How to Prepare for a Pharma Job Interview

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 24 Aug 2021

How to Prepare for a Pharma Job InterviewAs you can’t predict exactly how a job interview will go, it’s important to be fully prepared beforehand to help you stay confident, calm, and collected. Being well prepared will also help you make a great first impression on your interviewer, as it will be very clear to them how much time you’ve put into your preparation, and how much you really care about the role.

In this article, we outline 10 things you can do before your next pharma job interview to help you fully prepare for what’s to come…

Know the Details

Make sure you’ve been given enough detail about your interview to help you prepare. You should be given all the necessary details in your interview invite, including:

  • The type of interview (remote, telephone, group, one-on-one, etc.)
  • Interview time and location
  • Who you’ll be interviewed by and who you should report to on the day
  • What platform you’ll be using if it’s a remote interview, and any meeting links or passwords you need to join

If you aren’t sure about any of the above, don’t be afraid to ask!

Understand the Role

You should have a strong understanding of the role beyond simply memorising what’s listed in the job description and being able to list all the requirements you meet. Try to understand how the role fits in with the rest of the department and organisation as a whole and identify what the most rewarding and challenging parts of the job might be. Reach out to people in a similar role or within the company on places like LinkedIn to gain a more realistic insight into what a career there could look like and keep up with company and industry news to help you understand the bigger picture.

Research the Company Beyond Their ‘About Us’ Page

Look beyond the company’s ‘About Us’ page when doing your research, as this is the first place most candidates will go. As well as understanding what the company actually does, you need to understand the challenges they face, their goals and values, their company culture, the market they’re operating in, competitor activity, and what projects are currently in the works.

When doing your research, look at the following:

  • Company social media pages
  • Client lists
  • Reviews from previous employees on places like Glassdoor
  • Company news/press releases
  • Industry news
  • Competitor news/press releases
  • Employee social media pages

Research Your Interviewers

Know who’s running the interview and do your research on them on places like LinkedIn. Find out what types of projects they’ve worked on, what they’re currently working on, and more about their role and style of working. The goal here is to find some common ground and to understand what type of person they’d want to work with.

Research Questions and Practice Your Answers

Make a list of the most commonly asked interview questions as well as some that are specific to the pharma industry, the company you’re applying to and the role you’re applying for. Use the job description and the research you’ve already done to put yourself in the mind of an employer and understand what they’re looking for. You can also look on places like Glassdoor for questions that the company might have asked in the past or speak to past and current employees to find out what they think might come up.

Practice answering these questions with a friend or by recording yourself, perhaps using the STAR method to get used to giving structured answers. Remember to pay attention to your body language as well as what you say.

Prepare Questions to Ask

In every job interview you have, you should always prepare a list of questions to ask at the end. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in the role, that you’ve really engaged in what the interviewer has said, and that you’ve done plenty of preparation.

Know Your CV Inside and Out

It’s likely that you’ll get asked about something you’ve put on your CV or cover letter in your interview, so it’s important to know exactly what’s on there, and that you’re ready to go into more detail about this in the interview.

Review Your Brag File

If you have a brag file, review it to make sure it’s up-to-date and relevant. If you don’t have a brag file, consider putting one together with all the achievements you think would be most impressive for this role. Remember to be selective with what you include, and to only refer to it to support the claims you make about your abilities. 

Go Through Your Work Diary

If you’ve been keeping a work diary, go through it before your interview to remind yourself of your achievements. Go through the main requirements for the role and cross-reference this with your work diary, making sure you’ve got examples you can use when answering questions to make you stand out.

If you don’t have a work diary, consider putting together a list of what you do on a day-to-day, the platforms you use, the skills you’ve developed, and projects you’re particularly proud of. It’s easy to forget some of these things when on the spot, so make sure they’re fresh in your mind.

Practice the Journey

If you’ve not been to the location before, make sure you do a practice run beforehand. Not only will this help you relax as you’ll know where you’re going, but it will also give you a chance to try out the commute and make sure it’s manageable.

If it’s a remote interview, create an account for the platform you’ll be using and familiarise yourself with its features.

Help Yourself Stand Out…

Doing this extra research and preparation will make it clear to interviewers that you’re serious about the role and that you’re hard-working, organised, and dedicated to your work – so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a strong first impression!

Visit PharmiWeb.Jobs for more careers advice or to start searching for your next pharma job.