Zoologists are scientists who study different animal and wildlife species. They are tasked with exploring these animals’ behaviors in their natural or controlled habitats. They also collect and analyze zoological data and contribute to scientific journals. You need to prepare early enough for your upcoming interview if you are eyeing a zoologist position.
This article will look at some of the questions to expect in your upcoming interview and increase your chances of landing the job. Take a look at the following and ensure that you have the right answers in mind before your interview:
1. Why Are You Interested In This Job?
Since my high school days, I have always wanted to be a zoologist and work for a marine biology institution. I love learning more about different animal species and being in a position to contribute to research and scientific journals, which this job will definitely offer. I am also looking for new challenges at the moment, which this institution will offer me since you are one of the biggest animal research institutions in the country. I am positive that I will have a successful career working here.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Zoologist?
A zoologist plays several roles in their respective workplaces. They study the characteristics of rent animals, including their behaviors; gather and analyze biological data and specimens; come up with and conduct research projects and animal studies, write scientific papers and journals capturing research findings; and coordinate with different teams on research projects and scientific studies.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Zoologist Needs To Be Effective?
One needs several skills and abilities to be an effective zoologist. First, they have to be excellent communicators capable of writing papers and reports effectively and communicating verbally in different settings. They also need effective observation skills, which come in handy in closely monitoring animal behavior or appearance. Other qualities are critical thinking skills, problem-solving ability, and tech-savviness. Lastly and most importantly, these scientists need the right education and experience.
4. What Are The Major Challenges That You Faced In Your Last Workplace? How Did You Manage Them?
I worked for one of the biggest research institutions in the country, and even though it was not all rosy, I got a chance to meet some of the best scientists and an overall amazing team. However, the biggest challenge that I faced was an extremely heavy workload, which left me with a burnout most if not all of the time. I had to plan my work accordingly, multitask, and prioritize tasks, which made all the difference. I didn’t have to work overtime or during the weekends, drastically achieving the perfect work-life balance.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine
My day is generally packed, given that I mostly focus on indigenous species. I spend my day collecting and analyzing biological data and specimens, studying animal characteristics and behaviors, organizing and conducting research projects and animal studies, conducting initiatives to ensure animal welfare, directing conservation efforts, and offering assistance on different captive breeding programs. These professionals also educate the public on wildlife conservation and animal welfare and write reports, papers, and articles capturing other research findings.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience
I have been a zoologist for seven years now and have managed to handle different animal species, including the indigenous ones. I have worked in marine life institutions, orphanages, animal research centers, and zoos. I have also been part of different teams and, at one time, got a chance to work with Dr. Jane Goodall, who is known far and wide for her expertise in chimpanzees. I have been part of teams constituted to prevent species from extinction and run several captive breeding programs. I am positive that my experience in this career will help me succeed in this job.
7. Mention Some Of The Strategies And Mindset Required To Succeed In This Job?
One of the best strategies that come in handy in my job is sharpening and using my observation skills. My work mostly includes observing animals’ characteristics and behavior. Therefore, I pay attention to the littlest of things and make small notes for easier remembrance. As for the right mindset, you have to be mentally prepared as some of the projects require working with animals one fears. Therefore, having a level of open-mindedness comes in handy.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?
We are allowed to have preferences as zoologists, and therefore, I have never fancied working with reptiles. However, most of the studies conducted in this institution involved reptiles, meaning that I will be handling a class of animals I am not fond of. However, I mainly applied for this job to finally get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself more, which is what I intend to achieve. I am positive that this won’t be a problem after some time since I managed to manage my fear of amphibians.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Job?
One of the reasons I never struggle with motivation in my job is that I follow my heart. I love and enjoy working with different animal species, and since this job constantly offers me a chance to learn, I am always looking forward to the next day. I also have goals and dreams that I always strive to achieve, meaning that I have to be at my best. Thanks to my constant motivation, I am glad that I have managed to achieve quite a lot.
10. Mention A Time That You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned
We once had a chimpanzee at our facility, and after one year, I thought that we had created a rapport and that it would be friendly till it attacked me. I was taken aback because I didn’t expect such a hostile reaction from an animal I had cared for such a long time. Even though I escaped with only minor injuries, this experience taught me always to be careful and never drop my guard when dealing with wild animals. I normally take extra precautions and ensure that the team does that when dealing with these animals.
11. Why Do You Feel That You Are The Most Suited Candidate For This Role?
This is my tenth year as a zoologist. I have worked in different institutions and dealt with many species in my career. I have had the chance to share boardrooms with some of the best zoologists and marine scientists alive and picked a thing or two from them. Therefore, I have vast experience that will definitely come in handy in this job. I am also passionate about animal studies and projects and will record a higher performance given a chance.
12. What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
My greatest achievement was leading a team of 12, made up of different scientists, to research three endangered animal species and save them from extinction. I had to coordinate with multiple local and international teams for research and reporting purposes. I also traveled a lot, both domestically and internationally, collecting data and making observations. I am happy that our efforts, coordination and teamwork bore fruits since we were able to prevent the extinction of some of the rarest species on earth. It is also worth adding that I was the youngest on the team and was pressured to prove myself.
13. Which Animals Don’t You Like To Work With?
Even though I have come across and worked with several animals in my career, I have to admit that I have a phobia of reptiles. I am not fond of snakes and lizards and prefer niches that don’t require me to interact with them. I also had a phobia for spiders, which I successfully overcame. All in all, I am open to working with different species and bettering their lives and habitat.
14. How Do You Always Stay Updated With Different Zoological Developments?
I normally ensure that I keep abreast of the developments in the zoological community at all times. I mostly read scientific journals, which capture lots of information about zoology. I have also subscribed to lots of zoology blogs, operated and maintained by some of the most renowned zoologists in the world. Lastly, I attend regular zoology conferences n zoology or related fields, where I get to know a lot about this niche.
15. Do You Have A Favorite Animal?
Even though I have had a chance to work with several animals before, I am fond of working with the cat family. I particularly enjoy researching leopards and lions and interacting with them in controlled environments. I also love domesticated animals, specifically cats and dogs, although my niche mainly entails working with animals found in the wild. All in all, I am prepared to deal with all types of animals.
16. We Will Need You To Travel A Lot For The Purposes Of Training And Exposure. How Willing Are You?
One of my greatest hobbies in life is traveling. I enjoy moving from place to place, interacting with different indigenous animals, and witnessing unique cultures. I should also add that I have traveled out of the country for quite some time and, therefore, possess any travel documents. Consequently, I am ready and willing to visit new places and different ecological sites for training and exposure.
17. Why Did You Pursue A Career In Zoology?
The main reason why I decided to be a zoologist is my love for animals and wildlife. I was part of different animal conservation groups in school and have been actively involved in my local orphanage. I love to stay informed on other species and interact with them on a one-on-one basis. I am glad that I have had a successful and fulfilling career this far, and I hope that I will get to open more doors.
18. Can You Work In A Team Setting?
Zoology requires cooperation with other scientists on projects and scientific journals. Therefore, one should be prepared for a high level of teamwork and collaboration, which can be enhanced in several ways. I can work in different team settings before and have been part of several teams, experiences that have made me good at this profession. I also don’t mind working alone on projects, especially when they are classified or require a higher level of tact and experience. All in all, I will be ready to work alone on projects and with others.
19. Have You Ever Gone Above And Beyond To Achieve Something In Your Career?
I always give everything to achieve my goals and better my career, which explains why I have had a fulfilling time in this field. I once reached out to tens of scientists on a project I was undertaking and only got a response from a few. I had to fly out to meet one who significantly contributed to the project. I have also had to offer incentives for information and insights for effective project undertaking. I am positive that I will achieve good results if I get this job.
20. How Did You Get Into Zoology?
My love for the wild started a long time ago. I got interested in animals and marine life in high school after my first school trip to the Coast. I then spent the remainder of the days researching some of the animals I saw and trying as much as possible to find out more about those near me. I also collected crustaceans and other animals on subsequent trips and studied them. I, therefore, knew what I wanted to do immediately after finishing high school.
21. How Do You Ensure That You Are Safe When Dealing With Animals?
Every zoologist understands that safety is key when dealing with different animals or species, whether in a controlled environment or their natural habitat. Therefore, I usually ensure that I put on the right safety clothing and take necessary precautions to avoid unnecessary physical interaction with the animal. I am also extra vigilant when dealing with poisonous animals, as one simple mistake may have serious implications. I have dealt with several animals unscathed in my ten-years career by learning how to stay out of danger and be extra vigilant.
22. Can You Mention The Disadvantages Of This Field?
Every field has its bright and dark sides, even though one may outweigh the other. Even though zoology brings me the peace and fulfillment that I need, there are sides to it that I am not fond of. Zoology is time-intensive and requires us to work even with the animals we fear. We normally spend lots of time and effort on projects, some of which don’t turn out successful. It also requires lots of teamwork, which is a source of conflict and ideological differences that come at a disadvantage.
23. What Are Some Of The Skills That You Use Daily On Your Job?
Even though Zoology requires lots of skills and expertise daily, some skills are regularly needed more than others. I have to engage my computer skills due to different regular activities such as statistical analysis. This job also requires technical writing and organizational skills, which come in handy in research and reporting. Lastly, I love this job because it allows me to sharpen my team working and cooperation skills.
24. How Do You Normally Measure Success?
I believe that every professional has a way of measuring success since we all have different goals and ambitions. My success measurement starts right at the goal-setting stage. I normally set realistic and demanding goals, which push me to do my best and be at my best. I consider myself successful whenever I put in the right effort to achieve these goals, regardless of the results. I also consider things or projects that leave me feeling fulfilled and successful. All in all, I am flexible enough and willing to take up any of your approaches where necessary.
25. Can You Tell Us What Arboreal Animals Are?
There are different types of animals that a zoologist should know, given the frequency of interactions. Arboreal animals live on trees, be it the branches or barks. The most common type of such animals is arboreal marsupials that look like monkeys. These animals spend most of their lives on trees, feeding, sleeping, and playing on them. They have many adaptations that allow them to sustain living at such heights. Examples include koalas, monkeys, cats, sloths, parrots, tree pythons, and lizards.
Any zoologist with an upcoming interview should prep using the questions discussed above. Remember, demand and supply make this job less lucrative, and therefore, you may need to go the extra mile to wow the interviewer. Do not also forget to work on your grooming and general appearance, as they will determine the first impression you offer the interviewers. Always work hard to appeal to the interviewer on the first appearance to increase your chances of landing the job. We wish you all the best in your upcoming interview.