“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”

CRA Job Interview Preparation

For every job interview you need to prepare for the most common questions. We asked a couple of recruiters within clinical research to list some common questions they always ask during an interview.
For your convenience we’we’ve listed the questions in the accordion below, so you can easily practice them one by one.
Click each question to see the suggested answer!

Common interview questions for the job as a Clinical Research Associate – And suggestions how you may respond

1. Tell me about yourself?
   Probably the most commonly asked question, this usually serves to ease the tension for the interviewee. At the same time, it allows the interviewer to gauge you in terms of what you can do. Although you are being asked about yourself, they don’t really want to hear about your life story. The best way to answer this question is to give a brief rundown of you education, experience and skills. Basically let them know what you can do.Sometimes it may be fine to mention something personal like a hobby. However, this is best used only if it will be of benefit. Scan the room and see if there is a common interest you might have. If you do, then it can be beneficial to mention it.
2. What is your greatest strength?
    The key to answering this question is keeping in mind that they are only asking for one thing, not a whole list of what you can do. Pick what you feel is your best point and build on that. Don’t simply say “I’m a good leader” or “I am patient”. Use examples and situations to best explain your point. For example you may say I can delegate tasks and guide those under me towards a single goal. Instead of saying I’m patient you could point out that you understand others well and can deal with people easily.
3. Why should we hire you?
   A crucial question during the hiring process, this gives you an opportunity to sell yourself. Don’t settle for a one liner such as “I can do the job”. Instead, take the time to point out the skills that you have, experience you’ve gained and accomplishments. Relate how these can help you with your job as a clinical research associate and the company. Of course, even if you are selling yourself, be sure not to fabricate ant stories and just stick with facts.
4. Why did you leave your previous job?
    Such a question is tricky and can be difficult to answer, but the best way to do it is to be honest about it. Don’t try to make up excuses or make yourself look better or bad mouth your previous employer. Lay down the facts but be positive about it. If you were terminated, be honest about it and take responsibility for your mistake. At the same time point out what you learned from what happened.If you left on your own let them know why in a good way. For example instead of saying that you didn’t like what you were doing, say you wanted something more challenging. Rather than saying you want a better salary, say that you want growth.
5. What do you know about our company?
   This is one question that cannot be answered without any prior knowledge. With that in mind, remember to do research before you go in for the interview. Learn about what the company is all about. It’s mission, vision, advocacies and the like. Be sure that you also know who the prominent figures are. Mention what the company has done or achieved throughout the years, keeping the tone positive. Do not, mention any negative publicity it has gained or major setbacks unless the company successfully jumped back from it.
6. What is your expected salary?
   Answering a question about salary is usually best towards the end of the interview when you’ve learned about the position and benefits. If it is brought up early on, feel free to say that it is based on the job and that you would like to know more about the position first. You may also turn the question around and ask the interviewer what they would pay for the position as a CRA. In cases where the interviewer presses for a figure, it can be safer to give a price range within the usual pay scale. Keep in mind that you do not have to give an exact amount. It is fine to give a ball park range that you are comfortable with.
7. How do you deal with stress and pressure?
   The answer to this question will really depend on how you view stress and pressure personally. If you are one of those people who work better under such conditions, then by all means say so. This can really work to your advantage. On the other hand, if you do not do so well with it focus your answer on how you positively react to stress and pressure. You may mention that you manage it by balancing priorities or seeing it as a challenge and opportunity for learning. The bottom line is that employers want to know that you can still work and be productive even when times are tough.
8. Were there any challenges or problems you faced in your previous job?
    When answering this question, keep in mind that it is not a time to rant or complain. Go ahead and state any problems or challenges that you had, but also be sure to point out how you faced it. If there was something you learned, mention it as well. Do not speak ill of the company, any previous co-worker or superior. Focus your answer on how you were able to deal with the unfavorable situation rather than the situation itself or the people who were involved.
9. What are your weaknesses?
  With a question like this negative traits are often brought into the spotlight. Rather than stating your weakness outright in a negative manner, try to balance it out. For example, if you are a perfectionist, say that you always want the best output. Most importantly, acknowledge that you know there is a need to improve the weakness. Also, voice out that you are working on correcting it.
10. Why are you interested in this job?
  Common answers to such questions include better pay, benefits and the like. Tempting as it may be to give such answers, don’t. Instead focus on other aspects of the job and how you can help the company grow. Employers want to know that the people they hire are not simply interested in making money or getting a job.
11. What long-term goals do you have or where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
   Although this question may seem like you should share your personal future plans, it is not. Such a question should be answered in line with the position you are applying for or the career you have. Things such as buying a new car or building a home are irrelevant. Focus on where you want your career within clinical research to go in the years to come. Share what kind of growth you expect, or how you see yourself moving forward in your job as a clinical research associate. Of course, do make sure that you point out achievable goals.
12. Do you have any questions for me?
  The answer to this question should always be yes. Even if you feel that you have all the information you need, you should always ask questions. In general, those who do not ask questions are seen as uninterested in the position. In foresight, do prepare some relevant questions about the job or company. It may be as simple as asking about specific tasks and duties involved as a CRA, or even why there is an opening for such as position.
13. Have you ever had a disagreement with your boss or a supervisor?
   Before you go on bad mouthing your old boss or supervisor, stop. Such behavior would display unwanted characteristics. On the other hand, don’t simply say no. Instead, answer the question on a positive note. You may explain that disagreements or differences in opinions are something unavoidable, but point out that it is not something that should get in the way of work. Build up your answer on how you can handle a situation like this in case it arises.
14. Are you a team player or do you work better alone?
   This type of question is tricky, because in truth companies want someone who can work alone, but will also work with a team. The best way to answer this question is to say that you are flexible and can work both ways. Emphasize that you understand how team work can be essential, but at the same time valuing the work of each team member is also important. Rather than choosing between the two, try to strike a balance with your answer.
15. How do you measure success?
   Like most questions associated with wealth and power, it can be easy to answer with these two but don’t. Instead of equating success with money or a high position, point out success to be something that can be achieved even without these. Rather than saying that you would be successful if you were the CEO, say that you would be successful if you helped the company grow. It is also important to relate your view of success with the position that you are applying for.
Be sure to check out our telephone interview preparation guidelines as well!


Post a Comment

About Blogger:

Hi,I,m Basim from Canada I,m physician and I,m interested in clinical research feild and web development.you are more welcome in our professional website.all contact forwarded to basimibrahim772@yahoo.com.

Let's Get Connected: Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus| linkedin

Blog Tips

Subscribe to us