Researcher Interview Questions in United States
Researchers work in a variety of fields, seeking new information to further the public understanding of a particular topic. Some researchers perform experiments and analyze data. In a researcher interview, you may be asked about your work style. You might also prepare to speak about specific tools you use while performing research.
Top Researcher Interview Questions & How To Answer
Here are three top researcher interview questions and how to answer them:
Question #1: Tell me about your research process.
How to answer: You might provide a broad overview of the steps you take to prepare and conduct research. The interviewer might want to know that you can begin your work quickly and independently after being hired. Explain where you look for peer-reviewed sources, how you establish goals for your research, and how you work with a team.
Question #2: Describe your computer experience.
How to answer: Researchers typically work with computers to an extent. A successful answer would showcase basic computer literacy. Remember to tailor your answer to research. It would be helpful to list software, tools, and databases you have used in a research capacity. You might also mention that you learn new programs quickly.
Question #3: How would you proceed if you were having trouble attracting funding?
How to answer: This question tests your problem-solving skills. Ensure the interviewer that you understand the importance of funding and can strategize during stressful situations. You might present a hypothetical plan that is collaborative and effective. For example, you could mention that you would collaborate with teammates to create a presentation or apply for grants.
How do you influence people who do not report to you? How do you get them to do things even though they don't have to or want to?2 Answers
I would answer this question by first stating that it is important to get to know how people are motivated on a personal level first. If they do not report to you then you might not have positional authority to ask them for a deliverable. At a company like Microsoft, I'm sure that there are jobs/roles that require people to get help/collaboration from people outside of their positional authority. To do this, you must first know what motivates a person and proactively make personal "deposits" to build some solid connections so that when you need to make a "withdraw" you have invested enough. Deposits can be made by taking an interest in someone, providing them with help when they need it, or maybe buying them lunch/drinks. Less
a) I've never actually had someone refuse to help me when asked, but b) I would try ahead of time to get to know them so that when I need to influence them or need to request assistance, they already have a basic level of comfort with me. Less
Some of the tasks you'll be required to perform are routine and monotonous. How will you deal with such routine tasks?2 Answers
Mastering routine work allows me to complete tasks effectively in a high throughput manner. Hopefully, this will afford me with free time to learn and master more challenging techniques and better assist the team. Less
The professor quizzed me on several technical aspects of a journal paper I was a co-author of. Most of them were manageable. He asked me what exactly my contribution was in that paper and why I was not first author on it.1 Answers
I replied that the project was industry-funded and because I was a student at the time the industry I was working for did not share enough proprietary details with me like they did with my advisor who was the first author on the paper. As a result it was easier and much faster for my advisor to write the paper up and add me on as a second author despite the fact that I did all the experimental work that was featured in it. The rest of the interview was excellent and the Professor collected my references and then e-mailed them separately for recommendations. In ~4 weeks time I was hired. Less