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Biology Interview Questions

Below are sample interview questions for your field. In preparing for your interview, you should also review typical biologyinterview questions asked of all majors, thoroughly research the organization, dress professionally, and visit the interviewing skills section of the SU Career Center’s website. You can practice your interview skills online via Quinncia or schedule a mock interview with a Career Center staff member. 
Below are sample Biology interview questions.
Page Index


General Biology:  top
-Why do some habitats support higher biodiversity than others?
-If you could save either the rainforests or the coral reefs, which would you choose?
-What experiences have you had related to research?
-Aside from classroom texts and experience, what journals or professional articles are you currently reading for professional development?
-Give us an example of when you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem.
-What are the complementary base-pairing rules for biology?
-Describe your own strengths, particularly strengths that you feel will help you in this field.
-There are plenty of times where you will be on a strict deadline to submit proposals for grant money or to complete an experiment. How would you describe your time management and organization skills?
-A plus in biological science is having knowledge about multiple disciplines, such as entomology, botany, or molecular biology. What is your experience in varying areas of biology?
-Out of all the different areas of science, what was your inspiration to pursue biology?
-Can you describe a point in time where your work as a biologist was criticized? How did you handle the situation?
-Please discuss your familiarity with lab techniques/instrumentation from lab courses or internships.

Teaching Biology:  top
-Describe a teaching method or strategy that is successful in helping students learn a concept in biology, chemistry, geoscience, or physics
-How do you use computers in the science classroom?
-Describe a technique you employ to help English learners master science concepts.
-What aspects of a classroom environment are essential for maximum learning?
-How do students learn respect for each other and for education?
-Describe motivational techniques that you have found to be successful.
-Describe techniques you have used to encourage the development of higher order reasoning skills.
-Describe techniques you have used engage learners.
-What do you believe are your strengths as an educator?
-Please describe your weaknesses as an educator.
-Why are you interested in a job at this school?
-What are your long term professional goals?
-Give an example of how you improvised when teaching science.
-Please show me a website you have created.
-Please show me an example of a semester plan for ________.
-What steps do you take to engage parents in their children’s education?
-How do you help students to become independent learners?
-What extracurricular activities are willing to sponsor.
-Describe a laboratory experiment you believe was particularly successful.
-Please describe a laboratory demonstration that you believe was particularly successful.

Common Medical/Dental/Pharmacy School Interview Questions: top
Medical School:
 1.  What do you hope to gain during your medical education?
 2.  Describe a typical day from your elementary school days.
 3.  What questions do you have for me about our school?
 4.  What is your weakness that concerns you most?
 5.  Name some strategies to address the problem of smoking among teens.
 6.  What would your best friend say about you in convincing me I should admit you to our medical school?
 7.  If you could be any character in history, who would it be, and why?
 8.  How did you decide to apply to our medical school?
 9.  Why did you choose our specific program?
 10. How are you a match for our medical school?
 11. What do you do in your spare time?
 12. What other medical schools are you applying to?
 13. How do you view abortion?  
 14. Would you perform abortions as a doctor? Under what conditions?
 15. What are three things you want to change about yourself?
 16. How would you describe the relationship between science and medicine?
 17. Think back on your undergraduate experience at SU; what would you change about it?
 18. If you were in charge of SU what would you change that would impact the undergraduate experience?
 19. Name something you are most proud of…
 20. Which family member has influenced your life so far and why?
 21. What do you think about the health care system and which way should it go?  
 22. What do you think is wrong with the current health care system in the US?
 23. Name a meaningful experience you've had and how it shaped you to pursue work as a physician.
 24. Is there a good deal of drug use at your school? Possible follow up: Have you taken drugs?
 25. Which languages do you speak? Why?
 26. Which of your college courses interested you the most?
 27. If you couldn't ever be trained to be a physician, what would you be?
 28. In your present living situation, how do you settle disputes with your roommates?
 29. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
 30. What interests you outside of medicine and getting into medical school?

Physician Assistant:
1 - How is a PA a leader?
2 - What are the problems facing PAs in the next 10 years?
3 - Tell me something interesting about yourself that I couldn't find from your application?
4 - Tell me what you like most about your patient encounters?
5 - What would you do if you thought that your supervising physician was intoxicated?

Pharmacy School Interview Questions

Questions About You

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your two best points?
  3. What are your two weakest points?
  4. What are three things you want to change about yourself?
  5. How do you handle conflict?
  6. Explain your leadership/research/volunteer experiences.
  7. What extracurricular activities are you engaged in?
  8. Which of your college courses interested you the most?
  9. What interests you outside of pharmacy and getting into pharmacy school?
  10. Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?
  11. What do you do in your spare time?
  12. Why did you choose the undergraduate school you went to, and if you could, would you do anything differently?
  13. What do you do to relieve stress?
  14. What course was most academically challenging for you?
  15. What qualities do you have that you think are important for an effective leader to have?
  16. Do you prefer studying on your own or in a group?
  17. Do you memorize or apply?

Questions About Your Pharmacy School Goals:

  1. Why do you want to be a pharmacist?
  2. When did you decide pharmacy was a good career choice for you? 
  3. What steps have you taken to confirm that you want to be a pharmacist?
  4. What do you think being a pharmacist entails?
  5. What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good pharmacist?
  6. What will you be doing in pharmacy 10 years from now?
  7. What did you do to prepare for the PCAT?
  8. How will you handle the stress of pharmacy school?
  9. What do you think will be your greatest challenge in completing pharmacy school?
  10. Why do you believe you have the ability to undertake the study and work involved in pharmacy school?
  11. Does your family support your decision to become a pharmacist?
  12. What did you like/dislike about pharmacies you have observed?
  13. What would you like to do if you are not accepted into pharmacy school?
  14. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a pharmacist does?
  15. How do you think your role as a pharmacist fits in with your role as a member of the community?
  16. Why did you choose pharmacy school instead of medicine, physical therapy, or social work?
  17. What aspects of your life experiences do you think makes you a good candidate for pharmacy school?
  18. If you are accepted into two pharmacy schools of your top choice, what would you do to make up your mind?

Questions About the Pharmacy School:

  1. Why do you want to attend [Pharmacy School Name]? How are you a match for [Pharmacy School Name]?
  2. Describe your method of learning.  How does this fit with [Pharmacy School Name]?
  3. What schools did you apply to and why?
  4. What do you look for in a good pharmacy school?
  5. Why do you want to go to school here?
  6. Why should [Pharmacy School Name] choose you over other candidates?
  7. What do you know about [Pharmacy School Name] program?
  8. What can you contribute to [Pharmacy School Name]?

Current Issue/Scenario Questions:

  1. What are some of the most important issues you see facing pharmacists currently and in the coming years? How will you deal with these?
  2. One day, a pharmacy school classmate gives you a sheet containing questions for an upcoming exam. How would you handle the situation and what issues would you consider important in coming to a decision about what to do?
  3. Name a situation where you had to make an ethical decision.  What did you do?
  4. Tell me a time when you witnessed dishonesty and what did you do?
  5. What are the responsibilities of a pharmacist to a customer?
  6. Describe a time when you worked with a difficult team member.  How did you resolve those issues?
  7. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a very difficult customer or co-worker?
  8. What is the last book you have read? Tell me about it.
  9. Define Professionalism.
  10. Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks. 
  11. Explain how understanding diversity is important as a pharmacist.   

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