industry related changes do you foresee in the next 12 months?
  5. By this time in your career, you should have advanced further, what has slowed down your career progression?
  6. Describe to me your ideal employer.
  7. What are your strengths?
  8. How do you define success?
  9. Why did you choose a career in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
  10. List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for Illumina.
  11. How many years have you worked in the Pharma/Biotech industry? What keeps you interested in our line of work?
  12. How do you stay informed on changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
  13. This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.
  14. If you could choose any special area of focus with Illumina, which would you choose?
  15. In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Biotechnology in the past 3 years?
  16. In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Pharmaceuticals in the past 3 years?
  17. If you could choose any area in your field to study further, which area would you focus on? How you do feel that would help you with a career at Illumina?
  18. Do you prefer to work with studies related to humans, animals, or plant life?
  19. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  20. When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?
  21. How does this position fit into your career goals?
  22. Who would you say inspires you?
  23. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
  24. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  25. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
  26. When have you shown great integrity at work?
  27. What are your salary expectations?
  28. Are you applying for any other jobs?
  29. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
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