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Help with interview for microbiology internship for novice microbiologist!

microbiology lab interview

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#1 dmjohn1337



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Posted 21 November 2018 - 10:53 AM


So I am wrapping up my Masters in environmental studies and I have a interview with a microbiology lab with the dept. of agriculture coming up. In general the position entails sample intake from a variety of agricultural products and analysis for a host of different diseases and contaminants. My Masters thesis and my course work mostly revolve around restoration ecology and botany, however a large component of my thesis involved measuring PLFA's (phospholipid fatty acids) as a biomarker for abundance of mycorrhizal fungi. I have really enjoyed the lab portion of my thesis work and would love the opportunity to pursue more lab-oriented work. I did not have a lot of lab experience going into this thesis (only general biology/chemistry, cell, and genetics in undergrad) but have learned a lot throughout this process. In my graduate program I took a disease ecology course that had a very mild lab component. Some examples of the work I have carried out for my thesis: use of polar and non-polar solvents for cleaning glassware, muffle furnace operation, n2 dry-down, extraction using solid phase extraction cartridges, use of internal and external standards, use of various pipettes and analytical balances, writing a large SOP, analysis on a GC-MS (gas chromatography - mass spec), and use of R statistical language. Anyhow what I am getting at is I have learned everything I needed to for this specific process but may be missing some 'fundamental' lab knowledge I will be quizzed on going into this interview. Can anyone point me towards a resource or have any pointers for me?


Many thanks!


-Aspiring microbiologist


P.S. I am a huge nerd and pick up new topics quickly so lay on the technical info!

Edited by dmjohn1337, 21 November 2018 - 10:55 AM.

#2 bob1


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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:00 AM

I don't have any resources for you, but have confidence!


In my experience, they are interviewing 3 people at a maximum, and you have a good chance of getting this job.


I would make sure that you know the ins and outs of the techniques you are likely to use, and be prepared with some questions of your own about the lab/techniques that they use. It is most likely that they will provide on-the-job training on the specifics of the methodology used in their labs (this is normal), and that you will learn on the job.

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