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Clinical Research Interview Questions

30 Clinical Research Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
What is your strongest skill as a Clinical Researcher?
How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know what you consider your greatest strength as a clinical researcher. This helps them to understand where you would best fit, should you be given the opportunity.

Yes, you can brag about yourself! It's tough to do sometimes, so you may want to create and memorize a definite answer before your interview. Be sure to reinforce that others have endorsed your best skills.

Answer Example
"In the past, I have received regular positive feedback on my ability to manage multiple projects while keeping consistent and accurate data. If I had to choose my strongest skill as a clinical researcher, I would choose my ability to multitask."
Entry Level Example
"As my career in clinical research is new, I would say my strongest skill is my blend of education and willingness to learn. I am a sponge for information at this point in my career and truly want to learn. I am excellent with accepting, and implementing, feedback."
Experienced Example
"I excel in a few areas, but I would say my greatest strength in clinical research has been my ability to coordinate and analyze various data sets. When data is coming from multiple channels, it can be challenging to bring it all together to support a single hypothesis. I have been successful in working with complex data sets."
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Question 2 of 30
What is the most fascinating experience you have had during a clinical trial?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know about a clinical trial that has excited you. The best way to answer this question is to tell an exciting story from a previous study. Be prepared to lay out the setting, the goal, what the findings were and why you found it so fascinating. The primary goal here is to show the interviewer that you have a passion for what you do.

Answer Example
"In my previous position I was working a clinical trial for a new sleep aid drug. Our trial group was to determine the level of the drugs of effectiveness in assisting adult insomnia. About halfway through the trial, we found that our subjects were not only experiencing better sleep patterns but their skin problems were also clearing up. It's always fascinating when you discover an alternate use or solution during a clinical trial."
Entry Level Example
"As a grad student, I was asked to participate in a cancer research program that was on the brink of discovering a new treatment in pediatric oncology. In this role, I was able to partner with some of the most advanced and recognized professionals in research. It was thrilling to be a part of the team that advanced the study, which is now in trial across the country."
Experienced Example
"I have been part of many clinical trials through my six-year career in clinical research. I would say that the most interesting trial I have been a part of was testing a new marijuana-based drug and its effect on epileptic seizures. The drug, in fact, reduced seizure episodes in the test subjects by 87%. I am excited to see where marijuana- drug research takes us in the future."
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Question 3 of 30
Are you more interested in the statistics in research or do you prefer to get straight to the answer?
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How to Answer
It is important that the interviewer see that your work style is a good fit for their clinic's management style. Are you one to dive into the details or do you prefer the gratification of getting straight to the answer?

If you tend to be the type to get straight to the answer, you could say: "Although I have a strong appreciation for statistical analysis and the amount of work that comes with gathering that data - I crave the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting to the conclusion."
Answer Example
"Although I have a strong appreciation for statistical analysis and the amount of work that comes with gathering that data - I crave the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting to the conclusion."
Entry Level Example
"If you get more excited about statistics, you could say: "I have always leaned towards statistical analysis. I love the challenge that comes with taking the data and working it in a variety of ways."
Experienced Example
"I get very excited about data, and the data analytics courses in my training were my most favorite. If I can dig into the data and then dig deeper, I can usually get to a place where the data will very clearly guide our research towards an outcome. It's a fascinating part of being a clinical researcher."
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Question 4 of 30
In your opinion, what is the most important factor in each phase of a clinical trial?
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How to Answer
The interviewer is going to gauge your level of expertise in clinical trials based on the knowledge and confidence you display when answering this question. Keep your answer fact-related and easy to understand.

Answer Example
"Firstly, I believe it is important to not move onto the next phase of a clinical trial until the objectives of the current stage are met. In Phase 0, the most critical factor is to determine that the effect of the drug on the participant is as expected. In Phase I, evaluating the safety and proper dose is the most important factor. For Phase II..."
Entry Level Example
"I have been taught that the most important factor in any phase of a clinical trial is the safety of your test subjects. Without a strong base of safety, no trial can be published without question."
Experienced Example
"I have two ways of thinking through the start of the project. The first is excitement and curiosity for how the project may impact the world. The second is focused on the process and timeline of the clinical research plan. I think it's important to have the steps mapped out so that the team can stay on budget and on time."
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Question 5 of 30
Which industry related current event interests you the most?
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How to Answer
The way in which you answer this will be an indicator of your engagement level when it comes to this industry and your career. This is where it is beneficial to research the organization before your interview. Tie your answer into the current activities of this organization. You can elaborate from there. Asking a question in return is a great way to start an engaging conversation with your interviewer about current events in your industry.

Answer Example
"I am so happy you asked me that! I was recently reading an article on how some hospital academic departments are starting to employ clinical research associates in clinical trial units and I would love to know what your thoughts were on this?"
Entry Level Example
"I have been very interested in and closely following the medical advancements happening in regards to malaria in Africa. As a student, I did a study abroad semester in this region of the world and worked in a clinic that taught malaria prevention strategies. It was such an eye-opening experience for me, and I have been researching this topic ever since."
Experienced Example
"I read up on current events in clinical research on a daily basis. It's incredibly important to stay in touch. My favorite resource is Medical News Today. I recently read a fascinating article surrounding researchers from the Queen Mary University of London. They have successfully modified a flu virus and used it to target pancreatic cancer cells. Fascinating!"
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Writers for Clinical Research Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 02/28/2014
Last modified on: 08/20/2018

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About Clinical Research

September 21st, 2017

Clinical research analysts play an important role in clinical trials and medical studies. Their exact duties may vary depending on the kind of research facility they are working in. In general, clinical research analysts conduct clinical studies and trials in order to assess the effectiveness of a prescription drug, medical process or medical device on the human body. These analysts usually work with physicians or scientists in a laboratory, research facility, hospital or any other medical or pharmaceutical company. Their responsibilities may extend to overseeing protocol, collecting data from patients, and tracking inventory.

A degree in health science or a clinical field is the minimum educational qualification required to become a clinical research analyst. While an associate's degree may suffice for entry-level jobs, a bachelor's or a master's degree is essential for higher-level and higher paying jobs. Work experience can make a huge difference to your job prospects. University research work, participation in clinical research, interning with licensed physicians and exposure to common procedures are some of the ways to gain the necessary work experience. Clinical research analysts must have outstanding analytical, organizational and time-management skills as well as a strong eye for detail.

Be prepared for a tough interview for this position as prospective employers will want to make 100% sure they are hiring the right applicant. To convince them that you are the right person for the job, you must be able to answer their questions confidently. Prepare for your upcoming interview by checking out commonly asked questions listed on Mock Questions.