A career in clinical research can be quite fantastic. But how do you go about getting one? Well, this post will shed light on this.

1. Ensure your resume is in great shape

In an earlier post, we mentioned that the two key reasons why many clinical research associates fail to get jobs are low-quality resumes and bad experience. Your resume is a central component of your identity during an interview, as it serves as your professional portfolio. If your CV or resume isn’t in tip-top shape, you won’t qualify for most meetings, and you’ll most likely flop on the conversations you get.

Make sure you include all of your professional qualifications and credentials in your resume and customize it to suit the requirements of the job you’re applying for. When you’re using for a clinical research job, including your experience is essential. You should also check the job description to gather some of hints on the parts of your resume where you’ll give more information relevant to the position. If there’s a field that you aren’t good at, avoid over-embellishing it on the resume.

2. Be Honest

Along with getting your resume in top shape, ensure you are honest about your experience. Honesty should be reflected in the resume and during the interview. The competition for job opportunities is quite stiff today, which makes it tempting to exaggerate your experience in both the resume and during the meeting.

When this happens, the chances of being hired can drop drastically, or even worse, get you engaged, and you fail to perform tasks that you explicitly claimed to be good at. On the other hand, although being honest can make you not get the job, you don’t want to be on a job that you won’t be able to do.

3. Prepare, and then Prepare some more

Before the interview, allocate a few hours to consolidate your ideas and thoughts. Make sure that you know who will be interviewing you. You can try to check them up on LinkedIn for more specific information about them. Then, you can establish their qualifications, credentials, and areas of specialty so that you’ll be able to build a rapport with them during the interview.

Next, you want to jot down a few questions you intend to ask the interviewers. These questions should be straight to the point and concise. They should also demonstrate to the interviewers that they have a good grasp of the company and the position they are applying for. You can find good examples of questions you can ask before, during, and after an interview on our site.
Remember to avoid questions regarding bonuses, benefits, and time-offs since these can make it seem like the employer owes you. Next, have some copies of your resume and place them in a professional notebook or folder. You and your interviewers should have a few copies of your resume. You might be asked something about your experience in your resume, and you fail to remember them, making you look unprepared and unprofessional.

Everything about you, including your professional experience, should be highlighted in your resume. This can serve as an excellent resource for referencing to during your interview in case your memory fails you. So, make sure you take down important details mentioned during the meeting, such as dates and names. This is entirely acceptable and often encouraged.

Many people assume that they will remember everything necessary mentioned during the interview, and unfortunately, they fail most of the time. Jotting down some notes will also help you develop some reference points for a more personalized “thank you” note for future use.

4. Research

Due diligence is a crucial step when preparing for an interview. You need to have valid information on your fingertips about the job that you are being interviewed for and the company offering you the position. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for information about the prospective company and its staff. With it, you can find out more details about the team in the company, how long they’ve been working there, their backgrounds, and their credentials or qualifications.

Remember to check the company’s official website and see if you can find any recent press releases. These can contain valuable information or announcements about the new products and services the company is launching.

To answer all of their questions correctly, ensure you know about the qualifications they are looking for. It’s strongly recommended that you print out a copy of the job description and review every requirement. Take note of your direct or indirect experience or qualification for each requirement.

This will help you familiarise yourself with what the position entails and highlight your strong areas. Furthermore, don’t read the notes that you take down during the interview. This can be disastrous. Notes are strictly meant for preparation only.

Based on the specific position you’re applying for, the interviewers might want you to showcase your knowledge and experience on proper research and protocol practices. Looking at these practices and protocols beforehand will go a long way in helping you be more prepared for the interview.

Finally, you also need to review the recent updates, news, discoveries, and inventions in research surrounding the company’s market. For example, if the company is looking for a pharmaceutical clinical researcher, you need to research the subject's recent data.

5. Review your Previous Research

When applying for a new job, your past clinical research is crucial. You must ensure that all of your previous research projects are in top shape. Since the interviewer might ask about your past research experience, it’s a good idea to prepare for such questions.

Don’t forget to note any difficulties or challenges you might have experienced while undertaking your past research projects. The interviewer may want to know more details about these and how you overcame them. So, it’s best to have clear, real-life examples and scenarios to help articulate the points better.

Stepping into the interview room with little or no preparation only means setting yourself up for failure. Consider the tips shared above very serious, and this clinical research job might as well be yours! Preparation before an interview can be exhausting and strenuous, but the fruits will be worth it.

According to ICON, having a career in clinical research can be so rewarding. So, if you want to raise your chances of getting the job, go for it!