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Clinical Research Coordinator Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Clinical Research Coordinator interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

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Question 1 of 25

When have you had difficulty instructing any member of your staff on how to perform the necessary trial measures?

How to Answer

The interviewer is looking for someone who has good leadership skills and who knows how to troubleshoot. Explain a time that you had difficulty training a staff member and what you did to resolve the issue. Be sure you do not talk negatively about the staff member, and describe how you turned a negative situation into a positive.

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25 Clinical Research Coordinator Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. When have you had difficulty instructing any member of your staff on how to perform the necessary trial measures?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking for someone who has good leadership skills and who knows how to troubleshoot. Explain a time that you had difficulty training a staff member and what you did to resolve the issue. Be sure you do not talk negatively about the staff member, and describe how you turned a negative situation into a positive.

      1st Answer Example

      "About six months ago, I had hired a registered nurse with 15 years experience to assist with screening patients for clinical trials. She did exceptional in her interview and had great references. However, after one month, I noticed some patients who participated in the trial should not have passed the screening process. When I asked the nurse why the patients had passed the screening, she admitted that she had never worked in clinical trials and did not know the procedure. After that, I went over the process and worked with her screening the next round of patients so she would understand how it was done."

  • 2. What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      The job posting typically will have a salary range depending on experience. If the range were posted, a good answer would be that your salary expectations are in line with your experience and qualifications. Or, you can answer that you are open to discussing the salary. Make sure your salary expectations are in line with what they are offering.

      1st Answer Example

      "I see that you are offering a salary range of $85,000 to $95,000 per year. Based on my qualifications and experience, I believe that is fair. I am sure we can discuss and come to an agreement on my salary expectations."

  • 3. If you were offered this position, when could you start?

      How to Answer

      It is considerate to give your employer at least two weeks' notice if you are currently working. That shows the interviewer that you are respectful of your employer. If you are not currently working, tell the interviewer you are available immediately. That shows you are enthusiastic to start working for their organization.

      1st Answer Example

      "As I am currently employed, I need to give my employer two weeks' notice, which I would do immediately after being offered the position. So, I would be available to start two weeks after the job offer. If my employer was able to fill my position sooner, I could start here before then."

  • 4. If you could work in any other profession, what would it be?

      How to Answer

      This is another question where the interviewer wants some insight as to what interests you. However, the best answer is to choose a profession that is closely related to the position you are interviewing for, or at least in the same field. Choose a similar job that might be above your experience level, which shows you are committed to your profession.

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  • 5. What do you like to do outside of work?

      How to Answer

      This question gives the interviewer an idea of your personality and interests outside of work. There is no wrong answer but refrain from describing any activities that might be construed as unethical or indecent. For example, you would not want to tell the interviewer that you like to go club-hopping or go to pole-dancing classes.

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  • 6. How would your previous boss describe you?

      How to Answer

      This question is asked because most people will be honest as to what their boss thinks of them. The interviewer wants to hear what qualities you would bring to their organization. The previous employer can be called for a reference, so the interviewer wants to see that your answer aligns with your previous boss.

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  • 7. Why are you leaving your current position?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear why you decided to leave your current position and work for their company. If you are leaving your current position because of an issue with a coworker or supervisor, refrain from talking negatively about anyone. You can describe your situation as one where you could not experience the growth you can with their organization or another personal reason.

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  • 8. What is your greatest strength?

      How to Answer

      This is a common interview question as the interviewer wants to hear what you value and what you believe is a strong attribute. Describe what you believe is your greatest strength as it pertains to the position you are interviewing for. For example, strong leadership skills, empathy, organizational skills, and work ethic are wonderful strengths to have as a Clinical Research Coordinator.

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  • 9. What can you bring to this company?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer already has your resume and knows your background. The interviewer wants to see if you understand what challenges the company has and how you will fit into their organization. Read the job description carefully and research the company. Then connect your skills to what the company needs, so you stand out as the top candidate for the position.

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  • 10. What do you do to handle the stresses of working as a Clinical Trial Research Coordinator?

      How to Answer

      Working as a Clinical Trial Research Coordinator can be a stressful position. With the heavy workload and traveling often, the stress of the job can get to some people. The interviewer wants to hear that you can stay calm and not get overwhelmed too easily. Describe any stress-reducing techniques you have to keep your stress levels down.

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  • 11. When have you and your previous team had difficulty recruiting study participants? How did you overcome this obstacle?

      How to Answer

      It can be difficult to recruit study participants for certain trials. If you have had a situation where you and your team had difficulty recruiting study participants, describe how you overcame that obstacle. It might be that you partnered with physicians, you chose a patient recruitment company, or you advertised in a major newspaper or on the television or radio. The interviewer wants to see your troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

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  • 12. How would your coworkers describe you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear what traits your coworkers would use to describe you. This question gives the interviewer an idea of what type of work ethic you possess and your personality traits. They want to hear that you are a team player and that you work well with others. Try to keep your answer limited to three words your coworkers would use to describe you as it pertains to this position.

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  • 13. How do you motivate yourself when you have a heavy workload?

      How to Answer

      Clinical Research Coordinators often have heavy workloads combined with lots of travel time. Describe how you stay motivated to complete your workload without becoming overwhelmed. Explain what methods or techniques you use to complete heavy workloads.

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  • 14. Tell me about a time when you worked with a person who did things very differently than you. How did you get the job done?

      How to Answer

      Everyone has different styles and ways of getting work accomplished. It does not mean one person's way of doing something is better than another person's. The interviewer wants to see how you work with diverse groups of people and that you are a team player.

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  • 15. Are you comfortable traveling to various locations that may be conducting our research trials?

      How to Answer

      Working as a Clinical Research Coordinator typically requires a lot of travel. If you are working as a Clinical Research Coordinator, you probably already know this. The interviewer is looking to see if you will be available for travel or if you have other commitments that will interfere. Be honest and give your availability and anything that might stand in the way of traveling.

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  • 16. What extra measures have you enacted solely to increase patient safety?

      How to Answer

      Clinical Research Coordinators are a vital link between the research team, sponsors, and patients and need to ensure the studies run smoothly while protecting the patient's health and safety. Clinical Research Coordinators are exposed to vital patient information. They need to keep the patient's health information secure while screening patients to be sure they fit the guidelines of the trial. Describe measures you have taken to increase the safety of your patients. The interviewer wants to hear that the safety of your patients is your primary concern.

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  • 17. When have you turned a negative relationship with a coworker into a positive relationship?

      How to Answer

      Conflict resolution is important in any profession. The interviewer wants to see how you handle conflict and turn a negative experience into a positive one. Describe a time where you had an issue with a coworker and turned it into a positive situation. Be sure you do not speak negatively about your coworker, which shows poor judgment and character.

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  • 18. What attracts you to our area of research?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see what interests you and why. If you have a personal reason this area of research interests you, describe your reason. Let your passion show when answering this question.

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  • 19. Tell me about your previous experience coordinating clinical research studies.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see what your experience has been coordinating clinical research trials to ensure you have the qualifications needed for the position. Give an example of your most memorable or remarkable clinical research study and how you coordinated it.

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  • 20. When have you overlooked an important detail in a previous trial?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see how you handle challenging situations and how easily you can admit you made a mistake. Owning up to a mistake that was made or an important detail that was overlooked shows that you have a sense of integrity and that you are humble enough to admit to a failure. The key to answering this question is to describe what detail was overlooked and explain what you learned from your mistake.

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  • 21. When have you shown excellent communication skills in your work?

      How to Answer

      Clinical Research Coordinators must have excellent written and verbal communication skills. CRCs need to ensure that patients understand complex research protocols in easy-to-understand terms. In addition to working with patients, CRCs work closely with co-workers, key stakeholders, sponsors, ancillaries, and regulatory agents. The interviewer wants to see how you communicate to make sure you are the best candidate for the position.

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  • 22. When have you adapted quickly and effectively to a change in your working conditions?

      How to Answer

      Being able to adapt quickly to change is a strong skill for a Clinical Research Coordinator to have. A great Clinical Research Coordinator needs to anticipate problems before they arise to help prevent potential punitive actions. The interviewer wants to see how you adapt to change and crises in the workplace, which shows your problem-solving and decision-making skills. Describe a time when you had to quickly and effectively adapt to change in the work environment.

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  • 23. When have you used logic in solving a problem?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear that you are a logical person who can solve problems on your own. Logical people tend to be self-starters and require little supervision. How you answer this question will show the interviewer your personality and judgment skills.

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  • 24. How do you stay on top of new governing regulations?

      How to Answer

      It is crucial in this role to stay on top of governing regulations. Regulatory compliance is essential for clinical research studies, but it can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Describe how you stay compliant with new regulations and any tricks you have found in your career.

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  • 25. How would you motivate your team for an upcoming trial?

      How to Answer

      Clinical Research Coordinators need to be good role models and leaders. Clinical trials can sometimes be stressful, and the interviewer wants to hear how you motivate others to get a job done. Describe your motivational techniques and how they have been successful for you.

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