So you got an Interview - Now What? | Yuri's Top Tips.
Tips to prepare for interviews in the MedTech and Healthcare Industry.
By Yuri Morgulis
Finding a job is not an easy task! Finding the RIGHT job is even harder. This guide is specifically created for those looking to find the RIGHT job in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. It provides you with guidance on what to expect before the interview, and during the interview process. The process is typical for big pharmaceuticals and most multi-nationals. It is important to cater and amend each application depending on the position you apply for, especially if this is your first role in industry.
Before the Interview:
- Research the company, the role within the company and the wider industry.
- Have a clear statement that explains why you want to work in the industry, why that specific company and why you are suitable for that role.
- Review the most common interview questions, and any resources about previous interviews at that company (for most companies you can find candidate experiences online, on websites such as Glassdoor).
- Re-evaluate the selection criteria and ensure you can provide stimulating examples to demonstrate the skills that are listed.
- Formulate questions to ask at the end of the interview that will allow you to determine if this is what you want to do, and the company fits in with your expectations.
Typical Interview Process:
- Phone Screening
- Typically two rounds of interviews
- Round 1: Recruitment member / HR
- Round 2: Hiring Manager
- Assessments (psychometric testing, verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning)
Typical Interview Format:
- Resume & Background Review
- CV & relevant work experience for the role.
- Motivation related questions: what do you enjoy most about your current role, least enjoy, why have you left your current role, what appeals to you about this position?
- Career Goals
- Discussions around your career aspirations (long and short-term plan)
- Discussions regarding how this role fits into your career progression
- Strengths & development areas
- These questions will test your ability to self-reflect.
- Typical question: what challenges do you think you will face if successful for this role? How will you overcome these challenges? What do you feel are your strengths applicable to this role?
- Technical/Function Interview questions
- The expectations questions will provide significant insight into the candidate’s technical/functional skills. These are likely to be unique to the position, role, or function, and form an essential part of their overall performance. For example, in finance positions, expertise might refer to accounting skills; in IT, it might refer to programming skills; in manufacturing roles, it might be engineering skills.
- Behavioural Interview questions
- These are based on the principle that past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour. Usually, these questions begin with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when…” The key to successfully answering behavioural interview questions is to not only understand what skills and expertise you bring to a role, but most importantly, being able to back up your claims with real examples from your previous experience.
- Answering behavioural questions: STAR Method (STAR stands for Situation, Tasks, Action & Results)
- Situation/Task: What was your goal or target? What exactly was your role in the project? What did you have to achieve?
- Action: What action did you take? Why did you do that? Who did you involve? How did others react?
- Result: What eventually happened? What was the outcome? What feedback did you get? What did you learn? What was the financial impact? How did you know you had met your objectives?
Ensure you always use examples! These examples can come from internships, classes, work or university projects, activities, team participation, community service, hobbies and work experience. Any relevant example, as long as you are able to answer the questions successfully! Where possible ensure you quantify your achievement (numbers and results) when answering the question.
Other Tips for Answering Different Question Types:
- Questions relating to ethics – you need to demonstrate ethical behaviour always – no exception, no compromise. Ensure your choices show that you can challenge decisions or behaviours and are willing to speak up and acting on anything you see that does not align with your values. You keep the patient/consumer/customer at the heart of your decision making.
- Questions relating to time management – you need to demonstrate that you make the best use of time and resources by knowing what is important. Ensuring you have a well-informed point of view, expressing it well and encouraging everyone else to do the same. Decisions benefit customers while delivering value.
- Questions relating to performance management – you need to demonstrate that you are accountable for your own performance, executing on plans, and delivering high quality work. Seeking performance conversations with others and you can demonstrate an accurate perspective of their current performance.
Finding the right job will take time. The application process can be rather cumbersome and length depending on the time of year or the number of candidates.
Although it was not previously touched on, networking is an important aspect in applying for jobs. Attend networking events, obtain introductions to people working in the company already. It is often easier to obtain a job through an internal recommendation rather than external (cold) application. Within Australia, the industry is seeing various trends in recruitment depending on the group/area. Generally, hiring managers are looking for candidates that can hit the ground running and there is minimal day-to-day training required to operate daily. If you are a graduate, you need to think about what skills you bring to a job and show the hiring manager your value add! While you may not have a direct set skill, you should be able to explain how you can add value or even bring in another skill that they have not considered (that would be vital to the job from your research).
Most importantly, stay resilient and persistent! The right job will present itself if you put in the work!
About Yuri Morgulis
A pharmaceutical consultant working for multinational, healthcare companies in the Asia Pacific region. Experience gained across multiple departments, such as, clinical, operations, quality & technical, regulatory and project management. Educationally, with a background in Medical Sciences – Pathology (Bachelor), Medicine (Masters) , project management & process improvement (and a deferred Medical Degree). Passionate about commercialising and working on value-add medicine that can help patients. An avid learner, and keen on sharing best practice and knowledge with students.