How to Prepare for an Interview As a Clinical Research Associate

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Before any new medication or medical device can be marketed to the public, it must undergo stringent testing procedures to prove its safety. Clinical research associates conduct these tests and recording the data. Most have a background in science and are college educated. Because of the high level of responsibility research associates have in testing and providing test results for new and experimental products, most employers prefer applicants who demonstrate previous experience working with clinical trials.

Research the company you are interviewing with ahead of time. Demonstrating in the interview that you have taken the time to familiarize yourself with the company will reflect well on you and make you stand out.

Obtain a sealed copy of your college transcripts and bring it with you. Most positions in clinical research require applicants to possess a four-year degree in a scientific field. Being able to provide proof of this immediately, if asked, demonstrates that you are well prepared for the interview and will place you ahead of other candidates who did not bring transcripts.

Bring your resume with you. Even if you already gave the company a copy, it is always a good idea to be prepared with an additional copy. Your goal is to immediately provide any paperwork the interviewer may ask for.

Familiarize yourself with the terminology and acronyms commonly used in clinical research. You want to be able to recognize them if the interviewer uses them and perhaps even use them yourself to demonstrate your knowledge of the field.

Ask people you know or have worked with previously in the medical field to serve as professional references. Ask only those who you know will give a good and honest reference of your past work history and behavior to the interviewer, should he decide to call.

Conduct a mock interview. Draw up a set of questions that you believe the interviewer is likely to ask. Have your partner ask you the questions while you answer them in as professional a manner as possible. By practicing, you will answer questions more fluidly and with more confidence during the actual interview.

Locate the interview site ahead of time. This is especially important if you are interviewing with a large company and are not familiar with either the area or the layout of the building. Knowing exactly where to go and how much time it will take you to get there will help you arrive for the interview on time.