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Tips For Hiring The Best Scientific Staff

The hiring process for scientific candidates can be a long and tedious process of reviewing resumes, interviews, offers, and onboarding. Although interviewing takes a lot of time from the employer and the candidate, it is the most important step in the hiring process. Hiring the best talent for your team requires interviews that properly assess the technical ability of your candidates. One way you can shorten the interview process is by creating an interview that efficiently qualifies your candidates and their technical abilities. Here are some of the best questions to ask to qualify scientific candidates.

Technical Knowledge – Walk me through the last time you had to troubleshoot this process, instrument, experiment, etc.

This question will highlight the candidates thought process through troubleshooting. It will also show you their technical knowledge, communication with team members, and if they know when to ask for help.

Adaptability – Give me an example of a time you had to run a test or analysis you weren’t familiar with.

It’s important to know how your candidates handle new technical information. The example they give you will show if they can adapt with changing priorities and focus in their role. You’ll see a sneak peek into the training process and how they learn new things. A good follow-up question will be what is their current understanding of that process and how has their knowledge continued to grow?

Problem Solving – Give me an example of a time something didn’t go as expected.

As we all know, things will go wrong in the lab. You’ll want to know how your candidates respond to failed tests and analysis and how they managed it. Pay attention to their response and what the result was. This is also a great question to hear how your candidate manages the mistakes they make.

Customer Service – What is an example of a time you delivered more than what was expected?

Whether it be internal or external, laboratories are often a customer-driven operation. It is important to know if your candidates are willing to go above the expectations of the role to meet the customer’s needs. Does your candidate have a strong enough technical understanding to give the customer their results? Could they communicate their understanding to a customer who might not have a scientific background? These are all things to consider.

By qualifying scientific candidates early in the interview process, you’ll get the right people working for you sooner. Asking for specific examples from your candidates will give you a complete look at their technical experience. You’ll gain an understanding of their knowledge, adaptability, problem-solving skills, and customer service focus, all of which is key to a scientific role.

Authored by:
Kasey Johnson
Lab Service Manager

For Scientific Staffing inquiries, please contact:
Samantha Waldschmidt
Program Manager | Laboratory Staffing Services | 612.346.2060