19 Berkeley Lights Interview Questions and Answers

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

Berkeley Lights is a leading developer of next-generation tools for cell therapy and other biomanufacturing applications. The company’s technology enables the rapid, precise, and automated manipulation of cells, providing unprecedented control over cell fate and function.

If you’re interviewing for a position at Berkeley Lights, you can expect to be asked questions about your experience in the cell therapy field, as well as your knowledge of the company’s products and technology. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered a list of sample Berkeley Lights interview questions and answers.

Berkeley Lights Interview Process

The interview process at Berkeley Lights can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one phone screen with a recruiter or hiring manager, followed by an on-site interview. For some positions, you may also be required to take a programming test or give a presentation. The entire process can take up to six weeks.

1. What are some of the skills you feel make you a good candidate for this position?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel they can benefit their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight skills that are directly related to the job description or any skills you have developed throughout your career.

Example: “I believe my ability to work well under pressure makes me a good candidate for this position. I am also highly organized and detail-oriented, which helps me stay on top of projects and meet deadlines. Throughout my career, I’ve learned how to manage multiple tasks at once while still maintaining high quality in my work.”

2. How would your past experience help with this job?

This question is a great way to see how your past experience can help you succeed in this role. When answering, think about what skills and knowledge you have that would be useful for the position.

Example: “I’ve worked as an event planner for five years now, so I’m very familiar with planning large events. In my previous job, I planned several large-scale festivals and concerts, which helped me develop my organizational skills and learn how to work under pressure. This skill set will definitely help me succeed in this role.”

3. Tell me about a time when you had to handle multiple projects at once and how did you prioritize them?

This question is a great way to assess your time management skills and ability to handle multiple projects at once. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you organized your tasks and the steps you took to complete them all on time.

Example: “In my last role as an event planner, I often had to manage multiple events at once. For example, one week I was planning two weddings and a corporate event for a local company. To prioritize these tasks, I would create a list of everything that needed to get done for each event and then rank them by importance. Then, I would start with the most important task first and work my way down the list until everything was completed.”

4. Do you have any experience working in a lab environment?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working in a team environment. If you have lab experience, share what you learned from the experience and how it helped you develop as a professional.

Example: “I worked in a biology lab during my undergraduate studies where I conducted experiments on plants. In the lab, we had to work together as a team to complete our assignments. We also had to follow specific safety protocols when handling chemicals or using equipment. These experiences taught me how important teamwork is for success and how to be responsible with equipment.”

5. What do you think is better, being an individual contributor or leading a team?

This question is a great way to see how you view your own role in the workplace. It can also help an interviewer understand what type of position you’re looking for and whether or not they have one available. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about your preferences while still showing that you are willing to do either type of work.

Example: “I think both roles are equally important. I enjoy working with others on projects because it allows me to learn from other people and get different perspectives. However, I also like being able to focus on my own work and complete tasks without having to check in with anyone else. I’m confident that I can excel at either type of job.”

6. Why do you want to work at Berkeley Lights?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are a good fit for their company. Use your answer to highlight any personal connections you have with Berkeley Lights or how much you enjoy working in the lighting industry.

Example: “I want to work at Berkeley Lights because I am passionate about helping people find the right light fixtures for their homes. When I was younger, my family moved into a new home that had no overhead lights in the kitchen. My parents hired Berkeley Lights to install some recessed lighting, which made cooking so much easier. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in learning more about lighting and how it can improve people’s lives.”

8. Tell me about a time where you were not able to meet a deadline.

This question is a great way to see how you handle stressful situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the steps you took to ensure you met your deadline and what you learned from the experience.

Example: “In my last position as an event planner, I was tasked with planning a large corporate party for 500 people in two weeks. While I had planned events of that size before, I hadn’t done so in such a short amount of time. I worked hard to delegate tasks to other members of my team and hired additional help to make sure everything went smoothly. In the end, we were able to pull off the event without any issues.”

9. Have you ever worked on a project that was failing, what did you do?

This question is a great way to see how you respond to failure. It’s important for employers to know that you can recover from mistakes and learn from them. In your answer, try to explain what you did to fix the problem and what you learned from it.

Example: “I once worked on a project where we were trying to create an app that would help people find parking spaces in downtown Berkeley. We had spent months working on this project, but when we released it, it didn’t work at all. I was disappointed because we had put so much time into it, but my team and I decided to scrap the whole thing and start over. This time, we made sure to test the app before releasing it.”

10. Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult coworker.

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and whether you’re able to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you were able to resolve the issue or learn from the experience.

Example: “In my last position as an event planner, I had a coworker who was very critical of my work. This made me feel like I wasn’t doing my job well enough, but after talking to my supervisor about it, they helped me realize that my coworker’s feedback could help me improve my skills. After taking their advice, I started asking for more constructive criticism from my coworker so I could use their feedback to make improvements.”

11. Who has been your greatest mentor?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand your career path. It also helps them determine if you would be a good mentor for other employees. When answering this question, think about who has helped you grow professionally or inspired you in some way.

Example: “My greatest mentor is my current boss. She’s always been so kind and helpful when I have questions or concerns. She taught me how to manage projects more efficiently and gave me advice on how to improve my skills. She’s really motivated me to become a leader myself.”

12. Are you comfortable wearing protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and face masks?

This question is a way for employers to assess your comfort level with working in potentially hazardous conditions. They want to make sure you’re willing to take the necessary precautions when working on their team. In your answer, explain that you are committed to keeping yourself safe while also performing your job duties.

Example: “I am very comfortable wearing protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and face masks. I understand that it’s my responsibility to keep myself safe while on the job. If there was ever an instance where I needed to wear these items, I would do so without hesitation. I know how important it is to protect myself from any hazards or injuries.”

13. Give us an example of a time you used data to solve a problem.

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and how you use data. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of a time when you used data to make a decision that helped the company or organization you worked for.

Example: “At my previous job, I was responsible for monitoring our social media accounts. One day, I noticed we had a lot more likes on one post than usual. After looking into it further, I realized someone had shared our content without giving us credit. I reported the issue to my manager, who then contacted the person who shared our content. They were happy to give us credit and even shared some of their other posts.”

14. What are your career goals over the next 5 years?

This question is a great way to learn more about the applicant’s career aspirations and how they plan to achieve them. It also gives you an idea of what their timeline looks like for achieving success in this role. When answering, be sure to include your short-term goals as well as your long-term ones.

Example: “My goal over the next five years is to become a manager at my current company. I have been working toward this goal since starting here three years ago, and I feel that I am ready to take on more responsibility. In the next year, I would like to earn a promotion to senior level. After two years, I hope to apply for management positions.”

15. What kind of challenges do you expect to encounter if hired?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a time when you faced a challenge at work and how you overcame it.

Example: “I expect the biggest challenge will be learning the Berkeley Lights system. I’ve worked with other lighting systems before, but they were all different from each other. The company’s website says that the software for Berkeley Lights is easy to use, so I’m confident I’ll be able to learn it quickly. Another challenge may be working in a fast-paced environment. I thrive under pressure, though, so I know I can adapt to whatever pace the job requires.”

16. What is something you wish more people knew about Berkeley Lights?

This question is an opportunity to show your passion for the company and its products. You can use this time to highlight a specific product or service you feel passionate about, such as a new technology or a charitable initiative.

Example: “I wish more people knew how much Berkeley Lights cares about the environment. The company has made it a priority to be environmentally friendly in all aspects of production and distribution. For example, we have solar panels on our factory that produce enough energy to power the entire facility. We also recycle 100% of our waste and use recycled materials in our packaging.”

17. What are some ways that you can ensure safety while handling fragile materials?

This question can help the interviewer determine your safety practices and how you plan to keep yourself and others safe while working in a library. Use examples from past experience that show your ability to follow procedures and protocols for handling materials, ensuring they’re secure and keeping them organized so they don’t get damaged.

Example: “I always make sure I have plenty of space around me when I’m organizing or shelving books because it’s important to give fragile materials plenty of room to avoid damage. In my last position, I was tasked with reorganizing the nonfiction section of our library, which included many different types of books including hardcovers, paperbacks and more. To ensure all of the materials were properly stored, I used bookends and dividers to separate each type of book by genre.”

18. What software programs are you familiar with?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the software they use at Berkeley Lights. If you don’t, it’s important to show that you’re willing to learn new programs and adapt quickly. You can answer this question by listing the software programs you’ve used in previous jobs and briefly explaining what each one does.

Example: “I’m familiar with Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud and Google Drive. In my last job, I primarily used Microsoft Word for writing reports and creating presentations. I also used PowerPoint for making presentations and shared them using Google Drive. I used Adobe Creative Cloud to create graphics and edit photos.”

19. What type of leadership style do you prefer?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would interact with your team members. Your leadership style is a personal preference, so it’s important to be honest about what type of leader you are and why.

Example: “I prefer a democratic leadership style because I believe that everyone on the team should have an equal say in decisions. However, I also understand that sometimes there needs to be one person who makes the final decision. In those situations, I am comfortable making the call as long as my team understands the reasoning behind my decision.”

20. What is the most important thing to remember when designing and testing new products?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the industry and how you apply it. You can use this question to discuss a specific product or process that you helped develop, or you can talk about a general principle that guides your work.

Example: “The most important thing when designing new products is to make sure they are safe for consumers. I always start by researching existing products in the market and looking at what customers say about them. Then I test prototypes with real people to see if there are any issues before we move forward with production. This helps us avoid recalls later on.”


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