Interview Tips for Biotechnology Jobs

Interviews for biotechnology jobs involve both the typical job interview (usually a behavioral interview style) and a strong technical component. The technical aspects are largely governed by the line of work involved in the job.

Interview Structures and Subject Areas for Biotechnology Jobs

These subjects could be primary areas of research for your interview:

  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Microbiology
  • Cell biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Botany
  • Biopharmaceuticals.

You should research the background materials relevant to your new job, particularly fundamentals like gene sequencing, informatics and other methodologies, which are primary skills in biotechnology.  

At industry and commercial levels, these are also some natural areas of questioning:

  • Lab techniques
  • Industrial biotechnological processes
  • Biotech products and issues
  • Biotech procedures.

Interview Questions and Answers

Interviews for biotechnology jobs can involve a mix of behavioral and technical questions. Because of the wide range of possible questions, this article will concentrate on fundamental interview elements.

1: What Do You Know about This Organization?

Stick to a basic description of the organization, its role and its commercial or scientific market base. This kind of answer shows your understanding of the organization’s core functions.

2: Give an Example of Problem Solving That Involves a Basic Testing Process.

Although partly technical, this question will explore your skill levels. Keep your answer simple and explain the situation in clear, progressive stages:

  1. The type of test
  2. The problem
  3. The solution
  4. The result.

3: Where Do You Expect to Be in 5 Years?

This is a motivational question, to see how the position applies to your intended career track. Give an answer which clearly integrates the position with your intentions. Spell out your career path.

4: Give an Example of Your Use of Computational Biology Systems and Methods.

The answer should be clearly relevant to the position. If, for example, the position involves protein structure prediction, structural modeling or simulation methods, use those as the preferred examples.

5: What Are the Three Types of DNA Sequences?

This type of blunt, basic question is a generic technical question, particularly common at entry level. Keep your answers strictly factual. There are two natural forms, genomic (derived from the genome) and cDNA, which is reverse-transcribed from mDNA. Recombinant DNA is man-made, composed of artificially constructed DNA.

6: Describe the Issues Related to Creation of a Living Modified Organism.

The issues in this broad question are technical, ethical and ecological. It also touches on viability. You’re actually being asked to show your awareness of this controversial subject, which is relevant to many employers. If you’re not sure exactly what information is required, ask the interviewers.