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Biochemist Interview Questions

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Merck
Biochemist II was asked...June 29, 2010

Example: Can Size Exclusion Chromatography by coupled with Mass Spectroscopy? (No) Why not?

2 Answers

Yes, it is possible if using volatile buffer and salt mobile phase

SEC using a high salt mobile phase, which is not compatible with Mass Spec. Mass Spec requires Less

Xyleco
Biochemist was asked...September 13, 2017

I didn't get an interview

2 Answers

Thank your lucky stars!!!!!! You were given a gift NOT to work there. You saved yourself a boat load of stress and an impossible work environment with a leader who is not fit to run any company and will not be successful because he cannot keep anyone long enough to make things work. The company is a joke and will never succeed even with a great idea. Be grateful for the gift and keep moving. It would never have lasted anyway.. trust me! The place is NUTS! RUN!!!!!! Less

I went there for an interview they seemed very friendly and nice people but I was put off because they never told me anything about who was in charge of the company its board of directors or showed me any of the facilities. I was offered a job but when I took the contract to an employment lawyer he informed me that I would have to disclose every project that I had ever worked on during my entire career otherwise it would become their property. I have worked on many confidential projects for other companies and I can't disclose everything that I did. In addition I would be barred from applying for another job with any company that Xyleco deemed to be competitors world wide for a period of 5 years but they didn't elaborate who they considered to be a competitor and they didn't tell me much about the position or what they were working on other than converting biomass into useful products that was all I lean't. I decided it was risky accepting the offer as I couldn't find out anything about them. You also had a clause in the contract that barred you from talking about your work to your family. I understand what you work on in many companies is confidential and you can't talk about specific projects but this clause said you couldn't give any information. Less

Siemens Healthineers

How to build a buffer of a specific volume and concentration using a know standard.

1 Answers

I stated I would use the M1V1=M2V2 equation to determine the volume of standard needed. Less

Kelly

What kind of skill do you have with ___?

1 Answers

I have experience with ___ and ___ that will be a help to this position.

Kelly

Strengths Weaknesses

1 Answers

Prepare a good answer to show your zeal to improve via weaknesses

Kendrick Labs

Q: What are your future goals in this field.

1 Answers

A: I'm looking for a biotech job, not just for a year or two of work experience before graduate school. Less

ScienCell Research Laboratories
Biochemist was asked...December 16, 2016

They tested me on brands for cell culture products.

1 Answers

Gave the major ones I have used and expressed knowledge on other company's as well as their own products Less

Eli Lilly and Company

Would you ever pursue a PhD?

1 Answers

No! (just kidding) I said it wasn't in my plan, but if the opportunity came up within the company to pursue one I would consider it. Less

BASF

"Give an example of a time when you think you were criticized unfairly"

1 Answers

"I gave a real example of a scientific project that I went out of my way to do 'right', when I was encouraged to cut corners to get it done fast." Less

Base4

"Tell me what do you know about a DNA preparation"

1 Answers

I have worked in molecular biology for a long time, and I could be talking about DNA preparation methods for a long time (extraction, purification, shearing, amplification...), so I asked for some clarification. What do you mean by DNA preparation, can you be more specific? Preparation in which context? Do you mean preparation from samples (i.e. purification) or to perform other techniques (i.e. RT, or shearing, or anything...)? To my puzzlement, the answer was repeatedly ´just tell me what you know´. Very strange. I have had other phone interviews and the recruiter directed the questions to know about me, and to extract the information to properly assess my skills and critical thinking. In this case, though, I felt that there was no communication and a week later I was notified that they were not continuing with my application. All in all, friendly and polite, but I do not understand how they did the skill assessment. The interviewer said he would get in touch with the molecular biology experts to perhaps arrange another interview. That said, it was just a first skype interview screen and I did not get feedback, so I do not know which was the reason for the rejection, whether just personal match, skills or gut impression. I wish them all the best though, since the technology sounds exciting, with a clear niche and full of possibilities. Less

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