Science Job Interviewing Tips

- Before The Interview

Analyse The Position

Before conducting an interview you should be familiar with the job description or specification for that job role. To ensure you are focused when interviewing a candidate, we recommend creating a list of requirements the successful candidate must meet to fit the job role. This list can form the basis of the interview questions. We recommend including a mix of: experience, skills, qualifications and personal attributes in your requirements.


Prior to the interview, you should prepare questions ready for the candidates to answer. Structuring your questions for certain points during the interview will help guide the flow of discussion. Make sure you keep the questions consistent throughout all of the interviews for the position, this will give all applications a fair interview, as well helping the interviewer asses all applicants comparatively. 

Read Candidate CV's Beforehand

Once you have prepared your interview questions, it’s advisable to thoroughly read an applicant’s CV before they arrive. This allows you to establish any key-points you want to mention during the interview, these could be based on skills, experience, qualification or application. Having read their CV first, you can then follow the candidate’s journey, asking for clarity on any gaps. This puts you in a better position to establish whether the candidate is suitable for the job role advertised.

Outlining The Interview Structure

Structuring your interview will give you a timeframe to stick to; this ensures that all candidates are given an equal opportunity to prove themselves in the interview, as well as meeting provisions for equal opportunity laws. When the interview begins, explain to the candidate the timeframe for the questions and how the interview will be given. If there are multiple people giving the interview, explain the business strength they represent and why they are in attendance. Give a brief but informative company description and go over the job duties. Remember this is also a platform for the candidate to review the company.


- During the Interview


Often candidates can confuse themselves and misinterpret your question, if the candidate is going off topic, make sure you realign them and get them back on track. Similarly, if the candidate has briefly touched over something but you want to know more information, ask them to clarify their point with examples.

Don't Talk Too Much

You want to let the candidate lead the majority of the communication; you are simply there to guide them through the interview via well planned out questions. You need to be sure the candidate is the right fit, engage and listen to what they have to say. Try not to be overly friendly.

Take A Colleague

By including a colleague in the interview you can get a second professional opinion on the candidates interviewed. This is really beneficial, especially if your colleague is from a different position/department as this adds diversity to the interview panel.

Body Language

First impressions count, when you meet the candidate you are looking for a noticeable amount of effort made in appearance and a confident first introduction. Maintaining eye contact in discussion shows strength and is an important factor for any job role which requires communication. When conducting an interview your tone should be professional and calming andyour body language should match this. 

Take Notes

Nobody can be expected to remember the answers candidates gave to every question across all interviews. You will find certain answers or candidates stand out above others. Take notes during each interview; write down any points that really stand out for you. If you have decided to use a points system, make sure you justify each point against the score to better remind yourself later on. Once the interview has ended and the candidate has left, finalise your notes before the next interview begins. 

Follow Up

Whether the candidate was successful or unsuccessful you need to call, email or message them to inform them of the result. This can be done by yourself, the agency used to source a candidate or delegated to a member of your team. It is good etiquette to inform candidates, even if they were unsuccessful.  


For further help and advice on preparing for your science interview, please contact us.    

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