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KBI BioPharma Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
Question 1 of 30
Can you explain what an excipient is and one of its possible uses?
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How to Answer
An excipient is a pharmacologically inactive substance formulated alongside the active pharmaceutical ingredient of a medication. Excipients have various uses. Share your knowledge with the interviewer.
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Top 30 KBI BioPharma, Inc. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Can you explain what an excipient is and one of its possible uses?
An excipient is a pharmacologically inactive substance formulated alongside the active pharmaceutical ingredient of a medication. Excipients have various uses. Share your knowledge with the interviewer.

Darby's Answer #1
"An excipient is a substance that has no active value that is used with the active ingredient of a pharmaceutical medication. One use of excipients is as a binder. Binders hold the ingredients in a tablet together."
Darby's Answer #2
"Excipients are used in the production of a medication for multiple reasons. They have no value as far as an active ingredient, but are used along with the active ingredient. They are often used as fillers. Fillers typically also fill out the size of a tablet or capsule, making it practical to produce and convenient for the consumer to use."
2.
Can you explain a possible problem that may arise with processing tablets?
While there are any number of issues that may arise when processing medications, there are a few that are more common when processing tablets. Those include: capping, lamination, and moddling. Explain what happens during one of this issues.

Darby's Answer #1
"One of the problems I can think of that may arise when processing tablets is lamination. Lamination is the term used to describe the separation of tablets into two or more layers."
Darby's Answer #2
"There are a few complications that come to mind when I think about tablet processing. Capping is either a partial or complete separation of a tablet top or bottom crown. Another possible problem I can thing of is mottling, which is unequal colour distribution of a tablet."
3.
What is a parenteral medication?
Parenteral medications are sterile dosage forms administered by injections thorough one more layers of the skin. Give the interviewer an example of a parenteral medication or route of administration.

Darby's Answer #1
"Parenteral medications are medications that are given through layers of the skin, such as IV therapy or an injection. If the medication is administered correctly, it will be sterile."
Darby's Answer #2
"Parenterals are any medication that are given through the skin. A Rocephin injection is one example. Also, intravenous medications are considered parenterals."
4.
What type of pharmaceutical excipient is carboxymethyl cellulose?
Carboxymethyl cellulose is an example of a disintegrant. Disintegrants are added to drug formulations, which assist to breakup tablets and contents of capsules into smaller particles for quick dissolution when it comes in contact with water in the GI tract.

Darby's Answer #1
"Carboxymethyl cellulose is a disintegrant excipient. It helps to break down medications in the gastrointestinal tract."
Darby's Answer #2
"It is classified as a disintegrant. Disintegrants, ideally, exhibit poor solubility and poor gel formation capacity. They are useful in the digestive tract where they mix with water and hellp to break the contents of capsules or tablets into pieces that are smaller are more easily absorbed."
5.
Why did you choose a career in pharmaceutical manufacturing?
There are many career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry. Questions like this give the interviewer an opportunity to know you. Share your thoughts about your career choice.

Darby's Answer #1
"I always wanted a career in the healthcare industry, but I wasn't sure if a hospital setting was for me. I did some research into different health-related career opportunities and really felt like working with pharmaceutical manufacturing would be an opportunity for me to provide a way to help people."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have always been fascinated with chemistry. I also wanted to do something to provide care for others. I felt like manufacturing pharmaceuticals would allow me to do both. I have never considered any other career."
6.
What are some types of additives, and can you provide an example?
Additives are used to increase the stability of a solution. Types of additives include: preservatives, anti-oxidants, and synergists. Explain what one of these types of additives does and give an example for the interviewer.

Darby's Answer #1
"One example of an additive is an anti-oxidant. It is used to prevent the auto oxidation of a drug in the formulation. An anti-oxidant may be ascorbic acid. Synergists are another additive that is used to enhance the activity of anti-oxidants. An example of a synergist is
tartaric acid."
Darby's Answer #2
"Preservatives are a type of additive that are used to prevent microbial growth in the drug formulation. Phenyl mercuric acetate is an example of a preservative, as well as benzalkonium chloride."
7.
What can you tell me about buffering agents?
Buffering agents dissolve within a solvent and are used to help enable a solution to resist any change in pH should an acid or an alkali be added. Understanding different agents that may be used in a drug is important for those developing them. Share your knowledge with the interviewer.

Darby's Answer #1
"A buffering agent is used to help balance the pH in a solution. Examples include citrates or phospates."
Darby's Answer #2
"The choice of a buffer depends on the pH of a solution and the buffering capacity needed. They should have a low toxicity and be non-irritant A few examples include carbonate, gluconates, and lactates."
8.
While KBI BioPharma would like to hire employees who plan on working with us long-term,we do understand that things happen and plans change. Do you anticipate any significant changes in your life within the next 2-3 years that may affect employment with us?
Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Change is good and growth is encouraged. However, because employers invest time and money in training new employees, they prefer that they have a plan to stay for the long-term. Still, if you don't plan on being in the same geographical area two or three years from now, it's is be to say that now.

Darby's Answer #1
"I recently became engaged. Although we have not set a date yet, we have agreed to wait twelve months before the marriage. My fiance' just passed the Bar exam here and has been offered an opportunity to join an existing law firm. Presently, our plans are to stay where we are and build a career, not just work a job. Also, we do not plan on having children for at least two years after our marriage. We both feel that being able to become established in our careers and save for our future would be the responsible thing to do before starting a family."
Darby's Answer #2
"While unexpected things may arise, I don't anticipate any changes that would affect me being able to continue employment with KBI BioPharma, Inc.. I have close ties to the community here and a large family who live nearby. My hope is to be able to find a position that will allow me to become rooted with KBI BioPharma, Inc. and grow."
9.
Do you know what a viscosity imparting agent is?
Viscosity imparting agents are used when it is necessary or desirable to increase or decrease the viscosity of a liquid either to make it more palatable or to improve pour ability.

Darby's Answer #1
"Viscosity imparting agents are also called thickening agents. One type of viscosity imparting agents is a viscosity enhancer. Enhancers increase increase the thickness to help improve the taste and make it easier to pour."
Darby's Answer #2
"Viscosity imparting agents help to make a liquid easier to pour and improve the taste. Viscosity enhancers make liquids thicker and viscosity modifiers make them thinner."
10.
What makes you think you will be successful at KBI BioPharma?
Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you to meet and exceed expectations with KBI BioPharma, Inc.. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

Darby's Answer #1
"I know I will be successful in this role because I have been working in this industry for five years with great training and mentorship. I have a solid understanding of X, Y, and Z (skills listed in the job description). Also, I have all of my updated certifications as outlined in your job description. I am well-prepared for this next step in my career."
Darby's Answer #2
"I believe my success with KBI BioPharma, Inc. will come from having all of the hard skills that you are looking for, whether learned in school or gained through work experience. I know all the key players in this region and stay informed of best practices."
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