Medical & Scientific Writing

Common Medical Writing Interview Questions: Be Prepared!

Job interviews!!! Most of us have in our lives either already faced job interviews or will face them in future.

No matter how good you have been in your previous job or in academics, it is useful to thoroughly prepare for any interview that you may have to attend. Staying overconfident and ‘I am the best’ mindset may prove to be counterproductive when it comes to nailing a job interview.

Although there are some common questions that are asked almost during all job interviews irrespective of the position or industry, there are some position specific questions too which you should anticipate beforehand. Most of the time these position specific questions are related to the knowledge of core concepts, skill sets and previous experience of the candidate directly related to the job. Many times some interview questions may appear to be of personal nature, silly or even ridiculous, however as a good interviewee you are expected to answer them all.┬áThe objective of such questions is to not be intrusive but rather to understand the employees ability to counter them, the ability to think out-of-the-box, and the ability to deal with difficult situations. The best way to deal with questions of personal nature is to marry your answers to the position you are being interviewed for! Answer the questions in the context of your job while masking your real emotions or motivations. For example if the interviewer asks: “Why do you want to relocate to this city”? It won’t be appropriate to say: “Ahh, the city were I live presently sucks, I am not happy with my work profile and job either. Nothing much to do in my present city you know”. Instead you can state: “I am looking for new challenges are more responsibility in my work profile. I am willing to relocate here, because this position is available in this city and I am very interested in being a part of your team.”

Before you attend any interview it is a good idea to put down a list of questions that you may be asked and be ready with the answers. Do not memorize them, just keep an idea in mind about how you want to answer that question, or else you will sound fake! Perform a mock interview with your friends or relatives. Let them ask you questions and answer them. This will make you more confident during the actual interview.

When it comes to medical writing interviews, they will almost always have at least two parts, although interviewing practices vary from one company to another:

– A face-to-face interview by management team, senior medical writers and human resources (HR) to assess your attitude, experience, subject knowledge and expertise.

– A written test to assess your writing and word processing skills.

Here is a list of common medical writing interview questions that you may be asked during the first round of interview i.e. in-person discussion. You will in all possibility be asked some of these questions if not all:


– Tell me something about yourself!
– What are your weaknesses?
– What are your strengths?
– What has been your most disappointing experience?
– What do you consider your greatest achievement in life?
– What was the most difficult time of your life? How did you overcome it?
– How would your best friend describe you?
– What motivates you?
– What are your interests?
– What do you think about team work? Are you a team player?
– How would you handle a tough boss whom you think is being unreasonable?
– Why did you apply for this job and specifically at our company?
– Why are you quitting (or already quit) your current medical writing job?


– Why did you choose medical writing as a career?
– Where do you rate your writing skills on a rating scale of 1 to 10?
– Have you written anything previously? Have any of your writings got published?
– Have you completed any medical writing training or medical writing course?
– What do you know about the drug development process?
– What kind of documents have you written previously?
– What sort of documents do you think you are going to write in this position?
– Are you comfortable using computer software’s? Which software’s do you use for medical writing?
– Do you know anything about statistics?
– Which projects have you worked on previously?
– What is referencing and citation?
– What are the different types of referencing styles?
– Which one do you use commonly?
– What did you learn most from your projects?
– What was your contribution in making those projects a success?
– What all would you keep in mind when starting to write a document from scratch?
– What all would you keep in mind when editing a document?
– What is proof reading?
– What are some publication guidelines?
– Can you multi-task?
– Can you give me an example of your multi-tasking ability?
– Can you handle pressure at work? How do you deal with it?
– Do you prefer working independently or do you require constant supervision?
– Can you write non-scientific documents as well?
– Which other companies did you apply at?
– What do you expect to gain from this job?

Once your face-to-face meeting is complete, you will be asked to sit for a test to assess your writing skills. This is usually the second and the final round of the interview. In most such tests you will be provided a published scientific article or paper and asked to rewrite it, limiting it to a particular word count along with creating a new headline. You may also be provided a document and asked to correct any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Your written document will be assessed for good spelling and grammar, structure and writing style.

We wish you all the best and hope that this article was helpful to you.

If you completed a medical writing interview, please share your experience and any specific questions that you may have been asked. This will be helpful to others. Thank you.

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