10 questions to ask in your job interview for Medical Writers
Over the last few years, I’ve seen a huge increase in demand for recruiting Medical Writers. With such expert knowledge needed to even get close to an interview, it feels as though Medical Writer roles are the current ‘unicorn job’ clients are always hunting for. For anyone with experience in the industry, medical writing is a fantastic opportunity with good earning potential.
What does a Medical Writer do?
The job of a Medical Writer is to combine their writing and research skills with scientific knowledge to construct various forms of medical content. They act as a translator of sorts, presenting complex data in a clear, tangible way that the general public can understand.
The type of content Medical Writers can expect to create are:
Scientific medical writing, including:
- Regulatory documents
- Drug trials
- Medical studies
Marketing medical writing, including:
- Advertising copy for medical products or studies
- Publication articles such as journal manuscripts
- News releases
A Medical Writer will usually work with scientists or physicians, using their research and data to write content. The most common employers of Medical Writers are hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions such as universities.
What questions should I ask in my job interview as a Medical Writer?
Sounds like an interesting role, right? Due to the shortage of Medical Writers, you will likely receive several replies once you start applying for jobs. With so much opportunity out there, it’s important to approach the interview with consideration, extracting the most useful information from the interviewer as possible about the role on offer. The questions you will ask in the interview will depend on what is important to you when considering a new role.
We’ve put together 10 of the most relevant questions to help you out:
1. What is your interview process?
When interviewing for the role of a Medical Writer, it is often the case that companies will see you for an initial interview, do a writing test, then arrange a second interview. It’s important that you understand what the interview process entails and how long it is expected to take. You can ask this before entering the interview room, or in the room to understand what the next steps will be.
JULIE’S TOP TIP: Understanding how long the interview process takes will make it easier for you to manage interviews with multiple companies who are essentially competing for your talents.
2. What is included in the writing test?
If the interview process will include a writing test, it’s good to know what form the test takes as well as how it is judged. Not only will this give you a greater chance of performing well, but it will also show you are invested in the interview process and are engaged in the recruitment process.
3. What creative output/channels will I be writing for?
It’s useful to know what formats you will be expected to write for so that you can narrow down which role is the best fit for you. For instance, if you have completed a journalism degree you may be more interested in going after a role where you will be primarily writing articles and press releases.
4. What therapy areas will I specialise in?
Similar to knowing which creative channels you will be writing for, you will want to know which therapy areas you will specialise in. It may be that you have an interest in a specific area of the medical/health world such as oncology, immunology, haematology or neuroscience.
5. Will I be part of a wider writing team and where will I fit in the structure?
It’s always good to know where you will fit into a team. As with any job, some people thrive working with others whereas some are the most productive when working alone. You should be aware of everyone’s individual roles within a team and how they would relate to your role.
JULIE’S TOP TIP: ‘Knowing where you fit in helps you judge what promotion opportunities there may be or if you will be working as a lone wolf’
6. What are my opportunities for progression and learning?
Much like any other role, you should be aware of how your role as a Medical Writer can evolve over time. Personal development is a huge aspect of any career. You want to avoid any position that seems like it could be stagnant.
7. What ongoing training opportunities do you offer?
As well as being crucial for personal development, knowing if a company provides useful, ongoing training opportunities is a great way to get a sense of how they treat their employees. You want to work for a company that values your skills and understands the importance of supporting you by improving them.
8. Will the role be flexible?
Many writers value having the option to remote work whenever necessary. Medical Writers deal with complex information and data, so they may often prefer to work from home or another quiet area where they can focus, rather than in a busy office. You may also favour working freelance, so it’s good to know if the company is willing to provide flexible hours.
9. What are the challenges you face with creating current content?
As a Medical Writer, it will be your job to solve any issues that the company is having. This could be a multitude of different things such as the way information is presented or how effectively they reach their target audience. By asking this question you’re showing to the interviewer that you are invested in the company and want to help them overcome their challenges
10. I saw your recent (piece of work/campaign) and I wanted to ask X about it
Letting the company know that you are impressed with their previous work and wanted to ask more about it is a sure-fire way to gain likeability points. Asking about their work will make you come across as curious, observant and engaged with the company. These are all qualities that a potential employer will find highly valuable.
Good luck with your interview!
We hope that you found this post useful and feel confident for future interviews! We’re sure you’ll do great. If you’re not sure where to start or have any questions about a role as a Medical Writer, our friendly team here at Creative Resource can offer our expert advice.
Feel free to give us a call on 0161 477 3221 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.