Analytical chemists study substances at the atomic level and are typically hired to analyze drugs and pharmaceuticals, raw materials, and bulk liquids. They may test substances for purity, viscosity, pH level, toxicity, and other factors. Some employers may hire analytical chemists to support various business functions, such as quality control and research and development. Record-keeping and reporting is a vital function of the job. Analytical chemists typically work in lab settings during normal work hours. A bachelor's degree is required, and advanced degrees in specializations relevant to the position are preferred.
Job openings for analytical chemists can be found through typical channels like online job boards such as Indeed. Vacancies can also be found on career sites of different companies, like those that deal in pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing, or consumer goods.
The interview will focus on your technical knowledge. In the US, many employers require compliance with FDA and USDA regulations such as the Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Candidates with familiarity with these regulations will be favored. The interview will also assess your ability to follow procedures and your attention to detail. Depending on the position, you may also be expected to present your findings to different people in the company. This means that you may also be assessed on your ability to communicate clearly to non-technical staff.
To prepare for an interview for analytical chemists, examine the job posting carefully. Research the hiring organization and determine what they deal in so that you can understand the context in which you'll be working. Take stock of your experience: what kind of equipment and procedures are you familiar with? For instance, chromatography, dissolution, etc. To show your adaptability and ability to learn quickly, think of times when you encountered a new problem that you hadn't received any direct training on overcoming. What information did you consider and what actions did you take in order to overcome that challenge? Finally, be prepared to show that you take initiative by researching the company history and recent developments.