Preparing for this question requires a little bit of self-awareness and strategy. You don't want to share that you have trouble working with difficult people or that you struggle with the details, as those are key aspects of your role. What you do want to focus on is a weakness that you could possibly turn into a strength or share something that would not be detrimental to your role that you are working on improving.
"I tend to be a people-pleaser and it has made me fall behind in my work on occasion. I'm learning my limitations and learning how to say "
"“I tend to get caught up in the little details, which can delay my completion. I've remedied this by keeping a list of priorities so I can see the big picture and stay on track."
Before going into the interview, do some research on the company, employee reviews and the job itself. Often you can find out about what to expect with hours or potential travel. If you are working for a 24-hour facility it's likely that you be working long hours.
"I've worked under tight deadlines that required me to work longer hours. I have no problem being flexible, coming in early or staying late as needed."
"I'm available for all shifts. A few days notice would work best so my wife and I can re-arrange our schedules if necessary."
When answering this question make sure that you are brief. Keep this answer to 30-45 seconds or you will lose the interviewers attention very quickly. Remember, ‘tell me about yourself’ doesn’t mean they want your life story. Summarize your skills and experience in a way that make you stand out and show why you are the best person for the job.
"My name is Heather Smith. I am a Bacteriologist with a microbiology degree. My qualifications include four years of experience working for the State Health and Welfare Department."
"My name is Heather Smith. I earned my Ph.D 5 years ago and since then I have been teaching at the University of California. I'm excited at the opportunity to get back in the lab and contribute to the medical research that you perform at this location."
To answer this question, consider your personal characteristics, job skills and what motivates you. Your skills are strengths, which allow you to perform well. Determination, dedication, a passion for your work are great skills to share with the interviewer.
"My greatest strength is my commitment to my work. I give 110% to each task as well as to the communication between my co-workers and clients."
"My greatest strength is my resiliency. I've worked in three different departments in the last 5 years because my expertise has been requested by leadership to mentor new staff members. I've been able to adapt to new environments and new people easily."
When issues arise between you and a co-worker, it can be a huge distraction, which can hinder productivity and cause significant stress to you and your team. Give an example of a time when you successfully navigated a situation with a coworker. Start out by explaining the problem and then focus your attention on the steps you took to resolve it. Tell the interviewer how you avoided drama, stayed calm and professional and didn't disrupt the rest of the laboratory.
"The most important thing is to not ignore the conflict. I've been the mediator in a handful of stressful situations in the workplace over the last few years. I've found that by encouraging calm feedback and active listening it will help people understand where the other is coming from, why the conflict came up and how to keep the conflict from happening again."
Remember to answer this question with what you want in a work environment not what you don't want or comment on the chaos you are working in now. Tell the interviewer that your ideal work environment would encourage teamwork, effective communication, and positive work relationships.
"An ideal working environment for me is one in which everyone is focused and working towards the same goal. I enjoy working with lots of people, I like the buzz and excitement of deadlines, and ideally would like to be working with a friendly, confident team. "
"My ideal work environment is one that is positive and encouraging to the staff."
It’s been said that leadership is making important but unpopular decisions. Tell the interviewer how you lead by example, assure your employees are trained and take care of and that your clinic provides the best customer service possible.
"The three most important qualities I demonstrate as a leader is a patience, integrity, and inspiration."
"Three qualities that I have as a successful leader is my ability to listen, motivate and empower my staff."
Having a positive philosophy when it comes to work is incredibly important. Tell the interviewer that you chose a career that you love and enjoy coming to work every day.
"My philosophy, when it comes to work, is to do my best every single day. I never procrastinate and always approach a challenge with an open mind. My motto has certainly helped me work my way through many challenges in the workplace."
"My philosophy towards work is to always have a positive attitude. Bringing a positive attitude to work will encourage others to do the same as well as make the work environment more pleasant to work in."
This questions can be tricky and dangerous if you’re not sure how to answer it. Avoid talking salary before really selling your skills. Do your research so you will have an understanding of average salary for a Bacteriologist in your area. One approach is asking the interviewer about the salary range, but to avoid the question entirely, you can respond that money isn’t a key factor and you’re goal is to advance in your career. However, if you have a minimum figure in mind and you believe you’re able to get it, you may find it worth trying.
"Money isn't a key factor but I do have a salary range in mind based on the local area."
"I'm currently making $60K per year. What is this position starting at?"
As a Bacteriologist working on your own or as a team member, you are making a difference every day. Tell the interviewer how you encourage feedback from your clients, and encourage positive and professional relationships at work.
"One thing I strive to provide all my colleagues is a comprehensive and simple explanation of instruction to avoid any miscommunication. I encourage questions and provide clarification when needed."
"My style of communication is direct and honest. I've found by directly communicating with others it avoids any confusion or possible conflicts."
As a Bacteriologist, you may find that some people are easier to work with than others. Give a REAL example. Breakdown what happened and how you handled it professionally. Focus on the solution, not the conflict. If you wish you would have done something different, share it. Showing you can learn from past conflicts shows maturity.
"One of my co-workers wasn't carrying their weight, which meant everyone else had more work to do. I chatted with her one day at lunch, and she shared some personal issues that had been interfering and we agreed she needed some help with her projects. We all met with our boss and we determined a temporary solution to help her while she resolved her issues outside of work."
"I had a deadline approaching and was worried I wouldn't be able to complete the requirements. I spoke with my supervisor days before the suspense and asked for assistance. My supervisor assigned another chemist to assist me on the project. He appreciated my honesty and feedback and it was nice to have assistance as well."
If the interviewer asks this question, chances are the position is looking for an individual that adapts well to change –perhaps the position is not as rigid. Give a specific example of how you adapt well to a new situation if you can’t think of a professional example tell the interviewer about a personal example. For example, “My Dad was in the military, so I moved a lot and attended three elementary schools and two high schools. So that personal experience really shaped me in my professional life to adapt well to change.”
"I've had the opportunity to work in three different areas of Microbiology. I've worked for the government, medical research as a well as a professor at the local University."
When answering this question keep focused on what the company can offer you in the long term so the interviewer knows that you are going to stick around for awhile. Tell the interviewer that you can see this as a long term career and that you are happy to learn the job and that you are also keen to pursue further education and even an additional degree to achieve your goals.
"I'd like to find a company that I can contribute to and continue to grow with."
The interviewer wants to hear the one unique thing that sets you apart from every other candidate who has applied for this position. We suggest that you ask former co-workers or family members and ask them what they feel is the one unique thing that sets you apart from the other candidates. Their perceptions will help you understand how you are perceived and what makes you the perfect person for the opportunity.
"I've always enjoyed studying the structure and function of human, animal, and plant tissues. My attention to detail and work ethic have been complimented by my supervision and I'm excited to get the chance to display it here."
"I have the education, skills, and experience that you are looking for. I would bring leadership skills to the position as I have also been in a supervisory role for the last three years."
You can choose to share a personal accomplishment or a professional one. We recommend a professional one but have one of each in your back pocket just in case. The interviewer is asking this question to hear more about you. A lot of job interviewers are too humble to brag about their accomplishments on their own, so interviewers take it upon themselves to ask and dig into your accomplishments. Therefore, take this opportunity with stride, and proudly state your proudest work-related accomplishment.
"The accomplishment that I am most proud of was my ability to graduate the top student in my class. While attending school, I was also working and caring for my younger sister. I had a lot on my plate. Not only did I graduate top of my class but I am also the first female in my family to complete post-secondary education."
" I reviewed your job description and noted that you are needing a candidate with managerial skills. To be a proficient manager, you need to know how to solve problems, effectively delegate tasks, and encourage growth in team members. During my previous job, I saw that employee morale was down and assignments were becoming backlogged. I effectively reorganized how the assignments were given out, rewarded hard workers and ended up with the most productive and positive department in the company"
As a Bacteriologist, you are committed to your work. Tell the interviewer about the times that your work ethic was commended and set as a standard by your last supervisor. Feel free to name drop one of your references for this question, it will give the interviewer the chance to follow up with that reference and hear their side of the story.
"After I finished a difficult task in the lab I decided I would take some time to work with my co-workers to come up with a way to improve the process so it would flow much easier the next time. The project encourages teamwork and a lot of productive work. Everyone enjoyed being able to give their suggestions to improve the process."
"There have been times that I've been right in the middle of a project in the lab so I will stay a few minutes after work in order to finish and clean up."
As a Bacteriologist working in a lab, you encounter problems on a daily basis. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation, how you researched the problem and what the outcome was. Don't be concerned if you didn't come up with an answer just explain the problem and the steps you took to attempt to get there.
"One of the things that I do often prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes. I had months worth of information and I had a hard time getting started. I created an outline of all my information which helped me stay on track and provide a great product. "
"First I determine if the problem is something that I can solve on my own or if I need assistance. Second I gather the information needed in order to make an informed decision. I put together an outline of steps needed to come to a decision and present it to the requestor."
This question is to prompt you to tell the interviewer more about yourself. Answer this question with characteristics and skills that make a good scientist. As a Bacteriologist, you have a love for science that motivates you to study, learn and develop your ideas with passion and curiosity.
"I'm open-minded and consider all the facts and hypotheses. l accept whatever the outcome and not try to force the results of an experiment into a predetermined opinion or theory. This is what makes me a good scientist."
"I'm passionate about my field because I've combined what I love and something that I excel at professionally. Work doesn't feel like work when you enjoy what you're doing and when you can see that you're making a difference."
The interviewer wants to know what you do to keep yourself up to date with the technology. This will help in explaining if you are growth oriented or if you are just carrying along your work with the same old knowledge that you gathered from your school/college. An employee who keeps himself updated with the current technology is always considered to be an asset for an organization. So, if you are doing something to keep yourself updated then mention it here.
"I am always interested in knowing what new updates are coming up in my profession. This is definitely good professionally as it gives me an edge over others and also it satisfies my desire to learn more and more. I regularly attend webinars, and online conferences. Also, I am a regular member of certain online communities and forums where I contribute on a regular basis."
"ScienceDaily is a site I like to follow on a regular basis. Whether it is updates in the IT or Medical world, I found that it is an accurate and easy way to stay up to date with technology."
You always think of the best thing to say once you've left the interview room. Feel free to write your questions down and bring them to the interview with you. A short list of 3 questions will help you keep on track, not ramble and not ask something inappropriate like how often you get smoke breaks.
"Why did you choose to work here?"
"What would you like accomplished in the first 60 days of someone starting this position?"
The interviewer is asking this question to see if you have served in a leadership role or if you are up for the challenge. Tell the interviewer if you've had the opportunity to lead others and what the outcome was.
"I'd like to think of my leadership style as innovative. I believe that failures don't impede progress, the team gains job satisfaction and enjoyment and it creates an atmosphere of respect for others' ideas."
"I've found that I mix and match leadership styles to engage my team and meet our goals."
The interviewer wants to see that you not only have the qualifications for the job you're seeking but that you have the potential to learn and grow in the position as well. Choose an example that relates directly to the type of skills you will need in the position you're applying for.
"I've learned how to use new equipment in our lab to conduct chemical analyses of substances on acids, alcohols, and enzymes."
"My team and I have been researching diphtheria. I've learned how to be a bit quicker and more efficient on the bench."
Your answer to this question will tell the interviewer what type of communicator you are. Tell the interviewer what type of leader you are. This is your time to tell the interviewer that you encourage effective communication and active listening so your subordinates know what you expect from them.
"Within the first 30 days, I like to sit down with the employee and their position description and review it with them. When we are able to review their duties it gives me the chance to recap what I expect of them. I encourage two-way communication and feedback."
"By encouraging open communication and feedback it allows me to let my co-workers know what I expect of them and encourages them to give me feedback on how I can help them."
When answering this question think about positive traits others use to describe you. Focus on the characteristics that are most valued in the workplace. Follow up by giving an example that shows why your coworkers think you have these traits or an experience that shows off these characteristics. Prepare at least one example. It's always helpful to be thinking about how others might perceive you, or how your actions affect others. It may be helpful to know when answering other interview questions, like talking about your strengths.
"My coworkers say I'm easy to work with because I have a good attitude, even when I have a heavy workload."
"My co-workers would say that I'm dependable and good at my job. I'm always willing to help others when they need assistance."
You work great with people! This question may stump you, but as a Bacteriologist, you may work on your own more often than in a group. The interviewer wants to hear that you work well with all types of people from patients to other health care professionals.
"I love working with people. I'm flexible and approachable in the workplace, understanding that things can change quickly. I encourage open communication with my coworkers and address the concerns they may have."
"My last three years has been working on a multidisciplinary team. I enjoy being a part of a team knowing we are making a difference in medical research."
As a Bacteriologist you conduct laboratory experiments to determine the presence, structure, and function of bacteria in a physical sample. You perform extensive research to learn about the nature of certain types of bacteria. As a Bacteriologist you may work in a clinical setting, helping physicians make proper diagnoses and prescribe the correct treatments or in a scientific research laboratory conducting independent research on different bacterial substances.
A few skills needed to be a successful Bacteriologist is your ability to analyze and process information, use scientific rules and methods to solve problems and strong understanding of math, chemistry and biology. A bachelor's degree is a typical requirement for bacteriologists and a Ph.D. is necessary in order to conduct independent research or work through a university.
To prepare for your interview you'll want to reach out to your network and even people working within the company you are applying to. Be prepared to speak about your education, any published writing and past work history. Because your interviewer can see your education and accomplishment on your resume, you'll want to practice your behavior based questions. Be able to tell the interviewer what role you've held on a team, how quickly you make decisions and your strengths and weaknesses.