The interviewer is interested in knowing about the reason that motivated you to choose this career. It can be anything, ranging from your parents, some relative, your school teacher, or even your curiosity towards the micro-organisms etc. Whatever is your reason, be honest about it and inform it to the interviewer in a nice positive manner. Sometimes, money is also our motivation behind making a career choice but this is not something that you might want to use for this answer. So, use something that sounds unique and assures the interviewer about the fact that you are in this profession to make a change and not just for the money.
"I want to become a microbiologist because I have always been curious about the effects of microorganisms on the environment and its inhabitants. I want to be a part of the solutions to our environmental problems."
The interviewer wants to know if you are capable of initiating and completing projects on your own. This will be helpful in determining if you are a good fit for the organization's future plans which may require you to start working on some new projects. If you are a new graduate, describe a school project or a task that you started on your own and were able to complete successfully. If you worked on discovering findings on a project provide the details, what role you held and what the outcome was. Be sure to mention if you were praised for your efforts.
You may not always like the people you work but you don't let it affect your work. As a Microbiologist, you may have experienced a confrontation or an uncomfortable situation with a coworker. Briefly, describe the situation and how you handled it. Be sure not to name names or get emotional when answering the question.
The intention behind asking this question is not only to get to know about your skills as a microbiologist but also to know if you know are aware of what it takes to be in this position. Some skills the interviewer is looking for you to expand on is your patience, attention to detail, independence and analytical skills. Have examples of your skills when answering this question.
Tell the interviewer if you keep a to-do list or meet with staff members each morning to discuss what is on the agenda and what deadlines are pending. Let the interviewer know how you are organized and how you prioritize your work. Nothing wrong with mentioning that you like to check in with supervisors to assure that you have prioritized as they see fit.
"I have a very detailed to-do list. Throughout the day I add, delete and prioritize my workload as the day progresses and requirements change."
You want to describe your comfort level with the various types of equipment you’ve used. If you’re asked whether you’re familiar with a specific tool with which you haven’t had experience, such as a new microscope, admit that you haven't had hands-on experience, and then describe your expertise with other microscopes you do know. Express your enthusiasm and willingness to learn when answering these questions.
As a Microbiologist, you maintain a lab environment and safety equipment as instructed by industry standards for quality, health, and safety. Tell the interviewer your routine for cleaning, maintaining and preparing supplies for you and your coworkers to use. Your reply will show the interviewer that you know your way around the laboratory.
"I'm responsible for loading, running and emptying the autoclave each morning for our laboratory."
The interviewer is asking you this question to get a good idea of how thorough and detail-oriented you are. For instance, you might go into detail about your methods for looking for bacteria or other microorganisms. Tell the interviewer how you setup your equipment, your procedure for logging information and other such technicalities.
The interviewer is asking you this question to see if you are comfortable going to others for assistance. Don’t be afraid to admit you've needed help. Share a situation and who you went to for support. It’s a good sign when you’re comfortable asking for support from others who might be more knowledgeable.
The interviewer is asking this question to get an idea of why you've left or are considering leaving your current position. Describe your role, if you've held a leadership position and what you are currently working on. If you are considering leaving your position for more money skip that response. By telling the interviewer that you want more money that will only tell them that you will be willing to leave them if something higher paying comes along. Tell the interviewer that you are leaving to work in a particular field, a position that has advancements or where you have the opportunity to work in a different environment.
As a Microbiologist, you may be experienced at grant writing. Tell the interviewer that you have prepared a thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged grant in your current position or in college. You research pertinent program criteria related to the Catalog program from which assistance is sought. You have experience interacting with the contact person listed in the Catalog program description before developing a proposal to obtain information such as whether funding is available, when applicable deadlines occur, and the process used by the grantor agency for accepting applications. You research the basic requirements, application forms, information, and procedures vary with the Federal agency making the grant award.
Community colleges and universities are popular places for microbiologists to lecture about the systems and advances of microbiology. Tell the interviewer if you have been fascinated with the field so much that you've decided to teach others.
If the interview you are attending is for the food industry be sure to keep your answers relevant. As a food microbiologists, you work on the front line of food safety. You are employed by food manufacturers, the government, and universities. Tell the interviewer what research you have performed lately and what the outcomes were.
"In my current position I work for a large manufacturer and monitor their processing and packaging of food products affects food preservation over time."
As a Microbiologist working within the food industry it is your duty to uphold the rules of the Food and Drug Administration. This question is your chance to show your integrity to the interviewer. Tell the interviewer when you've been in a situation where you've had to report information that may not favor the company you are working for.
Stress is common in every job so be sure not to answer this question stating you have never experienced work stress. Tell the interviewer if you relieve stress by spending time with your family, do yoga, go to the gym or spend your down time with a stress relieving hobby.
Tell the interviewer what you enjoy most about your career path. Tell them what keeps you engaged even on the most stressful of days. Anything that will show the interviewer you would enjoy the job and the maximum benefit you would gain from it all if you were given the chance.
"What I enjoy most about being a microbiologist is that I am paid to do what I love! Being on top of the issues related to this area and finding solutions for them, is all very exciting to me. The ever-changing landscape of the microbiology is fast-paced and keeps me engaged on a daily basis."
Communication situations can include interpersonal, group, public, or interpretive communication. Talk to the interviewer about any types of communication situations and styles that you find difficult.
"I find public communication situations to be difficult. I am not a strong public speaker or presenter. I am a confident person and have the right answers; however, I need some practice when it comes to public speaking to large groups of people."
The interviewer is asking this question to determine if you have continuously want to educate yourself, keep up with new technologies and want to grow within the career field. Tell the interviewer about any career related courses, leadership workshops or safety training. Tell the interviewer how you have developed yourself professionally in the recent years.
"This past year has been a big one for me in regards to professional development. I've started teaching night classes at our local college, volunteer with the Department of Health and have become a mentor to our Jr. technician."
By asking this question the interviewer wants to know that you are comfortable in working in all kinds of situations and with all kind of people. You can be a part of a team and you may have to work individually as well. To answer this question mention the types of teams you have worked with and your role within the team. Don't worry if you've never held a leadership role, describe your role as a researcher and describe the nature and importance of the data you collected.
The position you are interviewing for may require you to supervise a few people or a whole team. Focus on your team management and leadership skills and relay that you are more than capable of managing a team whenever there is a need. You know your job responsibilities and you are capable of delegating the job responsibilities to the others according to the requirement of the job.
Absolutely! A microbiologist needs to be detail oriented in order to ensure that everything is done without errors. Confidently explain your checklists to ensure steps in a process aren't missed, if you color code files to ensure you are processing things correctly and deadlines you set for yourself. Sharing your examples will enforce that you are in fact detail oriented.
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. Visit the organization's website to learn key information such as studies they've been involved in, specialties and community impact. Knowing how the organization started, who started the organization, mission statement, vision statement, and core values will be sure to impress the interviewer.
This is one of the most common interview questions. Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends for their opinion. Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
Get excited to share what gift you have! Think back to past performance reviews or kudos you have received from your co-workers. The skills you have been recognized for can be viewed as your strengths. Describe your strength and how it can be beneficial in this new role.
When answering this question, have one strong example and show how you have overcome the difficulty of this task. This is a great chance to provide an honest answer which shows your in-depth knowledge and experience in this profession. You can also answer this question with one of your weaknesses as a Microbiologist.
"I haven't had a lot of experience working with radioactive substances but I'm learning from my mentors and senior technicians."
The interviewer wants to know that you enjoy almost everything about the job. There could be something that you may not like in general but that should not sound like you totally hate it and that you might even end up performing well in your job. The answer to this question will help in determining if you will be a good fit for the organization and the job profile. When answering this question you need to keep in mind that it's not necessary that you have to bring out a huge list of complaints about the job. Take a look at the job description carefully and see what elements are of utmost importance for the job. Avoid saying anything that is related to these parts. If required you can also mention that there is nothing that you dislike about the job and that is the reason for you to have chosen this profession.
"I love everything about my job, but watching the people and environment suffer because of the microbes that I have to work around is something that I dislike about my job. I want to make sure that I am able to find a cure for at least some of these."
Take advantage of this question! So many times people run for the hills once the interview is over. 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.
"When should I expect to hear from you, may I contact you in a day or two?"
As a microbiologist, you study microscopic organisms including bacteria, algae, and fungi. You also study organisms that cause disease and environmental damage or are of industrial or agricultural interest. As a Microbiologist, environmental science and the fight against climate change and other environmental dangers that stem from pollution and waste or natural earthly processes are your areas of interest. You work on ecology, green energy and attempt to explain and monitor environmental health as well as phenomena or localized concerns. You may work in a hospital or clinical laboratory. Your day is spent analyzing samples collected on patients or the local population. If you are a Microbiologist that performs field work you'll collect samples outside of the laboratory to study local microbes, improve public health and track diseases as they move around a local region, or even around the world.
As a Microbiologist, you have your bachelors degree in microbiology, hands-on lab experience and may have continued your education in medicine, veterinary studies, or numerous other graduate and post-graduate positions in the science. You'll need to have strong technical skills to keep up-to-date and apply new knowledge to your job. Your attention to detail will assist you in accurately compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, and verifying information or data. You will also have strong administrative skills to enter, transcribe, record, store, and maintain information in written and electronic/magnetic form.
To prepare for your interview you'll want to make your responses stand out by inserting a sincere sense of how hiring you would be mutually beneficial. A few general questions from the interviewer may question your experience, education and desire to be a Microbiologist. As a Microbiologist, you may be used to working alone so the interviewer will more than likely ask how well you work within a team and what your individual work style is. Your response should indicate your ability to work closely with others when necessary, and that you understand the division of responsibilities between technicians, scientists, physicians and when you need to work on your own.