A research coordinator needs to be well-organized, have an excellent ability to communicate orally or with the written word and have the ability to work with deadlines while prioritizing their time. Being prepared for your interview with thoughtful responses and information on the company you're interviewing with will be your strongest selling point, because it will show that you can effectively research, organize information and communicate in a timely manner.
Questions involving research
A research coordinator is responsible for researching topics pertaining to the company he or she works for, organizing the research for in-office memos or consumer newsletters and also helping others research certain topics. Some questions that may be asked during your interview will have to do with your ability to research.
According to jobopenings.net, questions involving research may include:
How often you've researched topics in the past and for what reason?
What is the most in-depth research you've done and what was the end result?
How do you organize your research?
Have you helped others research in the past?
Preparing two-to-three sentence answers for these questions now will help you effectively communicate your answers during the interview and will leave a lasting impression. Always provide solid examples as back-ups to your answers, never answer with a plain "yes" or "no."
Questions involving communication
To be a successful research coordinator you need to be an effective communicator. Whether you need to communicate about sources you need to find in order to help the team research, teach others how you organize, or report your own research, you'll always need to be able to express yourself well through both the written word and orally.
Questions involving your communication skills may include:
Do you believe you are an effective communicator?
Name one time when your communication in a company made a difference.
What is your biggest weakness when it comes to your communication?
These questions can seem tough. But if you answer them honestly and have back-up examples to strengthen your answers, you'll be able to represent yourself in a positive light. For example, your biggest weakness in communication may be that you feel as though face-to-face communication is much easier than email communication, and sometimes find yourself not fully explaining your position through email because of this. Express this to the interviewer, but then follow the response with what you are doing to work on that. The follow-up could be, "Since I sometimes feel as though email is my weakness, I take time to read each sentence and pause to make sure that the background of the topic of that sentence has been covered. It may take a little extra time, but I've noticed this helps me to be very effective in communication electronically."
Questions involving deadlines
Research needs to be done, organized and categorized by a certain point so that projects can move forward. Since this is the case, many research coordinators deal with strict deadlines. You must be able to at times deal with the pressure of deadlines, while still effectively doing your job.
Questions involving you being able to deal with deadlines include:
Say you have many projects to coordinate at one time, how do you go about prioritizing?
Have you ever not met a deadline?
Again, these questions may make you a little uncomfortable. But the better prepared you are to answer them, the more confident you will appear in your response. If you haven't met a deadline before, you must answer this question honestly. The best way to follow up saying that you have failed at a job task, you should follow it up with how you remedied the situation. For example, you can follow-up with, "I did miss the deadline. However, I did express that the task may not be completed beforehand so as to allow my seniors to make a decision about the project. I learned that I need to effectively communicate when I am not able to handle a task on my own, and from then on was able to delegate tasks to make the work-load more even and manageable for all in the office."
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