As the name suggests, a marine biologist is charged with studying the ocean and aquatic life. They conduct experiments, perform rescue and rehabilitation operations, monitor animal behaviors, and report findings.
We will discuss some of the questions you should expect in a marine biologist interview to increase your chances of getting a job. Ensure that you have the right answers at your fingertips and impress the interviewer.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I have always been impressed by marine life. I grew up learning about different marine creatures and plants and couldn’t miss a trip to the coast. I then decided to venture into Marine Biology in college to expand my knowledge of marine life, which this job will allow me to use. I would love to help in marine research projects and widen my experience and understanding of marine life.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Marine Biologist?
Marine Biologist works in aquariums, zoos, research institutions, government agencies, and NGOs, where they play several roles. Their responsibilities include monitoring, testing, and conducting inventories of marine life under pollution, collecting and analyzing different samples, as well as coming up with theories founded on their research, using coring techniques, visual recording, and sampling, as well as geographic information systems to determine marine environment health. Others include identifying the relationships of different organisms in the marine environment, collecting biological data, and reporting their findings.
3. What Qualities Does A Marine Biologist Needs To Be Effective?
Marine biologists need an array of skills to be effective. One should have keen observation and quality communication skills, thorough interpersonal skills for teamwork, and sound reasoning and judgment skills to help research and observations. Others include excellent teamwork and conflict resolution skills.
4. What Are The Challenges That You Faced In Your Former Role? How Did You Overcome Them?
I worked with inexperienced marine biologists in my former role. They were fresh from college, made many mistakes, and we were always behind on schedule. Even though this affected my work, I understood after reminiscing about my early days as a junior biologist. I decided to mentor them, lead by example and be as patient as possible while encouraging them to give their best. Luckily, they were first learners, and within two months, we didn’t experience most of the problems we had at the start.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine
Marine biology is a demanding career; at times, we clock up to 50-plus hours a week of work. Therefore, my days are generally occupied and rotate around collecting and analyzing samples, developing new theories based on research, testing and monitoring marine life, conducting inventories, using visual recording and sampling to determine the marine environment’s health, and coordinating with others on several projects. I also write research papers and report on my findings.
6. Briefly Mention Your Experience
This is my tenth year as a marine biologist. I have worked as an administrative manager with universities and private organizations, researching marine life and related environments. I have also taught marine Biology in schools and universities, which I still do. I worked in zoos, aquariums, and different government institutions at the beginning of my career, where I got exposed to several things about this career. I am willing to expand on my experience while working in this organization.
7. Mention A Strategy And Mindset Required For This Role
Marine Biology greatly relies on observation, animal behaviors and characteristics or laboratory tests. Therefore, the best strategy for a marine biologist is to maintain and uphold attention to detail to notice even the slightest changes in animal behavior or the different tests they perform at their laboratories. This should further be spiced up with a keen and productive mindset, given the work involved in marine Biology.
8. What Is The Greatest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?
After eight years of marine biology, I believe that I can pretty much handle the challenges that come with it. I have taught this discipline to students worldwide and worked in different research institutions and aquariums. Therefore, I cannot pinpoint a specific challenge at the Moment since most of them are cut across different institutions. However, I am more than willing to work on those that will come up while fulfilling my workplace duties. I believe I will get all the support and collaboration needed in such encounters.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In This Field?
Motivation is important for a marine biologist since things can get pretty tough. We often work over 50 hours a week when handling complex projects, which is impossible without the right motivation. I normally draw my inspiration from envisioning the results of projects and reminding myself that I am doing a just course that positively impacts humanity. I am also passionate about marine life and learning more about endangered species or animals. Lastly, I always ensure my motivation rubs off on my teammates and inspires them to give their best.
10. Mention A Time That You Failed In This Role. What Lesson Did You Learn?
I once worked too hard on a project, got a serious burnout, and had to be hospitalized. I stayed in the lab for two days straight, reviewing and reporting on different research, collapsed, and was found by the lab assistant on coming to work. I had to rest for two weeks before going back to work. This experience taught me that even though a productive mindset is necessary, rest is also as important and that I must put myself first. I take short breaks between work and try to maintain a proper work-life balance, whose results I have started seeing.
11. Why Do You Believe You Are The Most Suited Candidate For This Position?
I grew up close to the beach, interacting with marine life for over 25 years before I permanently relocated here in search of greener pastures. I collected crustaceans and took time to watch lots of animals and sea occurrences that I found interesting. I also have vast experience in this field as a researcher and a teacher, having worked in different institutions and taught marine Biology at several universities. Therefore, I believe that my background, coupled with my experience in this field, gives me a head start.
12. What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
My greatest achievement was serving in the International Panel for the Reduction of Underwater Noises in the Oceans and High Seas, which saw me meet the head of state, renowned climate change and anti-pollution activists, and some of the most important revered marine biologists. I am particularly glad that our efforts bore fruit as we managed to tone down the underwater noise levels in a certain section of the Pacific Ocean that was highly affected. I look forward to such initiatives and a chance to meet other people I look up to in this profession.
13. How Would You React To A Member Of Your Team Having A Different Opinion On A Marine Environment Issue With Great Impact?
I have learned the importance of letting other people voice their opinions freely in workspaces from my experience of being in and leading different teams. Therefore, I would listen keenly and let my fellow team members present their views, after which we can debate on it as a team. People generally feel respected and motivated if allowed to interact freely in work settings. I would also point out if their views were misleading and give reasons. All in all, everyone needs to walk out of a team meeting feeling respected and valued.
14. Most Of Your Assignments Involve Travelling On Sea. Can You Mention Some Of The Challenges Faced?
Traveling by sea can be quite challenging. Even though it is relatively safer than road transport, it has its fair share of disadvantages that every marine biologist know. First, boat handling can sometimes get tricky due to tides and storms, posing the risk of capsizing, especially without a proper boat operator. There is the possibility of getting stuck in the deep seas due to operational failure or problems with the boat too, which should not be taken lightly.
15. Why Do You Think Biologists Should Adhere To Standard Lab Practices And Safety Precautions?
Every scientist understands the importance of adherence to standard lab practices and safety precautions. The former plays a big role in the fruitful conducting of experiments and ensures that scientists get consistent and accurate results. It also respects the profession’s traditions as these practices apply globally. Safety precautions are meant to keep those in the lab safe. These precautions help prevent unnecessary exposure, accidents, and any other preventable mishap that may befall a biologist or laboratory aide.
16. Do You Find Working As Marine Biologist Dangerous?
Yes. Working as a marine biologist can be dangerous since it carries several potential hazards. I normally work with poisonous sea animals that may cause death or paralysis, as well as several materials and chemicals that may harm the environment or harm human life. However, I normally know how to mitigate these dangers, thanks to my years of experience and level of care. I have dealt with several animals and worked in different conditions, which helps me navigate such dangers.
17. This Job Involves Lots Of Travel. How Prepared Are You?
I love traveling and will therefore hop at any opportunity to tour the world, whether for leisure or work. I am more than prepared to travel the world to study marine life and interact with other marine biologists. I should also mention that I have been traveling on official duties, so I know all the intricacies and restrictions. Lastly, I believe I am a flexible person who doesn’t have to be glued to one place or behind a desk for the rest of her life. Travelling, therefore, makes this job better.
18. What Are Some Soft Skills that Helped You In Your Career?
To thrive as a marine biologist, there are several soft skills that one must have, which is contrary to what many people believe. Good communication skills are mandatory since these professionals normally must coordinate with other specialists and report their findings. These skills also help develop grant applications and conduct other communications necessary to obtain funding. Other soft skills required include excellent observation and analytical skills, which helps in research and data collection.
19. In Your Opinion, What Are The Best Ways Of Preserving Endangered Marine Species?
Human beings can save the ocean and preserve endangered species in several ways. One of the greatest enemies to marine life is pollution. Therefore, using fewer or no plastic products and proper waste disposal may be a good way of saving these endangered species. Human beings should also make safe and sustainable seafood choices to prevent overwhelming a given species, leading to its extinction. Supporting organizations keen on protecting these species is also viable, among many other ways. All in all, the preservation of marine species requires the determination and will of all of us.
20. Could You Care To Explain Why People Need To Preserve Marine Life?
The marine environment affects us in many ways and should be preserved at all costs. Its ecosystem greatly benefits humans as it regulates the climate, which is under threat at the Moment; prevents erosion, absorbs carbon dioxide, a poisonous waste emitted by animals; maintains biological control, accumulates, and distributes solar energy. These functions are important to man, as they directly influence daily life.
21. How Would You Advise Maritime Professionals To Protect Marine Life?
Maritime professionals can help protect marine life by drastically reducing marine litter, a significant problem in today’s oceans. It is estimated that the number of plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050, which should concern us all. Garbage discharge from ships should be regulated, and more money channeled to research work. The existing regulations should also be enhanced, and if possible, new measures to reduce plastic litter from ships should be introduced. Additionally, they should stick to the vessel routeing measures that help protect marine mammals such as whales during ship strikes, which must also be minimized.
22. What Are The Effects Of Underwater Noise On Marine Life?
Noise pollution is still a problem in the sea owing to the increasing number of marine vessels. Most of the underwater noise generated in the ocean originates from commercial shipping. Such noise has long-term and short-term consequences on marine life and should be reduced significantly. It has been reported that noise pollution causes the stranding of dolphins and whales. Extreme cases generally cause damage to their lungs, brains, and an array of organs.
23. Can You Mention Some Of The Endangered Marine Species At The Moment?
One of the truths that most people don’t believe or haven’t come to terms with is that the population of several marine species is getting depleted at an alarming and unsustainable pace due to overexploitation and habitat destruction. Most of these are members of different families such as dolphins, manatees, whales, seabirds, salmon, sharks, and sea turtles. One of the reasons it is difficult to see that such numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate is because marine life cannot be easily seen, unlike land animals.
24. How Will You Help Us Obtain Funding For Different Projects And Research?
Most projects rely on external funding, which I am prepared to find ways to obtain. I will write grant applications to the government and other organizations concerned with marine life and climate change, adequately noting the reasons behind the research and how the funds will be used. I also have links with other organizations we can work with to provide us with the machines and funds needed for research. Overall, I am positive that with the right efforts, we will get more than we need.
25. What Are Some Reasons For The Near Extinction Of Some Marine Species?
There are several reasons why we have endangered species on the brink of extinction. Most of these stem from human actions. Overfishing and destroying these animals’ habitats through human activities have led to an alarming decrease. Pollution occasioned by poor disposal of litter and increased commercial activities also adversely affects marine life leading to endangered species. It is also worth noting that the spread of diseases among these animals has also led to decreasing numbers.
Marine biologists play an important role in ensuring the protection of marine life. However, earning a position to work as one may not be as easy as many think, which demands maximum preparation. We hope these questions will make your work easier when prepping for your interview.