26 Biologist Job Interview Questions Hiring Managers Should Know

26 Biologist Job Interview Questions Hiring Managers Should Know 

The field of biology is diverse, with roles ranging from lab technicians to field researchers. As a hiring manager working to hire for biologist jobs, it’s important to focus on asking the right questions. These questions should reveal the candidate’s technical expertise, problem-solving skills, and passion for biology research. 

This guide lists 26 questions hiring managers commonly ask when hiring for a biology job. These questions cover various topics such as technical knowledge and communication skills created to prepare you for different situations. 

As a hiring manager, adding to your team is exciting but also poses new challenges; using these core questions consistently during your rounds of interviews will allow you to maintain a consistent and fair process objectively. 

Table of Contents

Technical Knowledge Questions 

These biologist job interview questions will test your candidate’s fundamental biology knowledge and how well they can use it in real-life situations. These questions will likely form a significant portion of your interview, so it’s crucial to be well-prepared. 

Here are some questions you might ask: 

1. Can you explain the process of DNA replication?
2. How is a Gram stain performed, and what does it reveal? 
3. What is the significance of meiosis in sexual reproduction? 
4. Can you explain the concept of genetic drift? 
5. What is the role of ribosomes in protein synthesis? 
6. How would you explain homeostasis in simple terms?

Of course, depending on the niche aspects of your organization or research, technical knowledge questions can be easily tailored to meet your specific biology hiring needs.  

Problem-Solving Questions 

These questions aim to evaluate your candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to think critically. These questions are usually about situations you might face as a biologist, either in theory or in real life. 

Here are some examples: 

7. How would you investigate a sudden decline in a local bird population?
8. If you discovered a new species, how would you classify it?
9. How would you approach the task of developing a new vaccine?
10. How would you handle a lab experiment that didn’t produce the expected results?
11. What steps would you take to ensure the ethical treatment of animals in your research? 

Communication Skills Questions 

These questions test if your candidate can work well with others, communicate clearly, and manage conflicts effectively. Communication-based questions are particularly important if the role involves teamwork or public engagement. 

Here are some potential questions you could ask: 

12. How have you handled a disagreement with a colleague in the past?                                                                                      13. Can you share a time when you had to explain difficult scientific ideas to people who aren’t scientists?
14. How do you handle feedback and criticism?
15. Can you describe a situation where you had to collaborate with others to achieve a common goal?
16. How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks when working on multiple projects? 

Personal Motivation Questions 

These questions aim to discover why your candidate loves biology and why they want to work in this field. They provide an opportunity for them to share their personal journey and aspirations. 

Here are some questions: 

17. Why did you choose to study biology? 
18. What is the most fascinating biological phenomenon for you, and why?
19. Can you describe a project or research that you are particularly proud of?
20. In what position do you see yourself in five years?
21. What are the biggest challenges you anticipate in this role, and how do you plan to overcome them? 

Current Affairs and Ethical Questions 

These questions test your awareness of current issues in biology and your ability to engage in ethical decision-making. They can range from recent scientific breakthroughs to debates about the ethical implications of certain biological practices. 

Here are some questions regarding current events: 

22. What recent development in biology excites you the most, and why?
23. What is your opinion on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?
24. How do you think climate change is affecting biodiversity?
25. What are the ethical considerations when conducting animal testing? 
26. How do you stay updated with the latest research and developments in biology? 


Before interviewing a candidate for a biology job, know what questions you want to ask. During the interview, assess whether the candidate excels in problem-solving and effective communication. Good communication within a company can keep employees engaged and retains key staff members (Watson Wyatt 2009). Each open biologist job within your team offers a unique opportunity to improve your team’s overall performance and engagement. These 26 interview questions will help you fill your hardest biologist jobs.

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