Amgen
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www.amgen.com Thousand Oaks, CA 5000+ Employees

Amgen Scientist Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 22, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

83%
8%
8%

Interview Experience 

72%
18%
9%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
11 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Thousand Oaks, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at Amgen in October 2012.

Interview Details – Process began by being contacted by a principal scientist about scheduling a phone interview. Had phone interview later that day, which was very positive and included a discussion about my current research projects. Then got contacted a month later about scheduling an on-site interview. Flew out the day before, had dinner that night, with interview the next day. Interview consisted of a research presentation (1 hr), followed by a series of 1-1 interviews throughout the day. Really enjoyed the interview process overall. Never felt any tough pressure, it was more just an intense, dynamic discussion of science all day. Interview was very technical, and also included discussion about what life was like at Amgen.

Interview Question – "Walk me through your rationale for the enhanced stereoselectivity in your process with your new set of conditions."   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Call from HR alerting me of an offer. Follow up call from director congratulating me on offer. Thought it over the weekend with another pending offer, then accepted the Amgen offer.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Cambridge, MA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amgen in October 2010.

Interview Details – seminar, followed by interviews

Interview Question – why you decided to apply to industry   View Answer

Negotiation Details – none

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amgen in September 2013.

Interview Details – 1.Applied via Amgen website.
2.Being contacted by hiring manager (Executive director of the Dep.).
3.Being invited for on-site interview. very intensive 2 days of interview with all people on site and in other location (1:1 meeting) + 1 hr presentation + 1 hr Chalk-talk.
   (I felt format-wise it was very similar to academic interview.)
4.Another phone call from the head of the dep. for 45 mins of science talk.
5.The Hiring manager did reference check via direct phone calls (45 mins for each of my reference people: 3 refs).
6.Being invited for the 2nd on-site interview only with the Executive directors of the Dep. + Head of Dep. Being asked so many tough science questions. The Head tried to evaluate my scientific in-depth knowledge in general.
7.A recruiter contacted me and background-check initiated
8.Being offered the position

Interview Question – I did not expect 1 hr chalk-talk during interview (topic: design of exp. to find out a drug candidate for a disease). I got informed about the topic a day before afternoon (only had couple of hrs to prepare for it, did my best and tried to enjoy it).   View Answer

Negotiation Details – no negotiation required since it was THE BEST I can imagine.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Thousand Oaks, CA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amgen in June 2013.

Interview Details – Phone interview first and then on-site interview

Interview Question – What you will do if you are not agree with your manager or your college?   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Thousand Oaks, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amgen in April 2011.

Interview Details – phone interview by the hiring manager first, and after a week I was informed for on-site interview
on-site interview, I need to give a 45 min presentation. 1:1 interview with many scientists. the final interview was with the hiring manager. the hiring manager was nice in the morning to me, but after my presentation, which I think I did a good job with, she became not that nice. At that time I already felt my chance to get the offer was slim. Now I realized she would like me to talk about my PhD work, not my postdoc research.
Anyway, good experience although I didn't get the offer.

Interview Question – mainly technical questions. for example, why do you choose a kinase, which have broad range of functions, as you drug screening target?   Answer Question

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Thousand Oaks, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Amgen in April 2011.

Interview Details – I had a phone interview first, which was followed about 7-10 days later with an offer to come visit Thousand Oaks. I gave a seminar and interviewed all day. Everyone I spoke with was very positive, but I did get asked a lot of tough questions. About 10 days after interviewing I received an offer and accepted.

Interview Question – If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The offer was more than I expected so no negotiation was necessary.

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amgen in March 2011.

Interview Details – I applied online for several jobs and had a contact send my CV and cover letter to the hiring managers. I was contacted by a hiring manager for a phone interview the same day. Questions were mostly about the science and she felt I wasnt the best candidate for the job.

Interview Question – What was the hardest challenge you faced in your research?   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amgen in December 2009.

Interview Details – The interview was 100% professional. I got a call from the recruiter, next day he arranged for a telephone interview with 2 hiring managers. They were satisfied and then invited for a personal interview at Seattle. Everything has been taken care professionally. The interview was very intense, it is a full day interview, met about 30 people from different department. I gave a good presentation and it was well received. In fact at the end of the interview, I was very satisfied that I likely to get the job, since the hiring manager's were impressed and showed some +ve signs. But at the end I did not get and I missed the opportunity by narrow margin. Though it is frustrating, it is a great experience.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work for a big pharmaceutical company?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist
Thousand Oaks, CA

The process took a day - interviewed at Amgen in February 2009.

Interview Details – First present my research presentation for 45 min, then take questions and answer for 10-15 min.
Personal (1:1) interview with about 8 scientists, and finally talk with vice president. In the meantime,
you will also talk with HR regarding general benefits. You will also have a lunch and dinner with 2-3
scientists.

Interview Question – any teamwork oriented success experience?   Answer Question

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5 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Scientist Interview

Scientist

The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Amgen in July 2009.

Interview Details – - Heard of an open position at Amgen
- Sent my CV and cover email to the HIRING MANAGER (very important)
- Had a phone interview with hiring manager
- Came to the company for a presentation and a series of 1 on 1 interviews with other scientists
- Was offered a position, pending background check

Interview Question – No question to report   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I negotiated a higher starting salary because I had another offer

If you have only one offer, wait for them to give you a number. If asked, say that you'd prefer to see what they have in mind. Then always ask for more (10-15% more) with specific research in hand (knowledge about average pay for this position helps).

Ideally, get at least 2 offers and be upfront with both employers. Present the first offer you receive to the other employer and ask them for a competitive offer. Then take the offer from the second employer and submit it back to the first one, to give them a chance to improve on their offer. Only do this once with each employer. If you have three offers, you can submit your second revised offer to the third employer and see if they raise that. Give each employer one chance to raise their offer by comparing it to the latest offer you obtained. Don't forget to REDACT the offer by removing specific information about the names and telephone numbers of HR personnel and the likes. You then let them know you'll decide shortly and take the most advantageous offer.

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