Genentech
3.7 of 5 676 reviews
www.gene.com South San Francisco, CA 5000+ Employees

Genentech Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014

Getting the Interview 

40%
21%
14%

Interview Experience 

43%
37%
19%

Interview Difficulty 

121 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
South San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Genentech in January 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online and 4 weeks later I had a phone interview with the hiring manager. I was told at the end of the phone interview that I am invited for an on-site interview. I went to the on-site interview 1 month later. I met with 10 Scientists and gave a one hour seminar. Everyone was interested and asked a lot of questions during the seminar. The questions were fair and most of them were about my past work experience. They do tend to ask a lot about "why do you want to work there?". I got the feedback a month later and they gave me a reason that they are looking for certain skill sets, which I was not even being questioned or asked about during my interview. And the interesting thing was that the certain skill sets was clearly listed in my CV.

Interview Question – What do you feel passionate about this position?   Answer Question

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Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Administrative Associate Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
South San Francisco, CA

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Genentech in November 2013.

Interview Details – Lots of interviews to get a job of this nature

Interview Question – What is a pivot table and how would you use one?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Research Associate Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
South San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Genentech in February 2014.

Interview Details – Conducted a phone interview, ~1hr, with the hiring scientist about 2 months after applying on-line. Received notification same day that I was requested for an on-site interview which was completed the following week. The interview day was intense. First, started with another interview with the hiring scientist followed by my one hour seminar on my previous research. About 20-25 scientists from the department attended my talk and asked questions throughout the entire hour. I then had 12 other interviews throughout the day with research associates and scientists from the department. In all, the day lasted from 9AM to 6PM and I was beat by the end. Everyone was extremely nice and answered my questions as well. Didn't get an offer in the end, but felt lucky to even get one of the four interviews for the position after hundreds applied. It did take about 1 month after my on-site interview to hear that I did not get an offer - the process can be slow. Great learning experience and Genentech is a great company to do research at.

Interview Questions

  • Why apply for this position vs. doing an academic post-doc? They really emphasize that a SRA cannot advance to a scientist-level position in the company. If hired, you will remain at the lab bench and they want to be sure that candidates are well aware of this.   Answer Question
  • Giving certain resources, how would you go about identifying and validating a new cancer target?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Bioinformatics Internship Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Genentech in March 2014.

Interview Details – This internship is for bioinformatics analysis of mass spec data (peptide-protein inference). I had a 30 minutes phone interview and the recruiter asked questions primarily based on the resume and a few behavioral questions. The technical questions are primarily about projects I have been working with as a graduate student.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Global Pricing and Market Access Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and interviewed at Genentech.

Interview Details – 2 phone interviews. Mainly asked about my experience, how I would handle a problems that I might approach, what I believe is the most important part of solving a problem

Interview Question – What specifically do you know about Excel?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Materials Operations Specialist Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through other source and interviewed at Genentech.

Interview Details – My management experience: Just do what they say and don't ask too many questions.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Engineer Interview

Associate Engineer
South San Francisco, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Genentech in February 2014.

Interview Details – Applied through internal recommendation via current employee that I know. ~2 months later, had the phone interview and it went well. Mostly technical questions related to position and questions about my background. 1 week later, I was invited to come on-site, where I had a full day (8 - 4:30) interview. Met with pretty much everyone in the group (17 people, either 1 on 1 interviews or 2 on 1 interviews) for 30-45 min each. Was pretty tired by the end of it but thought it went well.

4 weeks later I was told that they decided to make an offer to someone else, but I was in the top 3 candidates considered. Asked for specific feedback, and waiting on that now.

Interview Question – Describe a time where it was difficult to communicate with a colleague about a project, and how you approached that situation.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Systems Administrator Interview

Systems Administrator
Redwood City, CA

I applied online and interviewed at Genentech.

Interview Details – Applied online and received an email from HR/Recruiter a few weeks later that I was scheduled for a phone interview the next day. Very unprofessional that there was 1. no phone call, and 2. no option given on availability. I should have taken this as a bad omen, but Genentech has a known reputation as a great place to work. Almost 1 year later I receive a rejection letter! What a joke.

Interview Question – You live in California, why do you not use a Mac?   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Manager, Product Public Relations Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
South San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Genentech in November 2013.

Interview Details – I was introduced to the new position by a recruiter and was contacted within a week via phone by the hiring manager. We had a great conversation and she shared many details about the role. Most of the questions asked involved my experience and why I was interested in working for Genentech.

We both decided it looked like a good fit and I was invited to come down for an interview. First with the Director and then, a few weeks later, with several members of the Corporate Communications / Product PR teams as well as Human Resources.

The first interview was very casual in a small conference room. The Director was wearing jeans and a nice sweater. I was in a suit and felt a bit overdressed. He made it clear that his team was bright, creative and very good at their jobs. After introducing himself, he said that he had just one question: "Why do you want to work here?" My answer must have been sufficient because he followed up with several other thought provoking questions before saying, "It really doesn't matter so much what I think. My team is great and they'll be the most challenging interview you've had."

I left the conference room 20 minutes later feeling anxious about what was to come next...

A few weeks later, I was invited to meet with five members of the team in a much larger conference room - one on one. Each interview was scheduled for 30 minutes but all went about five minutes over, so the last interview was cut short.

Beyond the usual questions [e.g., Tell us about yourself? What makes you the best candidate? Why Genentech? (again)], each interviewer seemed genuinely interested in 'talking' - and by that I mean a real conversation about my experience, my values, their challenges and how we would work together.

I received a call about three weeks later from the HR representative sharing that they had decided to go with a contractor who had been with the company for a while. She also shared feedback provided by the individual team members. It was constructive, positive and raised curiosity as to why I wasn't presented with an offer.

I had a few more questions and reached out to the hiring manager for clarification. Again, the information provided was detailed, candid and very helpful. End result: It's difficult to compete against someone who knows the product well from the inside and has already been doing a great job as a contractor.

The experience was time-consuming (two months) but overwhelmingly positive.

Interview Question – Unexpected question: "What would you expect your annual bonus to be?"   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Finance Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Genentech.

Interview Details – Contacted via email for a phone interview. The interviewer was very pleasant. He asked questions about why I wanted to intern in the finance department, why Genentech, etc, and the remaining were behavioral questions. Although I didn't receive an offer the process was very efficient and I'd still like to work at Genentech in the future.

Interview Question – Name a time when you didn't achieve a goal   Answer Question

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