“Interview”……Oh No!!!.. What am I going to do? How am I going to answer? What is it that the interviewers expect? These thoughts often lead to a rise in blood pressure levels with sweating, increased heart rate, and flinching eyebrows. And let alone, if it’s an interview for the medical writer position, there would be “butterflies in the stomach”, “heebie-jeebies all over”….Be assured that, all of these are normal physiological responses to the release of a stress hormone – Cortisol in all of us. Before this gets zapped to any pathology, let’s understand in-depth and clear all the puzzles lurking in your human-computer with regards to the arrows of questions, piercing the brain. Also, to make this easier, I want to emphasize, that this interview is no different from the rest, except here I will give you the thought process behind every query with the ultimate motto for you to land on a perfect blood pressure scale with the joy of the happy hormone – Serotonin, rushing in every cell after you clear your interview.
Also, I would give you details of the medical writing course that will help you in your journey.
Here, I would like to highlight that, the interview questions would be a mix of behavioral, analytical, and technical questions. But, fret not!!! I have got you covered. Also, ensure that you have open body language, straight posture, and answer by making eye contact with the interviewer. If you need time to think for any particular answer, you can request the same, or you are not sure of any answer, do not go beating around the bush. Just be honest because honesty is the best policy and it will get you to places.
Top 20 Medical Writing Interview Questions and Answers
Q.1 Tell me something about yourself?
Interpretation – This is the most obvious and 99.99% asked questions in any of the interviews. This can be called the opening question for a fresher or even an experienced individual. Here, the interviewer expects 2 things from you – your communication skills obviously and the things that you feel are important to you as a whole.
The biggest mistake interviewees do is by saying everything personal like interests, hobbies, life choices, family, etc. which is of least interest to the interviewer. The interviewer just wants to know your capability in that role whether you fit the job description or not.
Expected answer – You can humbly start with your name, education background if you are a fresher or experience summary if you are an experienced individual along with the skills that you have along with the addition of some adjectives like ——- that is relevant to your current job role which will showcase your ability and make you the right candidate for the job.
Q.2 Why did you choose medical writing job as your career?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know if you are passionate about your subject/career or you have chosen this career just because of family pressure/expectations or because somebody told you so.
Expected answer – You can smartly say that you chose this career because of the vastness of the medical field that has always fascinated the writer in you. You want to be part of this ever-growing research field and contribute your part to society.
Q.3 Why do you feel you need this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer does not want to know about your interest in the salary only, because it’s obvious. At the end of the day, everybody works for a salary. Here, they want to know the other reasons other than money for wanting the job means you have to focus on the “why” part.
Expected answer – Here a little bit of research about the company is important like the first reason that appealed to you and forced you to apply to this particular company is the expected answer. Research about the company’s position in the market, their policies, their culture, their overall reputation, etc. Along with this add your skills to the requirements making you the most desirable candidate.
Q.4 What do you feel are your strengths in this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know whether you know what your strengths or abilities are and whether they can be used for the development of the company and whether you are using them.
Expected answer – Be honest and give the skills that you feel are with you like being a good communicator, having good writing skills, having good researching skills, etc. For all the strengths that you are describing, pinpoint any example that demonstrates the same with your past experiences which would prove the same. Also, highlight the skills first that are in alignment with the company’s job description.
Q.5 What do you feel are your weakness in this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know whether you know what your weaknesses are, whether you are willing to work on the same and bring about an improvement if required or you are too rigid to acknowledge the same because the fact remains that every person has some or the other weakness and nobody is perfect which is as well not expected in an interview.
Expected answer – Be honest and give the skills that you feel are lacking in you like maybe you are not good with time management then acknowledge the same, along with the efforts taken by you in improving in that area. Also, show that you are flexible in adapting and ready for improving as per the demand of the new role in this company.
Q.6 Can you describe the types of medical writing that are there in the medical writing job sector?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know whether you know at least the types of medical writing in various industries and whether you have worked on any of them. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – Ensure to include all the types of writing the documents for different purposes and varied types of audiences be it medical education, medical publication, research documentation, medical journalism, regulatory documentation, etc. Along with the types, including your work as well, be it very small or big.
Q.7 What do you think are the requirements of becoming a competent medical writer?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to understand whether you know the basic 2 niche skill requirements like the domain and general knowledge along with the general skills. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – You can bifurcate further within the domain and general knowledge as the drug development process, drug safety process, pharmacology, therapeutic area knowledge, medical area knowledge, technical guidelines, tables, graphs, etc. and the general skills like grammar, language, data research with interpretation, legal issues, etc.
Q.8 Do you know how to work on software and if so which one have you worked with recently?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know if you have software using skills or any other general tool-using skills. Also, if you have not used any tools, be open and admit the same. However, assure the interviewer that given the chance you are open and ready to learn the same. Do not disclose for which previous projects you have used any software as it would be against the policies.
Expected answer – You can state the names of the software that you have worked on previously and also is a known software. If it’s private software and should not be disclosed, then you may say the same by mentioning the work that has been done by you using that software without mentioning the actual name stating the non-disclosure reasons.
Q.9 What can you tell me in brief about the drug development process?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know all the stages involved in the drug development process. An overview of the entire process is in a few lines. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – You can start by defining the drug development process. Then continue with the number of years taken in the same viz. 10-12 years. Then add the 5 steps like drug discovery and drug development, pre-clinical research, clinical research, FDA review on the drug, and lastly the post-marketing monitoring by the FDA.
Q.10 What do you think are the qualities that give an extra edge to any good medical writing work?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know the qualities/skills that are required on an interpersonal level so that the best work is bought forth. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – You can state the qualities that you resonate with as per your resume and the ones that you feel are genuinely important like attention to detail, ability to do thorough research in the given subject, good communication skills, good time management skills with the ability to work under deadlines, ability to work independently, ability to coordinate with colleagues and bring out the best in self and them, ability to understand the requirements of the project, etc.
Q.11 What do you mean by proofreading and how important is proofreading in medical writing?
Interpretation – The interviewer wants to know if you have an eye for detailing and whether you do proofreading while going through the documents. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – You can explain what proofreading means firstly starting with careful examination of the document for correction of all mistakes and typography with grammar, spelling, and the style used. Then you can proceed with the basics of how you can do proofreading like looking for sentences/words that are duplicates, grammar used with tense, pronunciation with the correct use of the noun, pronoun, verb, etc. Also, lay special emphasis on the formatting, styling, and presentation.
Q.12. What do you know about our company and why did you apply to our company for the medical writing job?
Interpretation – The interviewer wants to know whether you know about the company and whether you are genuinely interested in working with them or this is just one of the many companies that you have applied for a job. So, before heading towards an interview, thorough research of the company is a requirement.
Expected answer – Start by mentioning the vision, goals, culture, etc. of the company and also, check the company’s position in the market and that can be cited as one of the reasons for you opting for the said company.
Q.13 How do you help your colleagues or motivate your team members if they are lacking behind the deadline for a medical writing project as required in this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer has put in a tricky question expecting you to bring forth your qualities as a team player and a time-bound, passionate, quality focussing person. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering this question.
Expected answer – Here you need to state all the qualities that are required for you to be an excellent team player. You can start by stating that, you will understand the situation in the first place as to why the deadline is being lagged, then you can continue by stating that, you will speak to your colleagues, make them understand their co-operation is of utmost importance and hunt the root cause of the issue, then try to find a feasible solution.
Q.14 Do you work better without pressure or you can deal with work pressure and deadlines in this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer has put in another tricky question expecting that if you are a person who cannot handle stress then you give in to the question.
Expected answer – Do not say directly that you can work under pressure or cannot work. You can take a mid-ground and say that the pressure depends on the situation/scenario and differs on a case-by-case basis. Some situations seem like pressure to a few people and some do not. So, if there is a deadline for completing any work, you will give your best shot to get the work completed in the expected timeline and if there is any delay, then you will highlight the accurate reason along with a reasonable solution.
Q.15 How do you motivate yourself to succeed each day in this competitive world of medical writing?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to know if you are self-driven and passionate and self-motivated or you get easily dejected. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the question.
Expected answer – You can start by stating that you are passionate about every medical writing assignment and take great pride, satisfaction, and joy in its completion. You are fortunate to be working with one of the best companies that take care of its employees and it’s your responsibility to give back to the company what it deserves.
Q.16 Have you published any of your medical writing articles to date?
Interpretation – Here an honest answer is required and does not just ramble. If you undergo a medical writing course, this would help you in answering the technical question.
Expected answer – State the exact number of the articles published by you to date. If it’s 1 you can say 1 and state the same.
Q.17 What is it that you look to gain from this medical writing job in our company if you get selected?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer is seeking to understand whether you are ready to learn new skills if the need is or will you be sticking to just doing a single type of work in this medical writing job. Are you ready to broaden your horizon?
Expected answer – You can state that you are ready to learn all the new skills and apply them as per the requirement of the job. You can further add that every new day brings in a new opportunity and you are ready to harness your skills and further strengthen your abilities and apply them not only for self-growth but also for the growth of the company.
Q.18 Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to about your career thoughts and your ambitions. They want to understand your goal alignment with the company’s whether it’s directly proportional or inversely proportional to the medical writing job or whether you are just looking for a pay-out job and have not thought about your career.
Expected answer – Do not say that you do not know. Do not say any unrealistic position in the company that might show you as a person who would leave the job because of dissatisfaction. Without quoting any particular role, you can say that you would like to learn in this current role for 2-3 years.
Q.19 Do you have any particular expectations on your salary in this medical writing job?
Interpretation – This is another tricky question and they want to know if you are in the company just for the salary part or you are passionate about your role in the medical writing job. Do not stretch the discussion. Be as crisp as you can be.
Expected answer – Without quoting any amount, you can say that you are negotiable with the salary. The role offered here seems challenging and full of opportunities, so show your interest more in the role rather than the salary especially if you are a beginner.
Q.20 Do you have any questions for us relating to this medical writing job?
Interpretation – Here the interviewer wants to get an idea if you are thinking about the role that you are giving an interview, then you would ideally have at least 1-2 questions lurking in your brain as you are completely new to the company. If you say that you do not have any questions, it will show as a disinterest in the new role or the company.
Expected answer – You would like to know if there are any challenges that you should be aware of before joining the company.
With the above interpretation and the expected answers, I hope I have been able to simplify the thought process of the medical writing job and the interviewer to you. The foremost thing in an interview that would set you apart from the other candidates is your confidence. Rather I can put it as “confidence” is the key to success in any interview. Wear the hat of confidence with trust in yourself that you are worthy of the role and be open to learning that is in front of you and my dear medical writers nobody can stop you from getting your desired job and a life-time of success.
Absolutely, for that, I can suggest one of the finest institutes that would give you a thorough understanding and in-depth knowledge of the medical writing industry and that is an elite institute – Henry Harvin’s Writing Academy. With their prestigious certificate, you would be a certified Medical Writer (CMW). As you join the academy, you will be getting access to their 9-in-1 course with 16 hours of live training with projects to undergo in scientific writing. E-learning access will be provided with abundant tools, video content, and also assessments. You will be undergoing 16 hours of the live online interactive classroom session. You will have regular boot camps for 12 months with free access to Hackathons and 1-year membership. All the trainers are 15+ years of experience in the industry and you will learn from the best in the industry. You are not only entitled to a certification from a Govt. recognized institute but also 100% job placement assistance is provided for 1-year post the completion of the course. In case you have more queries, you are free to get in touch with them through the below link via call or chat or WhatsApp –
No, it all depends on your interest in the medical field and also in writing. If you are someone with a keen interest in the medical field, like to research topics, write content, etc. then this is the career for you.
No, If you are a person who likes to explore new things, discoveries, new drugs in the pharmaceutical market, then this field will interest you. It’s a daily learning process. Research is an integral part of the field and you keep on getting better and better each day.
This career can be taken up full time or you can also do freelancing for clients. If you are freelancing you can get Rs.400-500 per hour depending on the company and your experience. If you are working full time in a pharmaceutical company then it can start from around 5-6 lakhs and go upwards depending on the company and your experience.