MockQuestions

Pfizer Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Pfizer job interview, here are 40 interview questions and answer examples.

Pfizer was written by and updated on January 27th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

How have you handled working under someone you felt was not good at communicating?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

Communication is integral to any position. This is a test of your communication skills. They will evaluate your communication style with this question, as well as how you deal with authority.

Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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40 Pfizer Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. How have you handled working under someone you felt was not good at communicating?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Communication is integral to any position. This is a test of your communication skills. They will evaluate your communication style with this question, as well as how you deal with authority.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Exemplify your ability for non-defensive communication, and how you helped enhance clear communication in this scenario. Talk about how you would find opportunities to clarify when communication was unclear. Provide specific examples of situations where you had to ask questions, mirror what was being communicated to you, and how a consensus was reached.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't give examples where you went outside of the change of command, complained about the poor communicator you worked under, or quit because of this person. By discussing these points, you'll only make yourself seem like part of the problem the team faced, rather than part of the solution.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I recognize not everyone is a natural at communicating. When situations like this occur, I find it initially requires more work. After a bit of mirroring, making sure there are no missing pieces, a person can understand a poor communicator better. Once we establish a rapport, the poor communication improves. People just want to be understood. If a person feels misunderstood all the time, they might grow less communicative to defend themselves. These things just require patience and understanding."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      2nd Answer Example

      "There was a supervisor we had. They'd said one thing and later would say they said something else. There were a lot of complaints. People felt gaslighted. I didn't believe this supervisor had bad intentions. I figured they were just having trouble articulating their thoughts. So I told them about the attention they were drawing. They then confided in me they were dyslexic. It also turned out the medication they were on amplified their dyslexia, and they'd often say the opposite of what they meant. Left instead of right, that sort of thing. They stopped taking the medication, worked on their communication, and the problem resolved itself."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. What are your strengths?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This tests not only how you perceive yourself, but your confidence in your abilities. Gaining insight on this will help them find out your value as an asset to the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Describe the personal advantages you have that 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 complete your to-do list, understand client needs, and help you apply what you've 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

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't describe how others perceive you or what others have said about you. They asked you, not your coworkers, family, and friends.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I think my strengths are in my perceptiveness and ability to observe the needs of others. These strengths are part of what makes me an excellent performer in a client-facing role."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      2nd Answer Example

      "I am not sure what others would pick, but I feel my strengths are my dedication, determination, and ability to build long-lasting and trusting professional relationships."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "I am a very flexible and reliable person. I am always keen to learn new skills, and I always trying to be better than the last time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good start! Next, be sure to give a few specifics on how these strengths will benefit Pfizer, should they choose to hire you. Here is a guide that you may find helpful when it comes to answering these prevalent but notoriously challenging interview questions: How to Answer 5 of the Most Common Interview Questions

  • Behavioral

    3. Would you describe yourself as more analytical or interpersonal?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question will offer insights into whether you are more of a team collaborator or an innovator. Both bring value. There is no wrong or right answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be honest. Exude confidence. If you are one, the other, or both, offer storytelling examples where you've used this to your advantage and shined.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The most important thing to strive for is to exude a sense of self-awareness. Break down which one you are, then delve into how others perceive you in this regard, and to what degree their perception of you rings true, and why.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Definitely analytical. I love examining a data set and interpreting it. I can really get lost in my work. Knowing I'm helping people makes it even more rewarding."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      2nd Answer Example

      "I'd say interpersonal. I thrive on my interactions with my team and our clients, who I kind of consider being part of our team. There's a camaraderie that comes with it. It makes you feel you're part of something bigger."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

  • Direct

    4. Are you able to relocate if required?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help assess how committed you would be to the company, given the opportunity, and how ambitious will you prove to be with your career at Pfizer. It will offer insight into your other life priorities, your flexibility, and how far you are willing to go to get the job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If your answer is yes or a maybe, describe what it would take to do so, whether it is uprooting your family, or the costs of moving and the costs of living, but for the right opportunity, your answer is yes. If your answer is no, based on personal preference with no hard reasons why you would not be able to move, you can respond by being open to discussions on the matter should the opportunity present itself. If the answer is no and you have a hard, tangible reason as to why you're unable, such as taking care of an ill relative or a similar personal life obligation, be honest. Depending on the reasons the interviewer asks, it may not affect your chances of getting hired, or maybe it will. Either way will determine a good fit for you and the potential employer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't ask if relocation is a prerequisite for employment. Don't express any negative associations with having to move.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    5. Who would you say inspires you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will offer a glimpse into your personality, philosophy, and approach to life and your work. They'll examine the examples you offer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, an author - anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why. Be relatable and try to inspire conversation. How well you get along with your interviewer will also offer insights on how well you will get along with others on your team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "My real hero is Debbie Harry. She symbolizes everything I want to be. No one can rock like her."

      If you offer inspirations that are not innovators nor related to your field, this might raise more questions than answers. Don't always expect them to ask you to clarify, nor expect them to understand why they are inspirations for you. Elaborate on what qualities they possess that you are admired, and how those qualities relate to your work style and profession.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    6. List three qualities that make you the best candidate for Pfizer.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      By asking you this question, the interviewer has given you the opportunity to lead the interview for a moment. They may consider their granting you this opportunity to lead as a test.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is an excellent opportunity to present yourself as an innovator and a leader. Proceed graciously and with etiquette. Look for relevant examples of what you bring to the table that make you stand apart. Provide quantifiable examples of your previous successes. Of those examples, offer previous resources you can continue to tap into. Offer them your core values, and how those align with theirs.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      The Goal

      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 stand out as a top candidate. Incorporate their keywords into your response. This is a great opportunity to talk yourself up and sell them on how you stand apart.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    7. When have you shown great integrity at work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will gauge your concept of integrity and how it aligns with theirs. They want to know if your moral high ground would complement or clash with their company's values.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Integrity comes from honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way(s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "There was a coworker who kept stealing other people's lunches from the break room fridge. I have a lot of integrity, and couldn't support this behavior, so I alerted HR."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    8. How do you define success?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They want to know what success means to you. They are trying to determine whether you evaluate success as your own personal success, the success of your team, or something bigger, like developing a vaccine. All three should come into play in your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer how you evaluate success. Weave your answer into the success you plan to bring with you to your next role.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Stay away from canned responses, or literal definitions of the word. This will come across as trying to dodge the question or not taking it seriously.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    9. Describe to me your ideal employer.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will offer them insights into your understanding of the position you are interviewing for. A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must convey that you feel this is a good fit for you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer what your ideal employer looks like. Be specific and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It's okay to draw off of the best parts of previous positions you've held. Highlighting work environments or situations that motivated you in the past and offering that to the interviewer will give them the attainable goal of how to motivate you, should they choose you for the position.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    10. What are your salary expectations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question can come along anywhere in the interview, but more commonly comes towards the end. This not only gauges your expectations but your self-awareness of how the interview has gone. If you have delivered an outstanding interview and revealed yourself as a desired asset, your self-awareness of what you offer will now be revealed. This is where you'll show your hand, and how you not only value yourself but how realistic your expectations are. Your expectations may be unrealistic, or perhaps they sell you short. Either can be revealing with your career trajectory.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as a model. Be open and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary-based questions arise.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      If you can get away with it tactfully, avert giving a definitive answer right away. Discuss your previous salary, discuss what you bring to the table and how that equates to your real self-worth. Remain confident, but exude humility at the same time. This can keep the negotiation going, without selling yourself short or setting your expectations too high. Don't dodge the question, but don't close negotiations too early on either.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    11. Are you applying for any other jobs?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      It always puts a little fire under the hiring manager if they know that you are shopping around. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be honest, but always place emphasis on the value you see in the position you are interviewing for with them.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      If your answer is yes, it's okay to tell them you have other interviews. This could show them you're in high demand while evaluating what you offer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer has their perception, and you have yours. This will reveal how well aligned your realities are and offer insights into your sense of confidence and self-awareness.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question can create feelings of stress and anxiety, so it's best to be prepared. Be honest with the interviewer on how you feel the interview has gone so far.

      If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't ask them how they think you're doing.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. Describe to me the position you're applying for?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Every interviewer knows that finding a job (or a recruit) is a numbers game. This will help them distinguish you from the applicants who are going through the motions from one interview to another, hoping to land any job. They want to know how much work you've put into competing for this position, how it translates to your work experience, and what sets you apart.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Describe what attracted you to this position. Offer how it compares to your previous work experience, and how you think it stands apart.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      After you've given a detailed answer, probe deeper and ask the interviewer how close you are to your understanding of the position. Detail every point you've learned about the position and probe deeper. Significant questions to follow up with are, "What does an average day on the job look like" and "what other unique qualities are you looking for."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. How would your previous employers describe you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question reveals a lot through how you react. Many who've had this question posed to them wonder if they've already conversed with their previous employer. If this question makes a candidate nervous, this will raise the question of how honest a candidate has been about their qualifications and accomplishments. If the interviewee comes across as confident and provides a notable answer that is consistent with the rest of the interview, then that may offer the interviewer greater confidence in what the candidate claims to offer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In most states, previous employers will disclose very little about your previous employment and work history, out of the concern of defamation lawsuits resulting from heresy. Therefore, it is likely they do not know how you will answer. There is no need to feel nervous about this question. Answer with confidence, and stay on course with what you have to offer and contribute to Pfizer should they choose you to move forward to the next stage of the interview.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't ask them if they talked to your previous employers, or what they might have said. Exude confidence.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. What challenges are you looking for in this position?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This gives the interviewer insights into your work ethic. It is important to narrow down the candidates from those who count downtime each shift versus those who'd put their all in, trying to maximize their time accomplishing as much as possible.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is another opportunity to share your skills and the contributions you believed you'd deliver to this position. Talk about work-related areas where you showed growth and how you want to continue to grow in a positive direction. Offer stories where you've contributed in the past and how you want to build on those accomplishments.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Don't offer examples that are basic requirements of the job where you have shown a need for improvement. Instead, focus on areas that are within an acceptable range of what might be outside your comfort zone. Showing motivation to expand the sphere of your comfort zone is ideal.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. How long do you envision yourself staying with this company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are interested in your level of commitment to their company should they hire you. They are also fishing for any personal conflicts an applicant may have that would clash with their goals.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be honest, show commitment, and exhibit loyalty. If your spouse is in the military and is going to be transferred in two years, reveal that information, expressing the hope that you could stay with the company by relocating or working remotely. Express how your goals align with Pfizer's core values and that you would be a loyal member of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Validate the question by expressing that you understand why this question is important. This will highlight your professionalism, especially if you underline your sense of integrity, and that you have no intention of taking advantage of, or squandering, the opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will evaluate how you handle disappointment and what you learn from it. It will also assess how you take ownership for your own actions, inactions, limitations, self-awareness, as well as your attitude towards life.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Try to offer examples where the circumstances of the disappointment were beyond your control. Apply the STAR method here. Present the situation or task, the action you took, and the result.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It is easy to fall into the emotion of an event when revisiting it. Try to resist this impulse when relaying it. Keep your tone positive and don't present yourself as a victim. The only emotional tell you want to reveal is the confidence you have that this event will not repeat itself because of what you've learned from it.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. In your opinion, what is the biggest development in pharmaceuticals in the past three years?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question tests how specific and current your knowledge is, and how frequently you tap into those resources for information.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The term 'pharmaceutical' refers to the creation and sale of medicine. Explain what you foresee as the most significant development that has happened in the past few years.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      The interviewer has answers of their own. They want to see how relevant your answers are to theirs.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. Why did you choose a career in the Pharma/Biotech industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer would like to know what drew you to a career in their industry. They're trying to determine your level of commitment to this career path and whether you are a good investment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Show the hiring manager you have a natural attraction to this industry and that you're here to stay. Align your core values with theirs. Keywords that show up throughout their sites include, "Driven to find the cure," We're led by science," "Career roadmaps," "Great things happen anywhere people come together with one shared goal," and helping those "Begin their careers and those looking to advance theirs."

      Offer a personal and relatable story why you chose this career path and are also "driven to find the cure". Detail where you hope your "roadmap" will advance your "science lead" career over the next five years. Frame what's in it for you in a way that would benefit "your shared goal to make great things happen".

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      I just kind of landed in it. My parents were both doctors and made me pursue this career. I enjoy doing it because I'm good at it, but I really consider myself a painter. I mostly do watercolors.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. How many years have you worked in the Pharma/Biotech industry? What keeps you interested in our line of work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your cover letter and resume are a sales proposal. By gaining an interview you've made a conversion, but you haven't closed the sale. The interviewer has your cover letter and resume close at hand. They'll watch for consistency in your answers and how closely they match your CV. Your CV also serves as an introduction. At this stage, they are waiting for you to go deeper into the narrative, as well as points not covered.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "It's all there on my resume." Restrain from repeating information about you they already know.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21. What industry-related changes do you foresee in the next 12 months?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      It takes a concerted effort to make an informed hiring decision. This series of questions (4, 5, 9, & 10) test your industry knowledge, and your level of passion for learning more about your field. It will inform them if you take your work home with you, or watch the clock and leave it at the office.

      Any company bringing on a new employee wants to know how one will fit into the culture of their brand. They want to know if you embody all the elements through like-mindedness. They want to know why you want to join them.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Assure the interviewer that you have a keen and honest interest in this industry by discussing the growth and change you foresee within the next year. If the organization itself has any upcoming news or changes, be sure to mention these. This may be an opportunity to connect with your interviewer. Discuss what you've read about. Exhibit your enthusiasm relevant to advances in your field. This way you are exhibiting your knowledge and creating a personal connection.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "It depends. I think there's a lot of potential for it to go far, if not for our current political atmosphere..."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    22. How do you stay informed on changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question tests your resources and is designed to trip you up, or rather, to call your bluff. Did you share the wealth of your scope in question #4 or can you go deeper? Question 4 asks if you 'talk the talk'. This reveals if you 'walk the walk'.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Prepare for multi-tiered questions to be broken up and scattered throughout the interview. Try not to miss a beat and keep the interview going more like a back and forth conversation. Be quick on your feet with your responses, and exude confidence in your answers. This will make you look like a pro and level the playing field.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    23. If you could choose any special area of focus with Pfizer, which would you choose?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This not only will offer insights as to your career interests but the breadth of your knowledge of what Pfizer offers. Aim to address both in your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Working for Pfizer could open a variety of career options for you. If you had your choice in a career path, explain which career you think you would choose. Talk to the interviewer about where you'd like to see your career path go with Pfizer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "Ideally, this other position at Pfizer I applied for, but it closed. I wanted that job, but I guess you filled it. I'd like to get hired for this position for now, but have my eye on that other one in case whoever you hired doesn't work out."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    24. In your opinion, what has been the biggest development in biotechnology in the past three years?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question tests your view of a specific aspect of the industry and is also designed to trip you up. They want to know if you shared the wealth of your scope in question #4 or can you go deeper and have more to offer, and more resources to draw from. In question 4, they tested you on your broad scope of knowledge. In question 5, they ask about your sources. This question will test how specific and current your knowledge is, and how frequently you tap into the resources of information.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The term 'biotechnology' refers to the use of cells and molecules to create a product within medicine, genetic testing, or even agriculture. Offer your opinion on what you foresee as the most significant development that has happened in the past few years. If there are significant developments Pfizer has made, include those.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't list off all the accomplishments of your previous employer. This will come across as a limited scope of your knowledge.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    25. How does this position fit into your career goals?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Similar to other questions you will be asked, these questions will evaluate the consistency between your answers to similar questions. Keep the answers to your questions consistent in your narrative with your career projections, as well as your career plan. They want to know if this position is a good fit for you or the perfect fit. This will clarify whether you feel this is a step up in your career or - a stagnant move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you. Offer that you feel it's a step up in responsibilities and that it fits with your overall career goals.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid repeat answers. Even if the questions seem similar, your answers should vary as much as possible.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    26. If you could choose any area in your field to study further, which area would you focus on? How do you feel that would help you with a career at Pfizer?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Supposing you've done well on the previous questions that test your industry knowledge, this gives you the opportunity to discuss these areas where you dream big. They want to know your vision and what motivates you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about your favorite area of study in pharma /biotech. Detail why you'd choose to focus on that area. Share with the interviewer why you feel that strengthened skills, in this area, will help you achieve your goals with Pfizer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      The Goal

      Align your goals and objectives with their own. Touch upon or further explore the common denominator.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    27. Do you prefer to work with studies related to humans, animals, or plant life?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will give insights into where you'd fit into the team, now or in the future. It also may offer a glimpse into your personality and what motivates you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Perhaps you have a preference and maybe you don't. However, you choose to answer this question, be sure to keep your reply positive. (i.e., Avoid saying, "I dislike studies related to animals." You don't want to shut down any practice).

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      In your answer, recognize the value of each choice presented. Show you've thought into each one before delivering your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    28. If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer would like to get to know you and your particular interests and/or passions. Your answer will offer insights into what motivates you in your field and your value as an asset.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Imagine you had zero limitations, and describe 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.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It's acceptable to initially choose more than one, explain what motivates you about each option, and narrow it down to one. It's worth researching where Pfizer is focusing their efforts, and highlighting how those may align with your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    29. Tell me about your greatest work-related accomplishment.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a definite idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is okay to brag a little when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Offer more than one example. Try to align your answers with goals you've had early on, and how your later accomplishments served as milestones along with your career objectives.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    30. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The genuine test of this question is how you interpret it. They are asking if you understand the importance of developing relationships with your coworkers, not if you go out drinking with them every night. Answer why it's important first, then follow up with how you would define a relationship with your coworkers as it might apply to you.

      The average person spends 8 hours of a workday sleeping, and 8 hours working. The answer to this question will show the value you place on your work relationships, and if you prioritize them by fitting them into your 8 hours of personal time. It will also offer insights into your personality type, and how social you are.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How 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. If your co-workers motivate you when you feel overworked, say so.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      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 social person, this question may seem more challenging to answer. If this is the case, it's fine to acknowledge this, but express that you see value in bonding through socialization. "While some of my coworkers go out drinking three nights a week, I attempt to do so about once every week or two."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    31. When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some tasks will require a keener eye and additional diligence, as do some positions. How you answer will offer insights into how you handle challenging situations. It also has the potential to reveal what you are comparing your experience to. If your example describes a unique and complicated situation, that might impress, as opposed to one where your extra thoroughness met the bare minimum of their expectations for the position they are hiring for.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Discuss a time when you were extra thorough during a work-related project. Try to make it especially unique. The more examples, the better.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "Every day! You betcha! I'm super thorough in all my work. You can ask anyone."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    32. By this time in your career, you should have advanced further. What has slowed down your career progression?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When an interviewer sees slow career progression on your resume, they will want to determine whether this is by your own choice, outside circumstances, or lack of motivation. If your career has progressed slower than you wish, you must be honest with the interviewer when discussing this.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Experiences where the greater need requires you to put your personal goals aside for the greater good. Relatable life experiences also work well here. In most cases, our paths are rarely linear. Focus on your career journey, describing the twist and turns along the way, and how it leads you to the present day, sitting at the interview discussing this opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Avoid excuses or any narrative that paints you as a victim. Avoid statements like "back on track." This might lead to assumptions on flakiness in your commitment to the role.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Education

    33. Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them assess your career goals and how you feel another degree may advance them. One candidate may evaluate their success in their scientific accomplishments, another may feel more driven to rise through the ranks. Some may find the most ideal candidates balance these, where their accomplishments enable them to rise through the rank.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Some upper-level positions within Pfizer may require a higher level of education. Assure the interviewer that you're open to discussions on enhancing your knowledge to grow within the organization.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Think of your career path broken up as a 5, to 10, to a 20-year business plan. Meditate on your ultimate ambition and break up how'll you'll get there into attainable goals. If that involves gaining a PH.D., detail why this is important to your career plan, where it fits into it, and how you achieve that goal sustainably.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Education

    34. This position requires a minimum bachelor's degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your post-secondary career is significant in displaying your ability to complete a degree, your ability to multitask, and how you apply yourself. This will also offer insights on how it connects to your present-day, what you gained from your education, whether your degree is related to your field.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Walk the interviewer through your post-secondary experience. Highlight any recognition or awards you may have achieved.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      They are trying to get to know who you are. Remember, they are interviewing a stranger. So offer a narrative where your degree is the prelude to the story of your career. Make sure it has an enticing hook which serves to entice them to be part of your story as well.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Operational

    35. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will evaluate whether you have a broad scope of the big picture or a more narrowed, focused view. They want to know if you have trouble breaking away from the one task you are working on, or if, when a more urgent situation arises, you can put your personal preferences aside for the greater good.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, break down how you decide which one needs your attention the most. Describe the conflict, how you track your progress, and your ability to pick up where you left off. Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent in assessing your priorities.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Multitasking means performing two high level cognitive tasks simultaneously. This is something the human brain is not capable of. However, the meaning extrapolated from multitasking is typically one's ability to switch back and forth from one task to another, your ability to prioritize their importance, and track your progress on each.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Operational

    36. Describe your work style?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are assessing how you will fit in the team and the work environment. It will also offer insight into how adaptable you may be to their way of doing things.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Know the basics of what the position at this company looks like. Highlight your strengths, your flexibility, and that you are easy to work with. Describe your system approach, as well as how you adapt your work style based on the situation.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      This is an opportunity to highlight what aspects of your work style have greatly benefited your work in the past. If there are aspects of your work-style coworkers have borrowed and adapted into their style, be sure to focus on that as well.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Operational

    37. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      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. This will also help determine if you look to others or superiors to take charge or if your decision-making skills exemplifies you as a leader.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Demonstrate confidence and an ability to react when the need arises. 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. Another example is if you're asked to take on additional responsibilities and are only given five minutes to decide if it's something you are prepared to take on.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      With complex problem solving, every situation might require a different approach. It takes practice, experience, confidence, and keeping calm under pressure to evaluate the wisest course. Sometimes a good plan today is better than a better plan tomorrow. Sometimes not.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Operational

    38. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer wants to know if you can be creative, or even ask for help when you are stuck on a complicated problem. It will offer insights into your network of other contributors in your field.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      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 a 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.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The tools you have in your kit will reveal how resourceful you are at your job. If you've collected a library of information over the years, whether through physical copies or a digital library or resource, detail this and emphasize any systems or organization you've implemented to access them.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Situational

    39. Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a decision with which you did not agree?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question assesses how you handle situations in the workplace which at first glance, may seem to clash with your ideals. How you respond in such situations is what the interviewer is looking for.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Pfizer is led by science. Science literally means 'the study of nature.' Asking questions rather than being guided by assumptions should be the focus of your example. The policies coming down from the top are likely in place for reasons you are not fully aware of unless you are on the board or are in the executive inner circle. Asking why this policy is in place, expressing interest in the nature of the policy, and the bigger picture and ultimate goals reveal a vested interest in the company and putting your all in reaching those goals as a member of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "I got riled up. Everyone agreed with me that the policy sucked. But my hands were tied. So I just kept my head down while I looked for another job."

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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  • Situational

    40. What would you do if a colleague took credit for your idea, and got a promotion?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Often when situations like this present themselves, they result in an inner struggle within the team, which puts a team leader in a position of parenting, distracting them from their other responsibilities. This assesses how well you deal with disputes on your own. If you haven't tried to communicate with your fellow team members to resolve disputes on your own, this will raise the question of how well you work within a team. Your answer will also offer clues as to the level of your emotional maturity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Tell them you took some time to calm down and assess the situation. Describe how you tried to resolve the situation on your own by asking the employee who took credit for your work what happened. Then describe what you learned from that exchange and what you did with that knowledge.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "I brought it to the attention of my supervisors right away. I should've been promoted, not that person. They should be aware that the person who stole my idea lacks integrity and doesn't deserve to be rewarded for something they earn."

      A leader will ask you tried conflict resolution with your coworker prior to bringing it to their attention. They have other priorities and would prefer you handle it on your own when possible. Maybe they forgot you mentioned the idea and genuinely believed it was their own. Perhaps they intended to give you mutual credit as a collaborator and, under the spotlight, forgot. Perhaps they were too embarrassed to admit it after the fact. When working in a team, everyone should work together, and always be given the benefit of the doubt. When a team leader has to drop what they're focused on to deal with inter-personnel disputes, this can hinder their progress and timelines, and also hurt the functionality of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on January 27th, 2022

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