Top Interview Tips and More with Cpl Director, Judith Moffett

judith moffett cplWhat type of jobs do you recruit for at Cpl?
My team recruit for scientists, engineers, supply chain and construction specialists. In the science & engineering area, this includes qualified candidates who work in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Electronic, Food, Energy industries in either Manufacturing, Engineering, R&D or Clinical related roles. The specific roles we recruit for include quality assurance, quality control, microbiology, regulatory affairs, production, technical services, validation, process engineering, commissioning, qualification, maintenance, instrumentation, design, R&D and EHS.

In the supply chain area, the specific roles we recruit for include procurement, supply chain specialists, buyers, planners, schedulers, warehouse, logistics, category managers and CMO roles. In the construction area, we recruit for engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, estimators, property managers and contracts managers.

What strategies do you use to qualified candidates for the roles you recruit for?
Cpl uses their database predominantly to source qualified candidates. The Cpl database has over 1.3 million cvs with 31,000 additional cvs coming through each month. In addition, we use advertising, networking and referrals, Linked in, Facebook and Twitter to source candidates.

What really impresses you on a CV or job application?
A well formatted cv, with no spelling or grammatical errors. A cv should lead with a candidate’s education and then their most recent, employment experience and additional roles listed in chronological order. A candidate needs to create, a specific, tailored cv for each role that they apply for.

How should a candidate prepare for an interview with a top Life Sciences company-what are your top tips?
The key to an interview is preparation. It is important to cross reference your cv against the job description and have relevant, work-related examples to demonstrate your knowledge of the duties on the job description. Have at least four to five, different examples prepared. First impressions are key. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early, no earlier, it will put your interviewer(s) under time pressure. Ensure that you wear a suit, ideally dark in colour (navy or black). Be first to offer a firm handshake (no limp fish!) and ensure you maintain eye contact. Say your full name when introducing yourself.

During the meeting, remember one thing…listen. Listen carefully to the question asked and keep your answer as relevant to the question as possible. Do not ramble or go off on a tangent. Watch for your interviewer’s facial cues to know when you have said enough.

A guaranteed question to be asked, is “What do you know about the company?” Or “Why do you want to work for this company?”. The candidate should research the company in detail. Not just what is written on the company website, but additional, research beyond the website. It is impressive if a candidate can relay information about a company’s current share price, know detailed information about any mergers or acquisitions, relay information on any recent awards and/or be able to discuss a company’s drug pipeline in detail.

It is important to give the interviewer(s) the impression that you want this job with their company and not just a job. Many people fall down on this question and do minimal, company research.

Another important part of interview research is to try to understand the culture of the company that you are interviewing with. Most companies will have their core values listed on their site. It is important that a candidate takes these into consideration during the interview and demonstrates through their answers, how he/she could fit in with these core values

Why should students consider a career in science?
Ireland has an incredible track record in the science area and for this reason there is a future of exciting, world class opportunities for science graduates in Ireland.
The Biopharma industry has made a capital investment of $8 billion in new facilities in Ireland, most of which has happened in the past 10 years. This is almost the largest level of investment in new biotechnology anywhere in the world. Currently, Ireland’s annual exports of pharmaceutical, bio and chemical provide is produce is valued at €55 billion per annum.
Ireland is the 8th largest producer of pharmaceutical products globally.
Currently 9 of the 10 top pharmaceutical companies and 17 of the top 25 medical device companies have significant operations in Ireland. Ireland has also become a very significant player in the biotechnology industry and several high, profile start up companies have established operations here in the past 12 months including Regeneron and Alexion.

What are some of the ‘jobs of the future’ that you have come across recently?
Technology is changing at a incredible pace. For any graduating in the next 5 to 10 years, jobs will exist that don’t exist now. For example, genetic counselling is an up and coming global area.

What was the last really great role that you recruited for, that would suit someone just graduating from college?
There are several great career opportunities that will suit someone graduating from college with 3 – 6 months, relevant experience. Examples include quality control analyst positions or junior documentation roles in a biotech, pharma or medical device environment. Graduates who choose degrees that offer an industry work placement, have a higher chance of securing a role when they graduate.