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Epidemiologist Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
How would you design a surveillance system for young children?
View Answer
How to Answer
A surveillance system is used to examine public health issues across several years, track trends, compare health among groups of people, and determine whether something is improving or worsening for a specific group of people. As an Epidemiologist, would you choose active, passive or sentinel surveillance system? Whichever you choose, tell the interviewer why and what the outcome was.
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Top 30 Epidemiologist Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
How would you design a surveillance system for young children?
A surveillance system is used to examine public health issues across several years, track trends, compare health among groups of people, and determine whether something is improving or worsening for a specific group of people. As an Epidemiologist, would you choose active, passive or sentinel surveillance system? Whichever you choose, tell the interviewer why and what the outcome was.
2.
Describe a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others.
As an Epidemiologist, your research can help millions of people and impact serious changes in the world. Focus on telling the interviewer how you positively made a change.

Heather's Answer
"I really connected with people in my last presentation in our community to positively impact the overall health status. I had numerous people compliment my presentation skill, the information presented and that it was all easy to understand."
3.
Give me an example of when you took a risk to achieve a goal. What was the outcome?
As an Epidemiologist, you make take risks in your job, within your research or how you present information. Whatever your risk was, tell the interviewer about it with confidence. Tell the interviewer that you take risks to think outside the box and get people thinking.

Heather's Answer
"Studies show that there is a connection between smoking and lung cancer. I took the risk to focus my energy on the connection between second-hand smoke and lung cancer. My risk paid off and my research was published last year."
4.
Are you experienced in speeches and presentations? How do you prepare for these?
Hopefully one of your weaknesses isn't public speaking. If public speaking isn't a strength be sure to mention it but add that you are working at it improving yourself and getting more comfortable. Tell the interviewer what your tricks are to professionally deliver information to the audience. This is not the time to tell the interviewer that you picture everyone naked.

Anonymous Answer
"I am a confident public speaker. As a dental surgeon, I used to consult with my patients a lot. During my Master's program, I have had done lots of presentations with 12-15 people group. I try to make my presentation simple. I do a lot of research before the presentation & utilize different communication techniques to make presentations fun, interesting, and engaging."
Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic answer! You obviously know what it takes to engage an audience.
"I am a confident public speaker. As a dental surgeon, I used to consult with my patients a lot. During my Master's program, I delivered many presentations to groups of up to 15 people. I try to make my presentations simple. I do a lot of research before the presentation and utilize different communication techniques to make my presentations fun, interesting, and engaging."
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5.
Walk me through how you prepare technical and research reports and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
The interviewer is asking you to walk them through your process of preparing research to present it to a crowd. The interviewer is asking you this question to evaluate your organization and presentation skills.

Heather's Answer
"When preparing reports I put together an outline of my research. An outline allows me to fill in the blanks as I research and determine what the outcomes are. I use this outline to help me stay on track. I also use this same outline to give my presentation."
6.
Which industry related current event interests you the most?
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 very helpful to conduct research on the organization prior to your interview. Tie your answer into the current activities of this organization. Consider asking a question as a way to start an engaging conversation with your interviewer about current events in your industry.

Heather's Answer
"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?"
7.
Do you prefer a research or clinical setting?
To prepare for this question you will want to do your homework on the company you are interviewing with. If they expect you to work in a research and clinical setting than the answer to their question is 'both.' Tell the interviewer good points about each setting.

Heather's Answer
"I enjoy working in both types of settings. If I had to choose one it would be clinical. I love being able to interact with patients."
8.
What is the most fascinating disease you have studied in your epidemiology career thus far?
There are so many different types of diseases you have studied over the years it may be hard to narrow it down to just one study you were part of. Choose one field that spoke to you personally. Tell the interviewer about a study you were a part of and how you played a part in it. Nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, prescription drug overdose, teen pregnancy and tobacco use are a few topics you may choose to talk about.
9.
How well do you work with people?
You work great with people! This question may stump you, but as an Epidemiologist, 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 healthcare professionals.

Heather's Answer
"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."
10.
As an Epidemiologist, what do you believe is your best asset?
This question is also known as 'what is your greatest strength'. This is one of the most common questions during an interview so you will need to have your answer memorized so the way it is worded doesn't throw you off guard. Struggling to come up with your answer? Think about the common praises you received in past performance reviews, or ask a respected colleague for their opinion.
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