Theranos Scientist Interview Questions

Updated Jul 5, 2015
16 Interview Reviews

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Scientist Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA) in June 2015.

Interview

After three phone/skype interviews was invited onsite. I'm from out of state so they flew me in for an afternoon of interviewing, which overall was rather informal. Gave a talk, met individually with team members, and then with COO and CEO. Overall everyone was very nice and the questions weren't too difficult- more relaxed conversations with team members about science and overall interest in the company.

Interview Questions

  • Why are you interested in the company? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Theranos

  1.  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    The entire process took almost 3 months. Initial phone screening and phone interview in the beginning of March. Had onsite interview late March, and final round executives interview and hiring background check beginning of April. Took a very long time for the executives members to approve the offer. The final offer was received end of May and early June. Initial phone screening: Generic Q&A. Why did you apply? Can you fit in the start-up culture? Can you work long hours (60 hrs/week)? Phone interview: Talked to a member of the science team. Asked questions about my research background, laboratory skills, and experience. Can you work long hours (60 hrs/week)? I also asked some questions regarding work culture and what the scientist didn't like about working in the company. Onsite interview: Whole process took about 4 hrs. Gave a 30 min presentation with Q&A. After the presentation, I met with members of the team in pairs or individually. I also met the team manager, and finally the director of the division. Meeting the team members and manager was not so difficult. Interviewing with the director was more like a qualifying exam. The questions of "Can you work long hours (60 hrs/week)?" keeps coming back. Final executives interview: Waited for about 30 min and then met with CEO. Asked about big picture type of questions, and questions about education background to get a sense of my life history and personality. She made sure I knew that people worked really hard in this company (a.k.a. the "Can you work long hours (60 hrs/week)?").

    Interview Questions

    • Onsite interview: 1. The golden question: Can you work long hours (60 hrs/week)? 2. Have you trouble shoot an assay? Tell me how? 3. What was the most challenging task you have had? 4. How do you handle stress? 5. What's your current job day-to-day duty? 6. Some detail questions about my research. Executives interview: 1. Why did you choose the college you went to? 2. What's your expectation for compensation? 3. We work hard here to achieve our goals, can you do the same?   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (10)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Theranos.

    Interview

    I went to a recruiting event and talked with someone who had been at the company since the very beginning. The next day I was contacted and asked to submit my CV. Shortly after that I had a phone interview with the hiring manager, and at the end of the call he invited me for an onsite interview. During the interview I first gave a 20 minute presentation and then met with members of the team, the team lead, and then the VP of research. At the end of the interview, the recruiter told me the feedback had been very positive and that they wanted me to come back to meet the president and the CEO. I didn't hear anything for 2 weeks, and then the recruiter called to say that they had changed their minds. No feedback, no idea what happened. I wrote a thank you email to the hiring manager and never heard anything back.

    Interview Questions

    • One question that everyone asked (and really emphasized) was "Why are you leaving academics for industry?"   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (11)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Theranos in February 2014.

    Interview

    Long drawn out interview process with many generic questions and not much revealed about the company. Interviewers seemed inexperienced and had a very naive point of view. Employees didn't strike as particularly intelligent or knowledgeable. Many people could not answer why they liked working here. Leadership either lacks any real vision or doesn't want to talk about it. Pretty much a waste of time interviewing here.

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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA).

    Interview

    Had an over the phone interview which lasted about 30 min. Three days later, got invited to a in person interview which took about 2 hours.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (4)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA) in January 2014.

    Interview

    Phone interview, first a semi-technical screen that basically involved walking down the resume and asking for clarifications here or there. After that, another phone interview with hiring manager, who after a very brief introduction, asked a few more open ended questions (e.g. What are you most proud of?). Finally, an in person interview, presentation and group interviews. Everyone was very reluctant to talk, so it felt quite odd. I suppose they learned things about me (and apparently didn't think I was a fit), but I came away thinking I learned virtually nothing about the company or the job other than it was a very tight lipped culture.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, everyone was very tight lipped and even though there were multiple people in multiple group interviews, it seemed that nobody had much to ask.   1 Answer
  7. Helpful (6)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Theranos.

    Interview

    Phone screen/interview, on-site interview with hiring manager, product managers, directors, president and CEO

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (6)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Theranos.

    Interview

    Hiring process was standard, but the interview process was very confusing.

    Interview Questions

    • 1. we try to get younger people here. 2. Do you have any question? because if you don't, then I will ask you question and that might not be good for you. 3. very demeaning hiring manager and team. 4. none of the questions were intriguing. Everything they ask were bookish.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (4)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA) in February 2013.

    Interview

    1) 30-45 technical phone interview by group leader - offered on-site interview at the end. 2) Onsite was a few hours: 45 minute seminar, ~4-5 1-on-1 interviews with the various scientists and staff in attendance at seminar. 3) Final round high level exec (i.e. CEO). (Not Offered). Scientific staff seemed very intelligent, nice, dedicated, but overly concerned with how many hours per week you are ready to as a proxy for a results driven attitude. Recommend give them both 'I work really hard, long hours don't bother me, and I always do what it takes to deliver on time' The HR at the time did not have it's act together and stretched out the time between on-site to final round until they rejected my application. Most likely waited for more applicants; however, they were very secretive and not transparent about the process and difficult to contact. Last negative was they are very secretive and don't share much about what you would be doing there and too much about their long term goals. You will sign an NDA before you enter the building that threatens to sue you if you discuss anything you learned there.

    Interview Questions

    • Most Difficult: Technical explanation regarding the underlying principles behind a particular biochemical assay. Most Unexpected How many hours per week did you work during your PhD? This was most unexpected since 1) Hours don't translate to results (especially regarding graduate degrees) 2) The question wasn't results based but simply a their metric for level of dedication. Overall the questions were not extremely difficult, but the way in which they were asked were often aggressive depending on the individual.   1 Answer
  10. Helpful (11)  

    Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Theranos (Palo Alto, CA).

    Interview

    The worst interview process I have ever been through. They claim to be in "stealth" mode that is why they are not sharing much information. The management seem to have scared the team working there with IP leakage. The whole company needs IP protection and management course.

    Interview Questions

    • None. Technical questions very much manageable. Very poor questions were asked.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    The worst interview process I have ever been through. They claim to be in "stealth" mode that is why they are not sharing much information. The management seem to have scared the team working there with IP leakage. The whole company needs IP protection and management course. No body knows what is happening. The most poor bunch of scientists I have ever met and they are hiring someone of their own poor level. The company has been there for 9 years and that too without any prototype and a proof of concept as yet. They claim to currently employ 200 - 250 people. In the one and only employee parking lot there is not that many cars. The people that I have interviewed with does not know what they are doing. Most of the scientists that I met were laid multiple times from other well known biotech companies. The scientists who join and "lead" lack experience, innovative ideas, vision and experience. One of them was laid within 6 months of a job in addition to several one before and then joined this company. The team lacked direction.

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