Preparing for your TrialSpark interviews
Some tips for both before and during your interviews. We hope this is helpful!
Before the interviews
Do a dry run. What does this entail? If your interviews are being conducted over Zoom, you might want to ask your recruiter to do a test call with you. If they’re in person, you might want to take a trip to the office ahead of time to ensure you have enough time on the day.
Make sure you know enough about the role you’re interviewing for. Read the job description thoroughly. Reach out to your recruiter if you feel there are gaps in your knowledge that can be filled in before the interview.
We love it when a candidate comes prepared. Take some time to review the articles on our Medium page, to research what’s going on in the industry, and to understand some of the challenges running clinical trials that we’re looking to overcome. Doing your homework will impress our team and might also spark some questions you have for us. This in turn will show your interest and dedication to the role and our mission.
We know interviewing can be stressful but Sparkies are a pretty nice bunch. Take whatever steps you can to calm your nerves and get a good night’s sleep so you’re recharged and ready to show the value you could bring to our mission.
During the interviews
Make sure you understand what’s being asked of you
We have two main tips:
- Ask clarifying questions. Some questions may be complex and deliberately ambiguous (similar to running clinical trials!). Ask for more information if you feel you need it.
- Don’t be afraid of pausing and asking for some time to collect your thoughts. We generally recommend having a pen and paper to hand to jot down notes.
Talk through your thought process
We don’t do brain teasers but many of the questions you’ll be asked are open-ended, hypothetical and don’t have a right or wrong answer. For these scenarios, your interviewer will be looking to get a sense of how you think about the problem, if you’re structured/logical, if you can articulate your thought process well and also think about the trade-offs. Your approach to tackling the problems is just as, if not more important, than where you actually land.
Expect follow ups
The best interview questions will entail some back and forth. Don’t be surprised if your interviewer asks you to elaborate or to explain your answer in more detail, or asks you how you would tackle a related problem. Candidates don’t always reveal their best answer straight off the bat, so we encourage our interviewers to dig a little via follow up questions.
Be honest with us — we want to get to know the real you
One of our interviews is behavioral, which means you’ll be asked about prior experiences. Try to give us honest and sincere answers from the not-too-distant past. We care a lot about growth mindset, so showing a bit of vulnerability is not a bad thing!
If one conversation doesn’t go as well as you’d hope, don’t dwell on it
We ask interviewers to evaluate candidates based on all the data points they’re able to collect. In other words, they’re trained not to disproportionately weigh one answer. In addition, our process is orientated around the wisdom of crowds, meaning interviewers are not to discuss their feedback prior to the debrief. Your interview loop may be four separate conversations. If one of those doesn’t go as well as you would have hoped, try to put it behind you and give your best in the other conversations.
We typically weave a practical case study into our assessment. For these, you’ll be given anywhere between two and seven days to prepare. You’ll then walk through your approach with a group of Sparkies. This is your opportunity to shine and show what you can do in a “real” world scenario.
Best of luck!