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Top 25 Biological Scientist Interview Questions

Question 1 of 25
Describe a difficult project and how you overcame it?
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Question 2 of 25
Why have you chosen to specialize in (enter your specialty)?
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How to Answer
This question is similar to the popular 'tell us about yourself.' As a biological scientist that chose to specialize in (Enter your specialty. We will use Zoology for this example). Tell the interviewer that you enjoy investigating animal behavior, migration, interactions with other species, and reproduction. Keep your answer to the point and easy to understand.

Answer Example
"I chose to specialize in zoology because I enjoy studying animals in their natural environment and man-made habitats. Animal behavior has been a topic of interest for me since I was a kid so when I took a major in Biology, this meant that animal sciences were a no-brainer when the time came to choose a specialty."
Entry Level Example
"I knew that zoology was my specialty of choice after taking a few courses on animal disease, toxins, and the environmental changes that affect them. As an animal enthusiast, this was an easy decision."
Experienced Example
"I am enthralled with gathering and monitoring data on animal populations, invasive species and other disease control threats. My initial interest came from a university assignment that required me to develop a conservation plan. The research was enthralling."
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Question 3 of 25
How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?
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How to Answer
If you were awarded the position, what would you bring to the department or organization? Assure the interviewer that you are the right fit for this position.

Answer Example
"If I were hired, I feel that I would compliment your organization in a few significant ways. First - I am a fast learner, and I already bring six years' experience in this industry. The time to train me will be reduced. Also, I will bring a solid amount of research on wildlife, which you mentioned you were looking for in your next hire."
Entry Level Example
"If I were hired, I will compliment your department by adding value to the pressing initiatives you have prioritized such as conservation of the butterfly community and improving sustainability for the insect population in the surrounding wetlands."
Experienced Example
"From what I understand, this department has minimal turnover, which is fantastic. If hired, I will bring an outsiders perspective with different experiences and methods, and hopefully, I can help find some areas to improve upon in your research and labs."
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Question 4 of 25
Do you prefer to work in the field, or in a lab setting?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know if there is a particular environment in which you enjoy working. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most situations? Have you experienced a position where the situation wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of environment offered in this position before the interview.

Answer Example
"I am able to be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I enjoy lab work because it's so precise and also field work because it's active and unpredictable."
Entry Level Example
"I am newer to my career as a biological scientist and would love to have some hands-on, field experience. It's necessary for me to cut my teeth as a new scientist, in my opinion. This environment is a big reason why I applied for this role."
Experienced Example
"As an experienced biological scientist, I have worked both in the field and in the lab. At this point in my career, my interest is more in leading junior scientists in either setting. The environment is not as much a concern to me as the ability to grown in my leadership capabilities."
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Question 5 of 25
When conducting scientific research, how often do you create alternative scenarios for potentially unexpected outcomes?
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How to Answer
As a biological scientist, you need to be ready for unexpected outcomes when it comes to your research and findings. Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios.

Answer Example
"I feel that it is essential to create alternative scenarios in all research situations. One cannot guess what will happen in the end, so it is great to be prepared for all possible outcomes."
Entry Level Example
"I am ready to adapt at all times. Alternate scenarios are a must in science-based research. One of my biology professors taught me to always work in 'what-ifs' because, in science, plans change and fail on a regular basis."
Experienced Example
"I frequently received and gave feedback at my last job. I proactively scheduled a weekly touch base with my manager to seek out feedback and connect on pressing issues. The feedback was often positive, and I would take the lead navigating situations I was unclear on by enlisting the expertise of my peers."
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Question 6 of 25
Tell me about a career related goal that you set and did not reach. How did you recover from the disappointment?
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Question 7 of 25
As a biological scientist, you will face a significant amount of diversity among your coworkers. Are you accustomed to this?
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Question 8 of 25
What feedback did you receive from your most recent manager?
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Question 9 of 25
How do you encourage creative thinking with your fellow scientists?
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Question 10 of 25
How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?
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Question 11 of 25
Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
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Question 12 of 25
What questions do you have for me?
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Question 13 of 25
What is the most challenging part of supervising biological technicians and junior scientists?
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Question 14 of 25
How do you handle a larger than average workload?
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Question 15 of 25
How do you handle stress and pressure?
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Question 16 of 25
Why should we hire you?
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Question 17 of 25
Describe a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
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Question 18 of 25
What was the biggest change you have had to deal with in your career?
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Question 19 of 25
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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Question 20 of 25
Tell me about yourself.
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Question 21 of 25
As a scientist, team communication is key to your success. What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
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Question 22 of 25
What are your strengths as a biological scientist?
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Question 23 of 25
What do you know about the study of wild animal populations?
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Question 24 of 25
Share an experience in which you presented to a group. What was the situation and how did it go?
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Question 25 of 25
What are your salary expectations for this biological scientist role?
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About Biological Scientist

August 17th, 2017

As a Biological Scientist you are a person who loves nature, plants, and animals and wants to study and understand how organisms live and act. Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes such as cell development, growth, and heredity. Your research typically relates to finding a way to promote, cure, treat or improve plant and animal habitats. In the lab, you must be able to use tools like microscopes, cell counters or robotic equipment.

Education needed to be a successful Biological Scientist is a Bachelor's degree in a biological science for entry-level positions but most biological scientists hold master's degrees or doctorates in their field of specialization. Skills needed to be a Biological Scientist should be able to work independently or as part of a team and be able to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. If you choose private industry you may hold a management or administrative positions. Strong business and communication skills and being familiar with regulatory issues and marketing and management techniques will be an added bonus you can speak to during the interview. You must have patience and self-discipline to conduct long and detailed research projects.

To prepare for your interview you'll want to research the company that you are applying to. What projects are they currently working and how can you contribute to the outcome? Have the common interview answers ready to go for your interview: Tell us about yourself and strengths and weaknesses and what do you know about our company.


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