gotgame83

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I just recieved a phone call this morning saying I have an interview at Wyeth in Monmouth Junction NJ on wednesday. I spoke with the lady in charge of research and she said that a chemist will be coming down from north jersey to conduct the interview. Crap, i dont know how much they expect me to know. I am a biochem major and ive aced all chem's but those are school chems not real world chemistry. Has anyone had an interview before for a chemistry position? and if so what kind of questions might he ask? I have no clue what to expect from this.
 

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gotgame83 said:
I just recieved a phone call this morning saying I have an interview at Wyeth in Monmouth Junction NJ on wednesday. I spoke with the lady in charge of research and she said that a chemist will be coming down from north jersey to conduct the interview. Crap, i dont know how much they expect me to know. I am a biochem major and ive aced all chem's but those are school chems not real world chemistry. Has anyone had an interview before for a chemistry position? and if so what kind of questions might he ask? I have no clue what to expect from this.
don't stress out too much. I've been through a couple interviews for jobs for lab tech positions. From what i know, they don't ask you too many questions regarding to technical skills. They just wanna see how well you can communicate and how fast/efficient you think in a short period of time. So just take it as a chance to practice your skills. Smile and be friendly. If you don't know answer to some questions, just simply say you don't know but willing to learn about it. Nobody knows everything. Don't BS!

Good luck
 
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gotgame83

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Thanks for the quick reply. This will be my first interview for anything science related.
 

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gotgame83 said:
Thanks for the quick reply. This will be my first interview for anything science related.
Please let us know how it goes, and good luck!
I was kind've wondering the same about interviews... I am also a Biochem major, with a 3.9 in my science classes... Though I feel that I got a really good overall education, and feel good about the "big picture," I feel like I don't remember the chemistry specifics too much, ya know?

I agree with the previous post, though... Just be friendly and well spoken, and if you don't know what he's talking about, tell him that you don't know!

Remember too, If he gets way technical during the interview, and you aren't comfortable with it, it may not be a job you want anyways.

Chemistry Professors always weirded me out a little. I don't know why. I love all my bio profs, but the chemistry dept. just gives me the willies.
 

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DHG said:
Please let us know how it goes, and good luck!
I was kind've wondering the same about interviews... I am also a Biochem major, with a 3.9 in my science classes... Though I feel that I got a really good overall education, and feel good about the "big picture," I feel like I don't remember the chemistry specifics too much, ya know?

I agree with the previous post, though... Just be friendly and well spoken, and if you don't know what he's talking about, tell him that you don't know!

Remember too, If he gets way technical during the interview, and you aren't comfortable with it, it may not be a job you want anyways.

Chemistry Professors always weirded me out a little. I don't know why. I love all my bio profs, but the chemistry dept. just gives me the willies.
I completely agree with the previous comments. I'm a research and development Sr. Chemist. Basically, for a lab tech position, all I would want to know is if you can understand me and I you.

As for technical questions, nothing too difficult. Maybe something like how do you prepare a 1N solution of HCl or NaOH.

If the job includes work on instrumentation, like HPLC or PCR, then something about your previous experience if any. Basically what brand and type that you used (HPLC/MS, Waters brand) . And what it was used for (protein, drugs). If you didn't have direct contact with the instrumentation, then maybe the class or lab that the instrument was used, or at least discussed.

Anyways just brush up on some basic chemistry along those topics and you should be fine. Good luck :thumbup:
 
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gotgame83

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Roid Rage said:
I completely agree with the previous comments. I'm a research and development Sr. Chemist. Basically, for a lab tech position, all I would want to know is if you can understand me and I you.

As for technical questions, nothing too difficult. Maybe something like how do you prepare a 1N solution of HCl or NaOH.

If the job includes work on instrumentation, like HPLC or PCR, then something about your previous experience if any. Basically what brand and type that you used (HPLC/MS, Waters brand) . And what it was used for (protein, drugs). If you didn't have direct contact with the instrumentation, then maybe the class or lab that the instrument was used, or at least discussed.

But just brush up on some basic chemistry along those topics and you should be fine. Good luck :thumbup:
Thanks a lot for this response. BTW i love the user name lol. I just contacted my friend who had done an internship there two years ago and she said he probably will ask me a few basic chem question about the instruments but nothing too major.

I have a 3.8 Science GPA and 3.55 overall GPA. (I found the general classes pointless and spent the time i should have been at those studying for my science classes lol) I have applied for many other internships but this is the first to get back to me. THis would not have been my first choice at all, my first is one in Florida or even one in philly. Im not sure what/how i should approach this if they do offer me a summer internship, should I accept it and then cancel on them if i do get an offer from the research place of my choice?

Im taking a ride down to see the university of maryland 2morrow so i can see what the pharmacy school looks like, i guess i will convince my friend to drive the whole way and ill look over some chem stuff. Thanks for all the help guys, its greatly appreciated.
 

DHG

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Roid Rage said:
I'm a research and development Sr. Chemist. Basically, for a lab tech position, all I would want to know is if you can understand me and I you.
Well, for a chemist, you seem really nice. So maybe chemists aren't all that bad after all... :thumbup: :p

Thanks for the info, and thanks to the original poster for a good topic. I'd be fine with basic chem type-questions. That makes me feel better too :)

You mentioned something that reminded me what someone else told me, and it was a good idea: Go through all your undergrad laboratory notebooks/journals and make a summary of all the types of experiments you did in your undergrad work, in your chem and biochem classes, noting principles, the methods and the equipment used. Should be a brief overview, about a page or two in length. It's a great review and it will help organize your experience in a way you can relate to it.
 
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gotgame83

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Well I just got back a few minutes ago from the interview. The whole interview process was around 4 hours. I had a total of 8 different people interview me for two different spots. For the most part they wanted to know what i had done in my lab work and where i am trying to go and how this summer internship will help me. Then there were these two guys who although very nice, but they wanted DETAILS. I happend to mention the synthesis of 6-nitro-bips during a chem experiment last year. So he handed me a piece of paper and said can u detail the intermediates and how you go to each step. I handed the paper back to him and said, "nope" lol Then the same guy drew me a structure of some cyclohexane molecule with a whole bunch of different crap attached and asked me to draw the proton NMR for it, and surprisingly i was able to do this off the top of my head showing all the shielding/deshielding and all of that.

I also had to describe my work with the HPLC and IR, and GC mass spec.

Other then it being a very long day and i had to travel pretty far it wasnt too stressful. They did however treat me to lunch which was great considering i was starving and was running off a smore pop tart with a water for breakfast.