20 Sanofi Interview Questions and Answers

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

Sanofi is a French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, as of 2013 the world’s fifth-largest by prescription sales. The company was formed as Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 by the merger of Aventis and Sanofi-Synthélabo, which were each the product of several previous mergers. It changed its name to Sanofi in May 2011.

Sanofi Interview Process

The interview process at Sanofi 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 Sanofi unless you are absolutely sure that you want to work there.

1. What are some things you think we can improve on?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the company and how you can help it grow. It also shows that you are willing to be honest with your opinions, which can be helpful in an interview setting. When answering this question, try to focus on areas where you think the company could improve but do so in a positive manner.

Example: “I think one thing Sanofi could improve on is its communication with employees. I’ve heard from some coworkers that they feel like they don’t know what’s going on within the company as much as they would like. I think if we had more transparency about our goals and objectives, it would make everyone feel more involved and invested in the company.”

2. Tell me about a time where you worked with someone who was difficult, how did you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle conflict and challenges in the workplace. It’s important to show that you’re willing to work with others, even if they are difficult or challenging.

Example: “I once worked with a colleague who was very outspoken about their opinions. They would often disagree with my ideas and offer their own without any regard for whether I had already considered them. At first, it was hard to know how to respond to this behavior because I didn’t want to offend them. Eventually, I learned that they were just passionate about their ideas and wanted to share them. I started asking them questions about their thoughts so we could have more of a discussion than an argument.”

3. Why do you want to work at Sanofi?

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 Sanofi 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 pharmaceuticals, so when I saw an opening at Sanofi, I knew I had to apply. The company has such a long history of making life-changing medications, which makes me eager to be part of this team. I am also impressed by the company’s commitment to research and development. It seems like everyone here is dedicated to finding new ways to improve healthcare.”

4. How would you ensure that your team is working efficiently and effectively?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you manage a team and ensure that your employees are working to their full potential. Use examples from previous roles where you helped your team members develop skills or encouraged them to work together more effectively.

Example: “I believe in developing my team members so they feel comfortable taking on new challenges. In my last role, I noticed one of my sales representatives was struggling with closing deals. I offered her some tips for overcoming this challenge and she used those tips to close several deals within a week. She felt confident again and even started helping other sales representatives who were having trouble closing deals.”

5. Are you comfortable managing people in overseas projects?

This question is a good way to assess your management skills and how you can handle working with people from different cultures. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any previous experience managing teams in other countries or regions.

Example: “I have worked on several projects that involved team members from around the world. I find that having a strong communication plan is essential for making sure everyone understands what’s expected of them. In my last position, I was responsible for leading a project where we had team members from France, Germany, Spain and the United States. We used video conferencing software to hold weekly meetings so everyone could stay up-to-date on the progress of the project.”

6. Tell us about your experience using different types of lab equipment.

Sanofi is a pharmaceutical company, so it’s important that you have experience using lab equipment. This question helps the interviewer determine if your skills match their expectations for the position and how much training you might need to learn new processes. Use this opportunity to highlight any specific skills you have with lab equipment and what you’ve learned from previous employers.

Example: “I worked in a research facility before where we used different types of lab equipment every day. I’m comfortable working with microscopes, centrifuges, spectrophotometers and other common tools. However, I am eager to learn more about Sanofi’s specific equipment and procedures.”

7. Have you had any experience with microfluidics?

Microfluidics is a technology that Sanofi uses in its manufacturing process. This question allows you to show your knowledge of the company’s processes and how they apply to your previous work experience. If you have had any experience with microfluidics, explain what it is and how you used it. If you haven’t worked with this technology before, you can still answer by explaining what you know about it.

Example: “Microfluidics is a method of controlling fluid flow through small channels. I’ve never worked with this technology before, but I understand that it’s an important part of pharmaceutical production. In my last role as a chemist, I was responsible for mixing chemicals together to create new compounds. I would use pipettes to measure out specific amounts of liquid and then combine them according to the instructions from my supervisor.”

8. Do you have any experience with RNA-seq analysis?

RNA-seq analysis is a process that involves identifying the RNA of different cells and tissues. This process can be used to identify genes, which are important for drug development. If you have experience with this process, share your knowledge with the interviewer by explaining how it works. If you don’t have any experience with RNA-seq analysis, explain what you would do if you were tasked with using this method in your role.

Example: “I’ve never worked with RNA-seq analysis before, but I am familiar with gene sequencing. In my last position, we had to sequence genes to determine their function. We did this by extracting DNA from the cell and then separating it into single strands. Next, we copied each strand and labeled them so we could tell them apart. Then, we placed the strands into a machine called an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer, where they were analyzed. The results showed us which genes were active and which ones weren’t.”

9. Do you have experience with bioinformatics pipeline development?

Bioinformatics is a field that requires knowledge of computer science and biology. This question helps the interviewer determine if you have experience with this type of work, which may be necessary for the position. If you do not have direct experience, consider describing your ability to learn new things quickly and apply them in your work.

Example: “I don’t have direct experience with bioinformatics pipeline development, but I am familiar with the process. In my last role, I worked on developing an application that would help scientists analyze data from their experiments. My team used Python to create the program, which helped us understand how to use it in our own research.”

10. Which area of science/research interests you the most?

This question is a great way to show your passion for science and the pharmaceutical industry. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention an area of research that you are familiar with or have experience in.

Example: “I am passionate about neuroscience and how our brains work. I find it fascinating that we still don’t know everything about the human brain, but there are so many discoveries being made every day. I would love to continue my education in this field and learn more about what makes us who we are.”

11. Describe a recent trend or breakthrough in science that excites you.

This question is an opportunity to show your passion for science and how you stay up-to-date on current events. You can use this question to discuss a recent discovery or breakthrough that has inspired you, but it’s also important to demonstrate that you’re aware of the latest developments in your field.

Example: “I’m excited about the progress being made with CRISPR technology. This gene editing tool allows scientists to make precise changes to DNA, which could have huge implications for medicine. For example, I read recently that researchers are using CRISPR to develop treatments for genetic diseases like sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy.”

12. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to answer honestly. Employers ask this question because they want to know what you’re good at and where you can improve. When answering this question, be sure to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

Example: “My biggest strength is my ability to work well with others. I am always willing to help others succeed, and I believe that teamwork is the key to success. My weakness is that sometimes I’m too helpful. I try not to let this get in the way of my job, but sometimes I forget to take care of myself. I’ve been working on setting boundaries so that I don’t overwork myself.”

13. Give an example when you were able to successfully persuade upper management to take your idea into account.

This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and ability to collaborate with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how the idea you presented helped the company or organization achieve its goals.

Example: “In my last position as an account manager for a marketing firm, I noticed that our clients were struggling to find information on our website. This was causing them to lose trust in us and eventually cancel their contracts. I brought up the issue at a weekly meeting with my team and we decided to create a new landing page where customers could find all of our contact information and frequently asked questions. The change increased conversions by 10%.”

14. What software programs and tools are you experienced with?

Sanofi is a large company that uses many different software programs and tools. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the same ones they use at Sanofi. Before your interview, research what types of software the company uses and make sure you’re familiar with them. If you don’t have any experience with the specific programs they use, explain which other software you are experienced with and how it’s similar.

Example: “I am very comfortable using Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I also have some experience with SAP ERP system, although I’m not as proficient in it yet. I would love to learn more about it so I can be an expert by the time I start working here.”

15. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with conflict between two team members.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle interpersonal conflict. It can also show them your problem-solving skills and ability to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of when you helped resolve conflict between two team members.

Example: “At my previous job, I had two employees who were constantly arguing about their responsibilities. One employee felt like the other wasn’t doing enough work, while the other employee felt that they were being overworked. I met with both employees separately to hear each side of the story. After hearing both sides, I decided to give one employee more responsibility but also gave the other employee some additional training so they could learn new skills.”

16. How would you explain clinical trial results to a non-scientist.

This question is a great way to test your ability to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand manner. When answering this question, it can be helpful to use examples from past experiences where you had to explain technical information to non-scientists.

Example: “When explaining clinical trial results to non-scientists, I find that using analogies and metaphors are the most effective ways of communicating complex information. For example, when working on a project for my previous employer, we were tasked with creating a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. After conducting our research, we found that there was no cure for Alzheimer’s at the time. So, we decided to create a metaphor around finding a lost item. We explained that Alzheimer’s patients have forgotten something important, so they need help remembering what they’ve lost. Our job as scientists was to create a drug that would help them remember.”

17. What was your biggest failure at work, what did you learn from it?

This question is a great way to show your ability to learn from mistakes and grow as an employee. When answering this question, it can be helpful to focus on the steps you took to improve yourself or your work environment after the failure occurred.

Example: “My biggest professional failure was when I didn’t communicate my ideas clearly enough with my team members. This led to some confusion about what we were working on, which caused us to fall behind schedule. After realizing how much of an impact my communication skills had on my team, I enrolled in a public speaking course at night school. I learned that by practicing more, I could become a better communicator.”

18. What kind of environment do you like to work in?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are a good fit for their company culture. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific about Sanofi’s culture and how it aligns with your own values.

Example: “I am passionate about working in a team environment where everyone supports each other. I find that when people work together as a unit, they can accomplish more than if they were working alone. In my last role, we had weekly meetings where we discussed our goals for the week and provided support to one another. This helped me feel like part of a community and motivated me to do my best work.”

19. Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake?

Employers ask this question to see how you respond to a mistake. They want to know that you can learn from your mistakes and grow as an employee. When answering, be honest about the situation but focus on what you learned from it.

Example: “When I first started working in healthcare, I was so excited to get my job that I would stay late every night. One day, I stayed until 10 p.m., which is when our backup pharmacist came in. She noticed that I wasn’t leaving and asked me if everything was okay. I told her I was just staying late because I wanted to do well at work. She explained that she had been doing this for years and that there was no need for me to stay later than 5 p.m. unless we were extremely busy. After that conversation, I realized that I didn’t have to stay late to prove myself. I could still do a great job while leaving earlier.”

20. What would you say is your greatest strength?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you view yourself. They want to know what skills you have that will be useful in the role, so it’s important to choose a strength that relates to the job description. When answering this question, try to think of something that is both true and impressive.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to work well with others. I am always willing to help others succeed, which has led me to become an excellent team player. In my previous position, I was able to help one of my coworkers understand their responsibilities better, which helped them feel more confident in their role. This ultimately improved our department as a whole.”


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