• Career Advice

How to Prepare for a Management Life Sciences Interview

If you have an upcoming interview for a management position at a life sciences company you’re probably wondering how you can ace it and secure the role you’ve been dreaming of. Preparing for any interview can be challenging and stressful, but when you’re aiming for a management role, it can be especially difficult. Luckily, the key to a successful interview is smart preparation. When you know the kind of questions you’re likely to be asked and some of the most common themes you’ll be able to make the best possible impression. Here, we take a look at how to prepare for a management life sciences interview so you can have the best opportunity for success.

What Can I Expect from A Management Life Sciences Interview?

When you arrive for your interview, the first part of the experience will probably be an introduction. The recruiter will ask you questions about your experience, skills and background so you need to know everything on your CV! Of course, it’s also important to dress appropriately and behave in a suitable manner at all times since first impressions matter. This is particularly vital when applying for a life sciences role. Life sciences organisations have a single goal – to save and improve patients’ lives. When you’re a manager in this sector, you’re representing their brand and this means you need to show that you can be a positive brand representative.

The STAR Structure

The questions you’ll be asked will be both behavioural and competency based. The STAR structure can help you form your responses effectively, keeping them concise yet informative:

S – situation – set the scene briefly.

T – task – outline what you were required to do.

A – activity – describe what you did and why you did it.

R – result – highlight the outcome, preferably with measurable results.

What Questions Will I Be Asked?

There are several categories of question you’ll be asked in a management life sciences interview. However, many will be centred around your leadership style and skills. You’ll need to show that you can handle conflict and encourage collaboration amongst colleagues. You’ll also need to outline how you’ll deal with motivating team members and conducting performance management reviews. Highlight your people skills and show that you are a strong leader through your responses.

You’ll also be expected to demonstrate your life sciences knowledge. Technical questions will form part of the interview in which you will need to give detail of your own experiences in technical areas and to show that you’re genuinely interested in the industry.

You are also likely to be asked questions that focus on your decision making abilities. You need to formulate responses that show you can make high-level decisions and take accountability for those decisions, even when they are made in challenging and time-sensitive situations.

Questions about scientific innovations may well crop up in your management interview too. Interviewers are on the lookout for signs that your vision is innovative and that you’re forward-thinking with a view to taking reasonable risks. You’ll also need to show that you have integrity as a leader. You can do this by highlighting examples of times when you’ve shown good judgement and sound ethics and proven to others that you’re reliable, respectful and trustworthy. No matter how experienced and skilled you are, if you can’t prove you’ll uphold the values of the company you won’t get the job.

Preparing Your Responses In Advance

Now that you know the most commonly-seen themes that crop up time and again in management life sciences interviews you can begin to prepare your own responses. Make sure that you take every opportunity to highlight your own skills and achievements while also avoiding arrogance or embellishment of the truth. It’s a good idea to search online for frequently asked questions so that you can begin to formulate answers around those topics. Once you’ve drafted your responses, you may want to ask a friend, colleague or family member to act as the interviewer and ask you questions in a practice run so that you can get used to what you’re going to say and build up your confidence before the big day.

If you follow this advice, you’ll find that you have the best possible chance of securing the life sciences management role that you’ve been hoping for. Good luck!

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