Interviews are always nerve-wracking, but the right preparation will help you to feel far more confident. Before you attend, make sure you carry out plenty of research into the employer and the role itself, so that you are prepared for specific questions and can ask the right ones yourself. For example, you’ll want to know if the role focuses on one research area or various diseases, and whether you’ll work for different investigators or just the one.
The Job Description
Make sure you have examples of where you meet the necessary criteria on the persona specification and have examples of where you can apply other skills and attributes to develop areas that you have less experience in. Be ready to talk through your CV as well, giving relevant examples that may well answer certain questions in advance.
Can You Visit Beforehand?
If you can get to the facility or lab before your interview, it may give a slight advantage, especially if you can speak to an employee there and gain some insights.
Have Standard Answers Ready
It’s particularly important that you are ready to answer regulatory questions accurately and fully. Be prepared to be asked about Good Clinical Practice and have a definition ready. If this is your first clinical research role, go on a GCP course beforehand. Know about Informed Consent as well, and all aspects of confidentiality, particularly within the Data Protection Act. It’s wise to also be able to talk about the Caldecott Guardian and its role in safeguarding patient information.
Know too about safety reporting categories and timelines for SEAs and SUSARs, and be ready to talk about the clinical trial approval process.
Have Questions Ready
You may want to work for a CRO, or you may be looking for a post within the NHS – either way, have your questions ready yourself, and make sure they are insightful and show that you know about the employer.
Arrive promptly and have notes with you. It’s helpful to write down any questions you have in advance so you don’t forget them, and be sure to wear something smart but comfortable. It’s also a good idea to accept any drink offered at the start of the interview, in case you get a dry throat!