University of Washington
University of Washington Research Scientist Interview Questions & Reviews
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Research Scientist I Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and the process took 4 days - interviewed at University of Washington.
Interview Details – Phone interview with PI, then a face to face with PI and lead research scientist.
Interview Question – No behavioral question, only interest and prior experience. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation
Research Scientist III Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at University of Washington in March 2009.
Interview Details – The interview process was pretty relax for my unit. Since the laboratory unit is small, everyone from the lab were involved in the process. Their goal is to find a colleague that has the personality to match up with the rest of the people in the lab. The hiring is based the vote from everyone.
Interview Question – There wasn't too much technical questions for the position I was hiring for. I think they generally looking for someone who's trainable instead of someone who's already trained Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Research Scientist III Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at University of Washington in March 2008.
Interview Details – one interview, very casual.
Negotiation Details – No negotiation phase.
Research Scientist I Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at University of Washington in May 2008.
Interview Details – I met everyone in the lab, and interviewed directly with the lab manager and another investigator.
Interview Question – Faced with a managerial issue, how would you handle a confrontation with a co-worker and/or superior? View Answer
Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate much of anything.
Research Scientist/Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at University of Washington in August 2011.
Interview Details – The phone interview was friendly and very quick. I was asked a few questions about my experience and my future career goals for the next few years. I was told that 50+ people had applied for the job, and that 6 were getting phone interviews, and 2 from those were getting in person interviews. From our interactions, it seemed that the PI already had someone else in mind.
Interview Question – Have you worked with mouse models? Answer Question
Research Scientist/Engineer III (Data Manager) Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at University of Washington in November 2009.
Interview Details – I applied online, and received an email within two days. I spoke briefly on the phone with the biostatistician who was reviewing resumes. We went back and forth in email but I had a phone interview within a week (unusually fast for the University). The phone interview consisted partly of a description of the research study whose data quality was being checked (QC was a big part of this job) and the reporting, analysis, etc. necessary. The questions I answered had to do with why I was leaving my current position, what I had done with the relevant software (SAS), and so forth.
The next step was a skills test - ten SAS programming problems. Many were easy, some were at a fairly high skill level, but since I completed it on my own time, over a weekend, with full access to documentation, it was not a problem. I also sent the biostatistician sample code and process documents.
Within a week I heard back and was invited for an in-person interview - but first, there was a lengthy email discussion about salary (since I was a current employee of the University, my salary was posted with other state employees, and he was able to determine I was earning much more than the position was budgeted for. We were both still interested, so the in-person interview was scheduled.
I met with two other data managers (the position was advertised as "Data Manager" but the University classification was "Research Scientist/ Engineer III"), the biostatistician, and the principal investigator for the research project. It was an illuminating discussion; by the end it was clear (to me, at least) that the job would be better filled by someone who had a few years of SAS under her/ his belt rather than someone with database / project management experience (who would probably rock the boat).
I stayed at my current job. All in all, the experience was very positive - lots of mutual respect even though the fit wasn't right.
Research Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at University of Washington in December 2007.
Interview Details – The interview was very straight-forward, a presentation followed by a one on one with my future supervisor. The atmosphere was very laid back and not in the least bit stressful. I would say that the best indicator for success is your recommendations and the quality of your presentation.
Interview Question – They asked quite a bit about biochemical pathways and familiarity with western blotting etc. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had a better offer elsewhere
Research Scientist II Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at University of Washington.
Interview Details – My first interview was thorough. I met with four or five small groups, each of which has different questions to ask. I was not asked extensively about my previous work experience. I was brought in for a second interview for more personal inquiries because, as I found out later, they were considering a applicant with less experience but would fit better in their family atmosphere.
Interview Question – As I remember: "Describe an situation when you had to come up with a solution to an unforeseen issue." Answer Question
Research Scientist Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at University of Washington in August 2008.
Interview Details – The interview was for a lab position. It was fairly informal. I met the principal investigator, then talked with the others in the lab. They already knew what my qualifications were, so most of the interview was getting to know if I would be a good fit as far as personality (and if I would like them too!). The decision was made quickly and I was offered a position a couple days later.
Interview Question – None, it was all rather informal: my background; my goals; can I work weekends? View Answer
Negotiation Details – I asked for a few thousand more a year than I was paid with my previous job, but I was told there was no extra grant money. This always seems to be the excuse at the UW though. Next time, I would hold my ground and move on if not offered more.
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