The do’s and don’ts in a job interview

Whether you have just finished studying or you have worked for quite some time, when you are looking for a new job opportunity, you will have to do a job interview and try to tell your story. Because of the fierce competition due to the abundance of qualified candidates, it is important that you ace the job interview to get the job. In this article, we asked the professional recruiters of CLS Services to share their experience and give you the do’s and don’ts for a job interview.

Be well prepared!

CLS Services

The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format is often used in an interview. Try to prepare for these situational questions. Furthermore, to start with finding out what you want, what you like and what drives your ambition is very important. At a certain point, you will have to sell yourself. In general, you are there to show your best side and why you are suited for the job! So, we recommend that you know your strengths. Don’t be subtle, most people with a Chemistry or Life Sciences background tend to be modest about their competencies. They usually name two or three of their best skills, followed by two weaknesses. Name your strong points and put them in a story.
In your story, it is important to be specific about your competencies. For example: “I’m flexible” is not specific at all. It can have more meanings than you intended. Although it’s a bit straightforward, try to give background information as to why you have these strengths or weaknesses. Also don’t forget what you have done in the past. Things you have done in your previous jobs should be presented as experience for the position you are applying for. Moreover, try to get information about the person(s) who will be interviewing you. Which function does he/she have? What is his/her
background? Adapt your story to this person. Does he/she have a science background? Then you can go on in depth about what you did in the past.

Don’t criticise the way people do their job

This can land you in a hostile position! For example: “Why are you using this old HPLC device? I would never use this because it isn’t reliable.” Better: “I see that you use an old HPLC device, can you tell me why?” Additionally, don’t bring up the discussion about salary or working hours unless they mention something about it.]

Don’t make the classic mistakes

Being late, for example, is one of them. Of course, you can have problems with public transport or a traffic am. In those cases, inform the company about your situation by calling in advance, so that they can anticipate your late arrival. You should always take these uncertainties into account. Leaving earlier will ensure that a small traffic jam or delay will not spoil your future career. This may seem obvious, but turn off your phone and do not pick it up during an interview. This is rude. If you are expecting an emergency call, inform the people that you might receive an important call. Last but not least, try to adapt to the situation. This means that you have to have some ideaabout the company’s etiquette. by doing this you will avoid being over/underdressed.

Feel comfortable!

This is very important. After ll, this may be the place where you will be spending up to 40 hours per week in the coming years. A good way to feel relaxed is by making a personal connection with the people who youtalk to. This can be done by talking about your hobbies or interests.

Tips & tricks

»» Practice your job interview with friends.
»» Think about the STAR method and try to understand what the company is looking for.

Prepare these questions:
»»What do you like?
»»What drives your ambition?
»»Where do you think you will be in 5 years’ time?
»» Remember, a job interview is FUN!

1. Prepare well;
2. Feel comfortable;
3. Know your strengths;
4. Tell your story and try to sell yourself.

1. Don’t bring up salary or working hours in the first interview;
2. Don’t bring up a discussion about how to perform certain tasks;
3. Don’t name all your weaknesses;
4. Don’t forget your experiences.

CLS Services


Good luck with your interview!


CLS Services provides recruitment services for companies who are active in the field of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and food. As experts in recruitment, CLS speaks and understands the language of their clients and they offer suitable candidates a broad range of positions in various organisations.
T: +31(0)88 227 7555


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