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Merck 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
This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.
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How to Answer
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.
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Answer Examples
1.
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 Merck 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."
2.
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."
3.
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 Merck?
Talk to the interviewer about your favorite area of study when it comes to pharma /biotech. Why would you choose to focus on that area? Share with the interviewer why you feel that strengthened skills, in this particular area, will help you to achieve your goals with Merck.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I could choose any area of focus I would enjoy a deeper focus on orthobiologics. The idea of finding advanced ways of assisting the body in healing itself is fascinating to me. If there were advancements in this area, I feel it could help your organization to achieve some major goals as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If given the opportunity to further my studies, I would choose to focus on Biochemical Pharmacology. I feel that will help me in this career here since this is one of your larger areas of focus. Your biochemical pharmacology department is so advanced, the idea of landing a job in that area is fascinating to me."
4.
Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?
Some upper-level positions within Merck 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."
5.
When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
When it comes to complex problem solving, the decisions do not always arrive quickly. It takes practice, experience, and confidence to learn what sorts of decisions yield the best results.
Problems that require you to act quickly can be emergency situations such as knowing where the fire extinguisher is and grabbing it fast enough to put out a small grease fire in the company kitchen. Other quick decisions could be if you are asked to take on a new responsibility and only given five minutes to decide if it's something you are prepared to take on.

Going with your gut is a skill, and the more you learn to trust your intuition, the easier it becomes to make these types of decisions. Demonstrate that you are confident and able to react swiftly when the need arises.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When an urgent problem arises at work, I always try to respond in a calm and assuring manner. I am a natural leader which means that my team often looks to me for answers. One instance of my fast-thinking was just last week when we had an administrative employee no-show on a crucial and busy day for us. I called a temp agency, and they had the position filled in just one hour."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I react swiftly in emergency situations. Perhaps my skills come from my years as a parent, having to think fast and put out fires! If a quick solution is required, I will do a fast overview of the facts and make a decision based on risk factors."
6.
When have you shown great integrity at work?
Integrity comes from honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way (s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my last position, I was responsible for the cash deposit on a daily basis. There was never a discrepancy, in the four years that I worked there. I best show my integrity by being a consistently reliable employee."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Always! Honesty and integrity are two values at the center of my being. I like to think I practice this in the workplace by always doing the right thing by the company, its customers, and its people."
7.
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 Merck 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 Merck."
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."
8.
In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Pharmaceuticals in the past 3 years?
The term 'pharmaceutical' refers to the creation and sale of medicine. 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 the pharmaceutical industry the past three years, but I do feel that the biggest was the creation of the first vaccine for Dengue."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am most impressed by the way the pharma industry has switched their focus from treatment to prevention. It's a great way to flip our thinking in the industry, and will save the lives of so many people."
9.
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."
10.
What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
The interviewer wants to know that you can think outside the box, or even ask for help when you are stuck on a complicated problem.

Maybe you look to a mentor or boss for advice. Perhaps you have handbooks, manuals and systems you turn to for help. Offer some relevant examples based on your industry. If you work in the medical field, you may turn to textbooks, online research, colleagues or even patient's history to find the right solution. If you work in customer service, you may ask the customer what they need to find the best way to solve the problem.

Show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and equipped to handle these types of scenarios.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When faced with a complicated problem, I will look to the resources that my current company has provided me. The answer is almost always in there. If it's more of a moral dilemma vs. a knowledge-based dilemma, I will ask my supervisor for his thoughts and opinion since I value him as a mentor and expert in our industry."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"To solve a complex issue, I will reach out to a manager or mentor from a previous role to ask them how they've handled such issues in the past. I am always ready to dive back into our handbook, but these types of scenarios are often not covered there, which is why I value a human, experiential approach. I know that there are so many folks in the industry who have so much to teach me and have probably already "been-there-done-that," so I love to utilize them as a resource."
11.
Who would you say inspires you?
Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, author - literally anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that the person who has most greatly inspired me has been my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. I try to live like she did, as much as I can."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My previous manager was a huge inspiration to me. Her passion for this industry was motivating and put the fire in me to climb the ladder in my career."
12.
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 Merck 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!"
13.
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."
14.
List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for Merck.
After researching Merck 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"
15.
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!"
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29 Merck 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. This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.
  2. How do you define success?
  3. 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 Merck?
  4. Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?
  5. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  6. When have you shown great integrity at work?
  7. How many years have you worked in the Pharma/Biotech industry? What keeps you interested in our line of work?
  8. In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Pharmaceuticals in the past 3 years?
  9. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
  10. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
  11. Who would you say inspires you?
  12. What industry related changes do you foresee in the next 12 months?
  13. Why did you choose a career in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
  14. List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for Merck.
  15. How do you stay informed on changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry?
  16. If you could choose any special area of focus with Merck, which would you choose?
  17. In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Biotechnology in the past 3 years?
  18. Do you prefer to work with studies related to humans, animals, or plant life?
  19. If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?
  20. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  21. When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?
  22. By this time in your career, you should have advanced further, what has slowed down your career progression?
  23. How does this position fit into your career goals?
  24. What are your strengths?
  25. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
  26. Describe to me your ideal employer.
  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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