1. Tell me as Research officer, what is your greatest strength?

This is your time to shine. Just remember the interviewer is looking for work related strengths. Mention a number of them such as being a good motivator, problem solver, performing well under pressure, being loyal, having a positive attitude, eager to learn, taking initiative and attention to detail. Whichever you go for, be prepared to give examples that illustrate this particular skill.

2. Can you tell me what sort of person do you not like to work with?

This is not an easy one as you have no idea whom you would be working with. Even if you can immediately think of a long list of people who you don't like to work with, you could take some time to think and say that it's a difficult question as you have always gotten on fine with your colleagues.

3. What do you consider to be your best strength as Research Officer?

This question allows you to brag on yourself, but keep in mind that the interviewer wants strengths relative to the position. For example, being a problem solver, a motivator, and being able to perform under pressure, positive attitude and loyal. You will also need examples that back your answers up for illustration of the skill.

4. Tell us have you ever had to bend the rules in order to achieve a goal?

Beware of this type of question! Under no circumstances is it necessary to break company policy to achieve something. Resist the temptation to answer and give examples, as what the interviewer is looking for is to determine how ethical you are and if you will remain true to company policy.

5. Tell us as Research officer, what is your greatest weakness?

"What are your weaknesses" is one of the most popular questions interviewers ask. It is also the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: "I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful."

6. Explain me a course or topic that you would teach?

Too many candidates talk about prospective teaching as if its value were entirely self-evident, or they simply lean on the intrinsic intellectual interest of the topic. Instead, think in terms of outcomes and learning objectives, because evaluation is integral to good teaching. What will the students get out of the course? What work will you set, and how will it be assessed? What skills will they acquire? How will it complement the rest of their studies?

7. Tell us what does collegiality mean to you?

Panels are recruiting someone to work alongside themselves or other members of their institution, so it shouldn't be a surprise that working relationships are on interviewers' minds. In truth, some people are simply not good colleagues. So, what kind of a colleague do you intend to be? How are you going to help others to be successful?

8. Tell us what's your best paper?

This might be your highest-impact paper, but it doesn't have to be. What counts is that you give a sound rationale for your choice. Perhaps you're proudest of the paper which marks a transitional moment in your research or your career. Or perhaps it's the paper that you know had a direct, positive impact on someone else's work. It doesn't matter, as long as you've thought it through.

9. Can you tell me what knowledge do you have about the company?

You should do your research prior to the interview. Look into background history of the company, this will help you stick out. Learn about main people, have they been in the news lately? The interviewer doesn't expect you to know dates and certain people, but showing that you have enough interest to research the company is a positive impression.

10. What are your salary expectations as Research Officer?

This question is like a loaded gun, tricky and dangerous if you're not sure what you are doing. It's not uncommon for people to end up talking salary before really selling their skills, but knowledge is power as this is a negotiation after all. Again, this is an area where doing your research will be helpful as you will have an understanding of average salary.

One approach is asking the interviewer about the salary range, but to avoid the question entirely, you can respond that money isn't a key factor and you're goal is to advance in your career. However, if you have a minimum figure in mind and you believe you're able to get it, you may find it worth trying.

Download Interview PDF