After researching Pfizer 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.
Pfizer Interview Questions
List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for Pfizer.
After researching Pfizer 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.
"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."
"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"
"I am detail orientated, enthusiastic, able to work under pressure on my own, or as a part of the team."Rachelle's Answer
This answer is a good start. Taking these descriptors that are commonly used by most job interview candidates, think of how you can personalize them further. For instance, how are you detail-oriented? Is there another more exciting way you can describe this? (ie: analytically minded). When you choose your top 3 qualities, be sure to highlight exactly how you will take these qualities and ensure they benefit Pfizer. Action statements will be key for a successful response.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I understand that the role of Safety Manager requires stand-out skills in organization, and I feel I have many of them. Namely the top three of my skills are integrity, excellence, and my passion for continuous learning, and I have many others!"Rachelle's Answer
It's wonderful that you have so many fitting qualities! Be sure that your answer addresses qualities rather than skills. Next, take the time to qualify yourself by providing measurable examples of these qualities in action. The interviewer wants to know exactly how these qualities will benefit Pfizer, should you be hired as their next Safety Manager. I've provided a starter for you below.
"The three qualities that make me the best candidate for Pfizer's Safety Manager role include my integrity, desire to achieve excellence, and my passion for continued learning. As a Safety Manager, integrity is vital because (discuss why). I will uphold integrity by (discuss how). As I continue to strive for excellence, Pfizer and my team will benefit in numerous ways, including (discuss what's in it for Pfizer if they hire you). My passion for continued learning is displayed by (discuss how you've chased this passion over the recent past). My eagerness to learn will benefit Pfizer by (discuss the benefits to them)."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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 Pfizer.
"At Pfizer 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."
"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."
"At Pfizer, I know that one of your primary focus is on cancer medicines and FDA Approved IBRANCE for the Treatment of Men with Metastatic Breast Cancer. This particular focus is one reason I applied to work here; my little mother died due to cancer in her pancreas, and I have the drive to learn more about it."Rachelle's Answer
It seems you have a clear idea of Pfizer's primary interests. Your reasons are very personal, and the interviewer should appreciate the vulnerability you show in this response.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?
Some tasks will require a keener eye and additional diligence. Discuss a time when you were extra thorough during a work-related project.
"I have to be extra thorough from time to time when I have clients that are especially detail oriented. Often this will mean spending additional time on calls with them to highlight project changes. I am okay with being extra thorough when needed."
"I am always thorough, but we do have monthly team meetings where we discuss our performance metrics. That reporting takes a little longer."
"I am always thorough because I believe that the detail makes the champion! However, in the position, I have now all the contracts that my company signs with our customers are under my consideration. So I must be very careful and perfectionist when I read all these contracts."Rachelle's Answer
This answer is a good start, and it's good that you mention the importance of exercising great caution in your current role. Rather than offering a general statement, I recommend giving a specific story-based example of a time when you were extra thorough. You can form this answer using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result). We have a guide on STAR if you'd like to learn more: https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method/Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
"Unfortunately, in my previous job I was in the highest position and didn't have opportunity to progress."Rachelle's Answer
Totally fair, and a situation that many people face! How can you turn this into a positive, at the end of your reply? I have provided a starter, below.
"In my previous job, I was in the highest position and didn't have the opportunity to progress in my job title; however, I worked hard to ensure that I progressed in knowledge and skill. I did this by...(describe the actions that you took to ensure growth)."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
"Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take. Here are some suggestions:
1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can see it on paper.
2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings.
3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value. Considering due dates and how long it will take to do each item (also considering how much time you have).
In answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to their company!"
"I always write them on paper and will write beside each project: urgency, how many hours each task will take to complete, deadline, available resources, and help. I will decide then which project will be the most important to start with."Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic! It seems you have a well-honed system for organizing and prioritizing your workload. Do you use any technology to keep yourself organized (Assuming Pfizer is likey highly technical and not a paper/pen type of company)?Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"Because I always have many things to do, and in my current job, I have multiple projects, I have my system in place that helps me think through what needs to happen and when. I have a list of my tasks and projects, and thus I don’t forget anything. I prioritize what is urgent or essential depending on the number of days we are behind or the project size, the customers' needs and the administrative decisions. After that, I order each task based on effort and estimated value."Rachelle's Answer
This answer is full of excellent detail - well done! The interviewer should be able to picture you hard at work. It seems you are very systematic and organized.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
"When I have to solve a complicated problem, I will use all reliable information provided to me and if that is not enough, I will approach my supervisor. I always like to get a few more experienced employees involved, as they will have more experience, and it's always good to see it from another angle."Rachelle's Answer
Nice start! When it comes to the reliable information provided to you, can you be more specific (i.e., employee guidelines, online resources, training manuals, SOPs)?Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?
Some upper-level positions within Pfizer 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.
"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."
"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."
"I have considered furthering my education to include a Ph.D. Generally, as you can see in my CV, I follow a continuous learning lifestyle."Rachelle's Answer
A desire for continued learning is a fantastic trait to have, and it's great that you point out your existing learning patterns. If you were to obtain higher education in your field/specialty, what would that look like? What would you enjoy exploring as you progress in your career? Try including some of those details in your answer to allow the interviewer to get to know you on a deeper level.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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!"
"On LinkedIn, I follow many big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, Glaxo Smith, etc., so I read their news every day. I have joined in groups and pharma forums, and I discuss about these changes very often with my former colleagues."Rachelle's Answer
Nice answer! It's apparent that you are immersed in the industry's hot topics. The interviewer should clearly see that you are an avid learner keen on remaining in-the-know on trending conversations.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I registered with ScienceDirect. com, but I am always looking for new opportunities to learn. If you have recommendations, I am happy to hear them."Rachelle's Answer
Good! Your answer is to the point, and you show some initiative by registering with ScienceDirect.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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 Pfizer?
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 Pfizer.
"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."
"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."
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 Pfizer long term.
"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 Pfizer."
"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."
"I have worked within the pharmacy industry for approximately two years as a quality assurance officer, but in my whole career I have been responsible for the environmental health and safety of the companies I was working for. I am the appropriate person for this role because I combine previous experience in the pharma industry and in new technologies."Rachelle's Answer
You started very strong with this response! Rather than ending your answer with a 'selling' statement, I encourage you to weigh the question carefully. In this instance, the interviewer wants to know what drives your passion for the industry and, of course, Pfizer specifically. Essentially, you should be answering - why do you want to work in this industry?Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"Unfortunately, this industry is new to me, but for me, it is very important that my job is meaningful, interesting, and will provide opportunities for development."Rachelle's Answer
Leading with the word 'unfortunately' can lead to an unsuccessful interview answer. Starting with a negative rarely works out for the positive :) If you do not have experience in the pharma/biotech industry, that is okay - your interviewer will already know this! Instead, focus on discussing the transferable skills you bring from the other sectors you have worked in. Feel free to revisit your approach and I can return with feedback :)Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
"I am impressed by Dan Brotsky. He is an American skydiver who's the only survivor of a plane crash that killed his whole team. Dan nearly lost his life and was told that he would never be able to sport again. Dan didn't stop following his dream (to became a world champion in skydiving), and after a few years, he was able to return to the sport. Dan built a new team and since then, he has won the title of World Champion a few times and has become a world record holder, as well."Rachelle's Answer
Dan Brotsky sounds like an inspiration, indeed! Next, be sure to make a connection between this source of inspiration and your career aspirations.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that the people like Steve Jobs or Michel Obama, or Giannis Antetokounmpo greatly inspired me. The first began from zero and made a technological colossus. The second began from nothing and became the First Lady of the United States. The third began again from nothing and now is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player."Rachelle's Answer
Very nice response! You have an excellent range of inspirations, which will show the interviewer that you are multi-faceted.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Do you prefer to work with studies related to humans, animals, or plant life?
Perhaps you have a preference, and maybe you don't. However, you answer this question, be sure to keep your reply positive. (IE: Avoid saying "I dislike studies related to animals." You don't want to shut down any particular practice.)
"I dislike studies related to animals."
"I can honestly say that I do not have a preference as of yet. As I continue to carve out my career, that may change; however, for the moment, I am happy to be working in the biotech industry in any related focus."
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.
"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."
"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."
"As a child, I was interested in oriental medicine influenced by my father, who was influenced by my grandfather, who was an Asian pharmacist. I had learned about the efficacy of medicinal plants from my father, but I was always curious how natural plants have their potential effectiveness as a medicine. I think this curiosity led me to the pharmaceutical world."Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is very interesting and unique! I feel there is room for you to dive even further into this by discussing a couple of interesting medicinal plant facts your father taught you.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I love science and helping others. Working in this industry combines both."Rachelle's Answer
Good beginnings - be sure to flesh this out further so that your interviewer can get a full understanding. For instance, what areas of science? Who do you like to help? How will working at Pfizer specifically allow you to combine these passions?Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"I read on your website that Pfizer 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."
"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!"
"I strongly believe that after the creation of the vaccine for coronavirus, there is more opportunity to create another vaccine for HIV that is also a RNA virus. Surely HIV has a very different structure, but the innovative vaccine used for coronavirus will be the weapon against many viruses."Rachelle's Answer
Yes - I like this answer a lot! It's evident that you have done industry research. You mention a topic that is unique and currently relevant to Pfizer. Excellent approach!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I am not very familiar with this industry, and I am not able to answer this question honestly."Rachelle's Answer
If this question does not apply to you, or your job title, that's okay! I do, however, encourage you to do some research on the Pfizer news or recent releases. This homework would give you a clearer perspective on where Pfizer is going over the next 12 months.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.
If you could choose any special area of focus with Pfizer, which would you choose?
In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Biotechnology in the past 3 years?
In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Pharmaceuticals in the past 3 years?
Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
How does this position fit into your career goals?
What are your strengths?
When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
How do you define success?
Describe to me your ideal employer.
What are your salary expectations?
Are you applying for any other jobs?
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?