The following sample interview questions and answers are for the types of questions you should expect during an interview for a business development research analyst position.
1. Can you give me an example of a project you were involved with that illustrates your interest and skills in bringing people together?
I was the founder of the biotechnology club at my college. Although several other people co-founded the group, it was created at my initiative. We set up seminars where I got several key people in the industry to come speak to us on hot topics in the industry - like the agricultural biotech controversy and the ethical dimensions of stem cell research. The biotech club also sponsored a career fair, where we got over 100 students, soon to graduate, connected with over a dozen companies. I personally approached about half of those companies. I feel really proud about my contribution to this project.
2. How would you value a biotech company as opposed to a consumer products company?
Most companies are valued based on their growth prospects. That's what determines their stock price and overall dollar value, when they are sold. Biotech companies, as are other pharmaceutical companies, are valued based on the perceived quality of the products in their pipelines. That's what determines if they are going to have sustainable revenues and earnings. It's also why so many Analysts on The Street pay such close attention to FDA pronouncements.
3. What kinds of metrics would you gauge to determine the financial, strategic and operational health of a prospective alliance partner?
Several metrics are available in each sector you mention. To gauge the financial health of a prospective partner, I would look at product sales growth or I might look at whether they've met their milestones. To gauge strategic health, I'd consider their market share growth or, how well their customers have access to the company. For operational health, I'd again look to see whether they've met their milestones, how well they make decisions as gauged by the rating we give them and how quickly they resolve conflicts. Good evaluations in these areas suggest that the prospective alliance will be viable for both parties.
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