20 AstraZeneca Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory.

AstraZeneca has a long history of being at the forefront of innovation, with a heritage that dates back to the early 1900s. Today, the company is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with a presence in over 100 countries and a workforce of over 70,000 people.

If you’re hoping to land a job at AstraZeneca, you can expect to face some tough interview questions. The company is known for its rigorous interview process, which is designed to test your skills, knowledge and abilities.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common AstraZeneca interview questions, and give you some tips on how to answer them.

AstraZeneca Interview Process

The interview process at AstraZeneca is lengthy, difficult, and overall not a great experience. It can take up to two months to hear back from the company after applying, and the interviews themselves are very challenging. Many of the questions are behavioral and require you to give specific examples from your past work experiences. The interviewer was also very difficult to read and it was hard to tell if they were interested in what I had to say. Overall, I would not recommend applying to AstraZeneca unless you are absolutely sure that you want to work there.

1. What is your experience with cold calling?

Cold calling is a sales technique that involves contacting potential customers to introduce your product or service. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience with cold calling and how you feel about it. If you don’t have much experience, you can talk about the few times you did cold call and what you learned from it.

Example: “I’ve done cold calls in previous positions, but I prefer warm calling because I find it more effective. When I cold called, I found that many people were annoyed by my phone calls and would hang up on me before I could explain myself. However, when I do warm calls, I am able to speak with them for longer and get their attention better.”

2. Why do you want to work at AstraZeneca?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in their company. They want to know what you like about AstraZeneca and why you are excited to work there. Your answer should include specific details about the company that make it unique or interesting.

Example: “I have always been interested in science, so I am thrilled to be able to work at a pharmaceutical company. AstraZeneca has such an impressive reputation, and I would love to be part of a team that helps people live healthier lives. I also really appreciate how much AstraZeneca values diversity. I think it’s important to create workplaces where everyone feels welcome.”

3. How would you describe a typical day in pharmaceutical sales?

This question is a great way to learn more about the daily responsibilities of an AstraZeneca sales representative. Your answer should include information about your typical workday, including what you do and when you do it. You can also use this opportunity to highlight any unique aspects of your day that might be important to the interviewer.

Example: “A typical day in pharmaceutical sales starts with checking my email for new leads or opportunities. I then make calls to potential clients to introduce myself and discuss our products. Throughout the day, I will meet with other sales representatives to discuss their progress and collaborate on ideas for reaching new customers.”

4. If hired, what would be your approach to selling our product line?

This question is an opportunity to show your sales skills and how you would approach a new territory. Your answer should include the steps you would take to introduce yourself, build relationships with customers and sell products.

Example: “I would start by researching my customer base and finding out what their needs are. I would then reach out to them through phone calls or emails to introduce myself and learn more about their business. After that, I would schedule a meeting to discuss our product line and how it can help solve their problems. If they’re interested in learning more, I would provide additional information and arrange for a demonstration of our products.”

5. Describe your process for planning and organizing your sales calls.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan your work and organize your time. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for planning your sales calls, including when you do it and what tools you use to complete this task.

Example: “I start by creating a calendar of my upcoming appointments with clients. I then create a list of all the information I need to remember about each client, such as their name, company size, budget and goals. Next, I make sure that I have everything I need to conduct the call, which includes any materials or samples I may need to show the client. Finally, I review my notes from previous meetings with the client so I can refer back to them during the call.”

6. What are some of the challenges that a pharmaceutical sales representative faces daily?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how you might fit in with their company culture. It also helps them understand what challenges you may face on the job, which can be helpful if they are looking for someone who is willing to take on those challenges. In your answer, try to highlight some of the positive aspects of being an AstraZeneca sales representative while also acknowledging that there are challenges.

Example: “The biggest challenge I see in my current role is finding new clients. This is especially challenging when working with doctors because it’s important to build relationships with them before trying to sell our products. However, I find this part of the job to be rewarding because I enjoy getting to know people and building lasting connections.”

7. Can you tell me about a time when you were working on a project and there was conflict, how did you handle it?

This question is a great way to see how you handle conflict in the workplace. It’s important that your answer shows that you can work with others and resolve issues.

Example: “In my last position, I was working on a project with two other employees. We were all responsible for different parts of the project, but we had to collaborate together often. One day, one of my coworkers didn’t submit their part of the project by the deadline. This caused me to have to rush to finish mine so it could be submitted before the deadline. My other coworker understood why I was upset, and they helped me complete my portion of the project.”

8. Do you think you could sell ANYTHING?

This question is a great way to test your sales skills. It’s also an opportunity for you to show the interviewer that you have confidence in yourself and your abilities. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a time when you sold something or helped someone make a decision.

Example: “Yes, I believe anyone could sell anything if they had the right tools and techniques. In my last role as a pharmaceutical representative, I worked with many people who were new to selling. I would help them practice their pitch by asking them questions about what they do and how they do it. Then, we would work on creating a script that was easy to remember.”

9. How do you maintain relationships with customers?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with customers and clients. Use examples from your experience to show that you have strong customer service skills.

Example: “I believe in maintaining a positive relationship with my customers, so I always try to be available for them when they need me. For example, one of my previous clients was having trouble understanding some of our marketing strategies. They were unsure about which ones would work best for their company. Instead of just sending them an email or leaving a voicemail, I called them back right away and explained everything again. This helped them feel more confident in our services.”

10. Tell us about a time when you had to make an important decision without consulting your direct manager. What was the outcome?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your decision-making skills and how you interact with others. Use examples from your past where you had to make a choice that was important but not urgent, and explain why it was important for you to do so without asking your manager first.

Example: “In my last position as an accountant, I noticed that our company’s budget wasn’t adding up correctly. We were spending too much money on supplies, which meant we would have to cut back somewhere else if we didn’t find out what was causing the issue. So, I decided to look into the problem myself rather than ask my manager right away. After looking at all of the numbers several times, I realized that one of our employees was stealing from us. My investigation helped save the company thousands of dollars.”

11. How would you rate yourself as a salesman?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your confidence level and how you view yourself in relation to others. This can be an important factor when hiring managers are deciding between two candidates with similar qualifications. When answering this question, it’s best to be honest about your abilities as a salesman but also highlight any skills or experiences that make you more qualified than other applicants.

Example: “I would rate myself as a strong salesman because I have always been able to find ways to exceed my sales goals. In my last position, I was tasked with selling $10,000 worth of product per month. At first, I thought this goal was unattainable, but after some research, I found out that there were many customers who hadn’t purchased from us in over six months. I reached out to them personally and offered discounts on our products if they made their next purchase within 30 days. By doing this, I was able to reach my quota every month.”

12. What kinds of projects have you worked on in the past?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your skill set and how you apply it to different projects. Use examples from your resume or previous job descriptions to highlight what kinds of projects you’ve worked on in the past, such as:

Research projects
Scientific experiments
Product development
Example: “In my last position at XYZ Pharmaceuticals, I was part of a team that researched new ways to treat patients with chronic illnesses. We also conducted scientific experiments to test our theories and developed products based on those results.”

13. What areas of science are you most interested in?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how your personality fits with their company culture. It also helps them understand what areas of science you are most passionate about, which can be helpful when deciding where to place you in the organization. When answering this question, try to focus on an area that is relevant to the job description or one that you have experience in.

Example: “I am very interested in neuroscience, especially how it relates to mental health disorders. I find it fascinating that we still don’t fully understand the brain and how it works. I think there’s so much more we could do for people who suffer from mental illness if we had better understanding of the brain.”

14. What motivates you?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you might fit in with their company culture. They want to know that you are motivated by the same things they are, so it’s important to read through the job description before your interview to see what values the employer holds. In your answer, try to relate your motivations to those of the employer.

Example: “I am highly motivated by helping others. I love being able to use my skills as a pharmacist to help patients understand their medications and feel confident taking them. I also enjoy working in a team environment where we all support each other and work together to achieve our goals.”

15. Give an example of a time when you had to solve a problem that was not straightforward. How did you approach the problem?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation that was challenging and how you overcame the challenge.

Example: “At my previous job, I had a patient who was experiencing side effects from their medication. The patient’s symptoms were improving with the current dosage of their medication, but they wanted to reduce the number of pills they took each day. After speaking with the patient about their options, we decided to try lowering the dose of their medication. However, after doing so, the patient experienced new symptoms. We then increased the dose back to what it was before and found that the patient’s original symptoms returned. It became clear that reducing the dose was not the best option for this patient.”

16. Have you ever worked in a team environment?

Working in a team environment is an important skill for any job. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with others and collaborating on projects. In your answer, explain what made the team successful. Share one or two examples of how you worked well with others.

Example: “I’ve always been part of a team at my previous jobs. I find that teamwork makes completing projects much easier. At my last job, I was part of a marketing team. We had weekly meetings where we discussed our progress and brainstormed ideas. One day, we were discussing ways to increase sales. I suggested using social media more often because it’s such a popular platform. The rest of the team agreed, and we started creating content specifically for Instagram.”

17. How often do you like to be in contact with your team when working on a project?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with your team and whether you prefer to work independently or in collaboration. Your answer should show that you value teamwork and enjoy collaborating with others on projects.

Example: “I like to be in contact with my team members as often as possible, especially when working on a project. I find it helpful to check in with my colleagues throughout the day to see if they have any questions or need any assistance. This helps me learn more about their roles within the project and gives me an opportunity to offer advice or guidance where needed.”

18. What made you decide to pursue a career in science?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and understand why you chose this career path. Your answer should include your personal story, including any challenges or obstacles you faced along the way that helped shape your decision to pursue science.

Example: “Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by how things work. My parents always encouraged me to ask questions and explore my curiosities, so I started reading books on science when I was in elementary school. In high school, I took an advanced chemistry class where I learned about organic compounds and their reactions with other elements. This sparked my interest even more, and I decided to major in biology at college.”

19. What do you know about AstraZeneca?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your research skills and determine whether you are familiar with their company. It also allows them to see if you have any misconceptions about the organization, which they can correct before moving forward in the interview process.

Example: “I know that AstraZeneca is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. I am aware of its headquarters location in London, England, as well as its presence in Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, The Bahamas, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga

20. What type of leadership style do you prefer?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would fit into their organization’s culture. It is important to consider what type of leadership style your potential manager uses and adapt your answer accordingly.

Example: “I prefer a democratic leadership style, where I am able to collaborate with my team members on ideas and projects. I find that this method allows for more creativity and innovation in our work. However, if there are times when a more authoritative approach is necessary, I am happy to take on that role as well.”


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