Medical writing came into existence because the pharma and contract research organization industry required to produce structured documents that depicted information in a clear and concise manner. All new drugs go through clinical trials and regulatory procedures leading to the market. So there is a demand for medical writers to give a proper structure and create a standard document for medical professionals. Medical writing can be regulatory medical writing or educational medical writing.
Regulatory Medical writing means writing for creating a medical document that is generally huge and in a particular format. Clinical study reports, approval for drugs or devices or any biologics, and patient informed consent form types of regulatory medical writing.
Educational medical writing for a specific audience. Like sales description for a new drug. Medical journal articles for the nurse, physicians, or chemists. It plays an important role in promoting any medical equipment, drug, or treatment.
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Let us know the top 40 medical writer interview questions and answers-
Q.1 Tell me about yourself?
Ans A Question that is asked in all the interviews and all kinds of interviews even in medical writing interviews.. It is a preliminary screening question as it is a very broad question, and opens a window to lead the interview where you want. Depending on the answer to this question the interviewer frames his next question. It is also known as the icebreaker question and the interviewer starts to know you.
If it is answered well the chances of getting hired becomes good. It is an opportunity to show your communication skills and present yourself professionally. A good starting point of the story is also very important.
It should generally include three things. Present – the current role and scope a recent accomplishment.
Past- Tell the interviewer how you got there and share the experience that is relevant for the post you are applying for.
Future- What are you going to do next and why you are interested in this post.
It is a first impression question and it matters.
Q.2 Why should I hire You?
Ans A very common question asked in interviews. It is a trick question leading to a comparison of candidates wherein you have to list your qualities, presenting how fit you are for the position you have a combination of skills and experience, and hiring you is the right choice for him. It is the question of where you have to sell yourself. Medical writers also need to sell their skills.
Q.3 Are you able to relocate if required?
Ans Again this question’s main purpose is how willing are you to be a part of the company. It may or may not relocate. Answering that you are willing to relocate shows that you are willing to do the necessary actions to be a part of the company. At the same time be honest and thoughtful about this question If you don’t want to move to a new city then this job is not for you.
Q.4 Are you fine with working on a night shift?
Ans The answer to the question is quite similar to relocation. It is asking you to leave the comfort zone for something that is not routine. You have to be clear about this as you want a night job or not. Night jobs are also demanding and quite the opposite of mother nature.
Q.5 How will your boss and co-worker describe you?
Ans Be honest ( he will be calling for feedback from your former boss). Then tell about the strengths that are not discussed, As a medical writer the strong ethics and willingness to do what a job requires to do. One of the good answers is to back with examples of your past like he rarely has to check with me. If the task is assigned to me consider it done.
Q.6 What are your weakness in the medical writing profession.
Ans In this question you have to answer positively. Not a weakness as a weakness but rather a weakness that is good for work. Like, focus too much on details this kind of answer shows that you are focused on quality and are working to maintain balance with this. Some more positive answers can be as Having trouble saying no to work. Get impatient when projects run beyond a deadline. You are a workaholic. Etc a negative thing that is positive for work.
Q.7 How do you prioritize work?
Ans: The interviewer wants to know how you handle responsibilities and differentiate between high and low priority work. And if you have to prioritize the work how do you do it. To start answering for a to-do list. A list stating all the work assigned to you shows that you can work in an organized manner.
Q.8 Do you like to work independently or with others.
Ans there is no right or wrong answer to this question. However, this question is generally asked to know about the work environment you like work and also what kind of environment the job demands. How adaptable are you with respect to the environment?
Q.9 Where do you see yourself five years from now.
Ans Generally, the interviewer asks this question to know where you stand now, meaning if you are going to stay put in the new position and your long-term goal aligns with the company. They want to know whether this position will satisfy you and you will work hard to stay with the company for a long time.
Q.10 How do you incorporate feedback in your work.
Ans This question is meant to know how well you take criticism. Feedback is an important part of work, honest feedback when taken positively often leads to better work performance. So answering this question in a positive manner is important.
Q.11 How do you respond to conflicts.
Ans Most of the questions in an interview are situation-based to know the behavior pattern, at first you try to avoid conflicts, but as you find there is no way to avoid you try to understand the other’s point of view and find a solution that is good for everyone. This provides a relevant and specific answer.
Q.12 What interested you to go for medical writer jobs?
Ans This question is about the interest you have in the profession generally medical writer work with scientist, doctors subject matter expert for related documents. The medical writer helps them to write a research article, reviews, etc. So generally medical writers are passionate about the world of medicine they publish manuals health journal brochures etc, thus they have the inside knowledge.
Q.13 Have any of your articles been published?
AnsThis question opens the window for the experience of your interest areas and the work done by you. Give an honest answer for the number of articles published
Q.14 Is a career in Medical writing right for you?
Ans This question reflects the confidence you have in yourself. Of course, you have opted for this profession and you are looking for job. The question is how confident you are and how well you can explain you experience and knowledge.
Q.15 What is your greatest strength as a medical writer.?
Ans In this question the interviewer wants to know about the strength that is work-related. You can mention a number of things like a good motivator, good at meeting deadlines, positive attitude. Have an eye for details good at taking initiative etc. The strengths that are mention have to be supported by examples.
Q.16 How do your colleagues see you as?
Ans The interviewer wants to know how well you go along with your co-worker. A positive response describing your strength is a good choice.
Q.17 Why do you want to join us?
Ans This question aims at whether you know about the company you are willing to join. And to answer this you should do research about the company and highlight the good points.
Q.18 How many words are there in this particular Text?
Ans This kind of question does not require the exact answer. The interviewer wants to know the thought process. Start with logical and systematic thinking and answer the question in a reasonable manner.
Q.19 Explain an occasion when you did not get along with a co-worker?
Ans through this question the interviewer wants to know how you are in the Team environment and how well you handle differences. It’s a trap, Think hard but fail to come up with anything major. Think of some simple day-to-day difference or a short positive is best.
Q20 What are your achievements?
Ans have a ready list of your achievement, In this, the interviewer wants to know about your accomplishments. Think about your best qualities and try to highlight it. Ensure that the accomplishments that is discussed are recent and relevant.
Q21. How many bones are there in the human body?
Ans With this kind of question the interviewer wants to know that being a medical writer how well you know the basic medical question. The answer to this is 206.
Q22 If the task allotted to you is to be completed at 6 o’clock and you are unable to complete it on time what will you do?
Ans This is a tricky question and is to be answered in a very cautious manner as it reflects the failure to complete the task and at the same time there are chances where anyone could be in the situation. A short root cause analysis will be helpful. Focusing on how much time it will take to complete tell the reason wor not meeting the deadline.
Q.23 What makes the product successful?
Ans These questions about the product in medical writing give a chance to prove your analysis. Do not give a perfect and extreme optimist answer. The answer should be real, generally, the target is achieved over the span of 5 to 10 years. Therefore the quality and marketability of the industry is to be mentioned.
Q.24 What do you know about our company?
Ans doesn’t narrate the story that you have read from the company website, instead, using a couple of keywords and phrases from the website describe in one line the company’s goal and I really believe in this approach because with some examples.
Q.25 Do you have any questions for me?
Ans Nowadays at the end of the interview every interviewer asks this question. Prepare a list of questions that you need to ask and remember that questions may change based on the interview. The questions should reflect that you were engaged in the interview, You can ask questions about the role, and it’s important to know what nor to ask like off-work activities, things you could research yourself, personal life and gossips, salary and benefits, etc.
Q.26 How do you motivate and involve the team.?
Ans Managers generally confuse motivation as a synonym for money. But remember money is much lower on the list, employees are motivated by a sense of respect sense of accomplishment recognition. Etc The answer is to be aligned with these qualities. Like declaring most helpful employee of the week etc.
Q.27 What does quality work means to you?
Ans Quality is doing right even when no one is looking. Maybe you cannot describe quality but once he sees you are trying to pursue perfection with your work and go an extra mile you have handled this question well.
Q.28 What are your salary expectations as a medical writer?
Ans Question about salary is a very dangerous and tricky, people tend to discuss salary before selling their skills. And salary is negotiation so having an understanding about the average salary is good. however, there is no right answer to this question it totally depends on the interviewer and how you handle it. Follow your instinct and try not to have an elaborate discussion.
29 Give an example about a stressful situation and how were you able to handle it?
Ans Every work has some stressful situation and through this question, the interviewer wants to know how positive and thoughtful you can be in a very adverse situation. Choose a specific occasion and describe don’t go for generic answers.
Q.30 What do you know about the drug development process?
Ans Medical writer involved in clinical research and regulatory documents has knowledge about the drug development process. The early clinical development reports also require a good understanding of pharmacology and pharmacokinetic concepts. Medical writers writing safety reports need to understand the drug safety process and requirements of safety reporting that is prescribed by different regulatory authorities.
Q31 What kind of documents have you written previously?
Ans There are different types of documents that a medical writer writes ie medical journalism for the large public, medical education for physicians and other health professionals, medical marketing of health products, publications and presentations for conferences and seminars, research documents, and regulatory documents. The question is to know your past experience and expertise.
Q32.What are referencing and citation in medical writing?
Ans Citation is the specific source that is mentioned in the body of the paper, If a source is quoted directly the exact page number is to be included in a citation or it is incomplete. However reference is a list of sources that are cited, the reference is written at the end of the paper.
Q.33 How do you apply ISO 9001 for medical writing?
Ans ISO 9001 is not a product standard but it’s a tool to control the process and quality system that the end product should meet. The medical devices have to follow ISO 13485. It is the international standard for quality management systems that established requirements for the medical device industry
Q.34 What did you learn from the internship and projects you did while your medical writing course?
Ans This is the first time when you are in a professional setting, The best way to put into action what you have learned in the classroom. One of the most valuable skills you learn from an internship is the ability to speak with people in a professional setting. To describe all the projects you have worked on with the objective of the project and the achievements and learnings.
Q.35 What is proofreading.?
Ans. Medical writers and editors play an important role in the field of scientific publishing and communications. While the responsibilities between these can differ, all medical writers and editors have skills in common – for example, they must have a strong grasp of the English language and an eye for detail. A large part of many writing and editing roles involves the ability to proofread and edit the text to a high standard. Proofreading is the ability to identify and remedy mistakes such as grammatical, spelling or formatting errors.
Q.36 Role of medical writer In pharma industry?
Ans As a medical writer produce a structured document that depicts information in a clear and concise manner in relation to pharma and research organization. Medical writers in the pharma industry can be classified as regulatory medical writers or educational medical writers.( Both of the same are explained above)
Q.37 Who is the ideal medical writer professional?
Ans Don’t go for any names or job profile instead go for qualities like Domain knowledge, knowing whom you are writing for, writing skills like data interpretation and presentation, data integrity, keeping up to date with the new reforms, and clarity, etc. tell about the qualities that will make you a good medical writer even while giving reference of any medical writer talk about the qualities.
Q.38 Name any language editing software?
Ans For any medical writer or a content writer language editing software is necessary and one of the best software is Grammarly.
Q.39 what do you know about the drug development process?
Ans Drug development is the process of bringing a new pharmaceutical drug to the market. It involves following steps and you can explain in short sentences about the same.
Step 1: Discovery and Development.
Step 2: Preclinical Research.
Step 3: Clinical Research.
Step 4: FDA Drug Review.
Step 5: FDA Post-Market Drug Safety Monitoring.
Q.40 Are you comfortable using computer software? Which software do you use for medical writing ?
Ans mention how computer software helps in medical writing and also name some software on which you have worked.
Q.41 Why are you looking for a Job Change?
Ans Emphasize positive reasons for leaving the job even if you don’t have any. Growth and opportunity can be one such reason. Also, go for external reasons for a job change and don’t stick to one go for many.
The most important thing in any interview is confidence and a good attitude if these two are there chances of getting selected go up by 90%. Once the interview is over and qualified, you will be asked to give a second and final round of interviews. Here, the writing skills’ practical test will be checked like rewriting of a scientific document proofreading, writing a new headline. And the article that you will write will be the basis of the interview result.
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