Please review this information for assistance with preparing for your job interview. Once you’ve consulted the document, you can go through any questions or role-specific advice with your recruiter.

Good luck and thank you for representing VRS!

Before The Interview

Preparation & Research


Be prepared to summarize your professional background in less than a minute


Refamiliarize yourself with your background and resume and be prepared to walk the interviewer through your past job/education experiences:

  • What were the responsibilities of your previous positions?
  • How did your previous roles prepare you for the job you are interviewing for?
  • Why did you transition from one role to another?
    • If you have job transitions or resume gaps that are difficult to explain, please consult your recruiter about how to best approach a discussion around these scenarios
    • Avoid any negative comments about previous or current employers; be honest but maintain a positive outlook on job transitions
    • Keep a primary focus on why the opportunity you are interviewing for is a good fit for your skills, interest, and career growth


The following materials should be reviewed before the interview:

  • Official job description
  • Hiring manager and/or interviewer LinkedIn profiles
  • Company website
    • Any “About Us” or mission statement pages
    • Content about their relevant services, products, and/or applications
      • YouTube, Wikipedia, and related websites are great resources for introductions to technologies or instruments that you need a refresher on
      • Note how the company describes and markets their services/products

Based on your research about the interviewer(s), position, and company, prepare for potential Questions to Answer and compile a list of Questions To Ask during the interview [see Reference Sections]

Interview Setting


  • Ensure that you have confirmed the interview time (don’t forget to check the time zone!) and accepted the email invite (if applicable)
  • Update your recruiter with the interview times for any meetings that are not organized through them and discuss interview preparation with your recruiter
  • Give yourself 5-10 minutes before the interview so you are not running late and allot a 30 minute window at the end of the interview in case it runs overtime
  • Get a good night’s sleep and have water available
  • Have a copy of your resume and the job description accessible and make sure you have a way to take notes
  • For interviews involving presentations: presentation slides should be sent to your recruiter prior to the interview for feedback. Additionally, please make sure you have practiced your presentation, answered the brief, and are prepared to meet the requested time limit

Choose Your Interview Type:

Choose a quiet setting with good reception where you will not be disturbed or distracted

Fully charge your device and/or have a charger available

If you experience poor connection during the call, don’t struggle through it; request to try the call on a different line or to call back at an alternate time

Choose a quiet setting with good reception where you will not be disturbed or distracted

Make sure you have the required software (e.g., Zoom, Teams, etc.) downloaded if there is no available web version

Test your camera and audio capabilities before the interview

Test your camera placement to ensure that your face is centered and your camera background is professional without distractions – if you need to use a background effect, do not choose anything patterned or brightly colored

Dress in business casual wear – it is best to choose solid-colored clothing that will not distract from the interview and avoid strong patterns, excessively bright colors, or comical ties/other articles

Maintain good posture and an engaged manner by smiling/nodding when appropriate and looking at the camera while speaking

Fully charge your device and/or have a charger available

Silence your phone and other notification alerts on your devices

If you experience poor connection during the call, don’t struggle through it; let the interviewer know you are experiencing connectivity issues and request to switch to a phone call or try again on a different network

Make sure you’ve been given a proper address for the interview location, have reviewed any specific instructions for arrival, and that you have contact information for whoever arranged the interview

If you have time, do a “test-run” to make sure you are prepared for transportation, traffic, parking, and finding the interview location

Dress in business wear unless otherwise specified – please consult your recruiter about dress code if you are unsure what to wear

Maintain good posture and an engaged manner by smiling/nodding when appropriate and maintaining eye contact

Silence your phone and/or other notification alerts on your devices

Good Luck!

During The Interview


  • Give the interviewer time to complete their question and never interrupt them
  • Ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question once if you do not initially understand
  • Taking a brief pause to develop a thoughtful answer is acceptable and preferable to a rushed or unformed response


  • Above all, be honest!
  • Make sure you answer the question that has been asked concisely rather than providing excessive information or rambling
  • Asking the interviewer if you have answered their question after your response is a helpful technique to ensure you have provided a satisfactory answer without going into too much depth initially
  • It’s okay not to know the answer to every question, but it’s not okay to lie or fabricate responses; instead, discuss how you would go about finding the answer
  • If you are not satisfied with your answer to certain questions, make note of them so you can address it later [see “After the Interview”]


  • Request the contact information or business card for the interviewer(s) if you do not have it already
  • Overall, stay positive, enthusiastic, and engaged in the conversation. Being genuine will serve both yourself and the interviewer best!

After The Interview

Send a brief follow-up email to the interviewer(s) after the meeting to express your continued interest:

  • This is best sent within 48 hours (the sooner the better)
  • If you don’t have contact details for the interviewer, consult your recruiter
  • If there are any questions that you weren’t able to answer effectively during the interview, use this email to provide an informed answer that you’ve prepared after some research / further consideration

Interview Questions

Questions To Answer

In this section, we provide examples of common interview questions or question types that you should prepare for. Please remember that the types of questions you are expected to ask and answer also vary based on the specific type of role you are applying for (e.g., sales, management, lab-based roles, etc.). For role-specific advice, please consult your recruiter.


  • Could you tell me about yourself? This is where your elevator speech comes in.
  • Could you walk me through your resume?
  • Why are you interested in this particular position? Make sure you’ve prepared a compelling and convincing reasoning.
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why would you be good at this job?
  • Why are you looking to move on to a new role? Keep it positive! You can be honest about why a past role or company was not the right fit for you without speaking negatively about your previous or current employers. Overall, stay focused on why you are excited about the opportunity you are interviewing for.
  • How would you describe your personality?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?


  • What are your greatest strengths / weaknesses? Have 2-3 strengths prepared to discuss with examples/evidence to back them up.
    • Prepare to discuss 1 weakness; choose a minor weakness that you have taken actions towards addressing/solving
    • If you are asked to provide multiple weaknesses, this can be side-stepped with a statement such as, “I can’t think of any other specific weaknesses at the moment, but I am always open to receiving feedback”
  • Could you explain to me how [relevant instrument or technology] works?
  • What is your experience with [relevant instrument or technology]?
  • How do you respond to constructive criticism?


Overall tip: Come prepared to discuss ~4 challenging scenarios you’ve experienced in your career – both interpersonal and technical – that you can use to answer a variety of problem-solving style questions

  • Can you discuss a time you experienced failure and how you approached it? Choose a failure that resulted in improvement or growth.
  • Can you describe a time you experienced conflict with a colleague and how you dealt with it?
  • Can you tell me about a situation where you had to unexpectedly change your planned course of action and how you handled it?
  • What is your problem-solving style?

Questions To Ask

In this section, we first outline some interview “Dos and Don’ts”. We then provide examples of appropriate questions you can prepare to ask during an interview.




DON’T bring up the topic of salary / benefits unless it is addressed by the interviewer

INSTEAD: Discuss your questions / concerns about these details with your recruiter and make sure that they are aware of your salary requirements


DON’T ask about other open positions or growth within the company

INSTEAD: Focus on the job you are interviewing for and growth opportunities within the specific role


DON’T express focus on other job offers you’ve received or job paths you are considering (e.g., graduate school, alternate careers, etc.)

INSTEAD: Express interest and focus on the job you are interviewing for; if you are asked about other offers directly, be honest but reassure the interviewer about your genuine interest in or preference for the role you are interviewing for. Your recruiter can help you determine how to handle other offers/deadlines


  • What brought you to join the company?
  • How did you get to the position you are in now?
  • What are some good places to live in the area?
  • What are some upcoming projects within the team that you are excited about?
  • What is the training process for the job?
  • What does a typical day in the position look like?
  • How is feedback approached at the company?
  • Are there social events for staff?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • What are you looking for in a member of your team?
  • What does the rest of the interview process and timeline look like?
  • When appropriate, don’t be afraid to ask if you will be moving forward in the process.

Further Resources