The secret to the success of a company and its employees is matching the right people to the right roles. AstraZeneca’s approach to recruitment ensures just that. When you join, you’ll effectively contribute to meeting the challenges of a global pharmaceutical business.
Shortly after submitting your job application, you’ll receive an email acknowledgment. We’ll review your application as quickly as possible, but if there’s a specific application deadline, you’re unlikely to hear from us until after that time. For Graduate Programme and Placement Programme applications, it can take from four to eight weeks after the closing date before we can update you on the progress of your application.
For each pharmaceutical career opportunity, we evaluate your application with the most appropriate selection methods according to the skills and knowledge required for each role. Depending on the position and your area of knowledge, it may involve interviews, a presentation or group and individual exercises.
For certain positions, particularly in Graduate Programme recruitment roles, we may invite you to take part in an assessment event with other applicants, which will give you the opportunity to take part in situations that reflect the position you applied for. These events will enable you to fairly demonstrate your natural skills and competencies.
Whether you attend an interview or a more involved selection event, our objective remains the same – a better understanding of each other, and an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and life at AstraZeneca.
Of course, we can’t predict the outcome of your application just yet, but we’re confident it will be a positive and rewarding experience, with professional feedback offered whenever appropriate.
A note about work permits in the UK
AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage diversity in the workplace. Current British and European Laws state that we cannot employ a person aged 16 or over who does not have permission to live and work in the UK. We are also unable to apply for work permits until all European Economic Area/EU options have been eliminated.
This effectively means for all placement and graduate roles and most PhD opportunities we are very unlikely to pursue a work permit application. We appreciate this may come as disappointing news. However, we have a presence in over 100 countries and we recommend visiting our global careers site to consider an opportunity with one of our site locations within your native country.
Additional job application tips
Set yourself apart from other candidates. Let your skills, personality and experience shine through.
Like most employers, AstraZeneca receives a large volume of applications. Filling out an application that attracts attention and helps you stand out from your competition takes careful reflection on your skills and how they match the role you’re pursuing. Your Careers Service, local library and most bookstores can be excellent resources for help and advice. There’s also a wealth of useful information geared specifically to students about careers in the pharmaceutical industry at http://www.abpi-careers.org.uk.
When applying for a job at AstraZeneca, here are some common sense points to consider:
- Make sure you answer each question fully and properly. Your objective is to ensure that you’ve presented clear evidence that you possess all the qualities and skills that we require
- Sell yourself, but make sure your arguments are relevant, focused and truthful
- Think of the person reviewing your application. Cut sections into shorter paragraphs and develop the details of your answer
- We are interested in what you’ve done, but we are even more interested in what you’ve achieved and learned
- Always reflect and re-write before completing detailed questions online
- Check grammar and spelling, and get someone to proofread your application
- Print a copy of your application; you might need to refer to it later
Three words of advice for a successful interview: Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
If your initial job application is successful, you’ll receive an email from us inviting you to attend an interview. Interviews are a critical part of the selection procedure at AstraZeneca and enable us to answer a number of key questions:
- Will you be able to perform well at the job?
- Do you have the potential to progress and lead?
- Are you enthusiastic and motivated?
- Will you work well in a team?
Of course, an interview should be a two-way process and you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Tell us more about yourself, including your skills and experience.
- Learn more about the position, the company, our culture and our values.
- Practice your interview technique and build self-awareness.
Being nervous is natural when anticipating an interview. But the more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be. Whatever the outcome, consider each interview a learning experience – an opportunity to reflect on what you did right, and what would do differently next time.
There are a number of ways that you can prepare for your interviews. Your Careers Service will be able to help you – many of them run workshops on interview technique and assessment centre preparation. You can also consult your local library and bookstores.
Your resume got you through the door at AstraZeneca, now the challenge is to build on that first great impression. Here are some things to keep in mind before, during and after the interview.
- Learn about AstraZeneca and the position you’ve applied for. Do your homework before the interview starts so that you know what kinds of questions to ask and what type of position you’re interviewing for. Review the job description, research our company and learn about our business.
- Get yourself ready. Gather your resume (make sure it’s up to date and you’re familiar with what’s on it), a list of questions you’ve prepared, your list of references (make sure you ask their permission beforehand), transcripts, letters of recommendation and anything else you might need before you go so you’re ready when you arrive.
- Be prepared. Think of good examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
- Be professional. Get rid of corny outgoing voicemail announcements and email addresses, and dress professionally and conservatively.
- Make a strong impression. Arrive early. Introduce yourself to each person you meet. Consider the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot to be the beginning of your interview and be professional from that moment on.
- Turn off electronics (phones, laptops, etc.) before you leave your car.
- Confirm the date, time and specific location of your interview.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Sit up straight and make eye contact. Ask for the interviewer’s name and call them by it during the interview. It shows you’re paying attention. Smile and be pleasant.
- Speak clearly and confidently.
- Talk about your strengths, but avoid being arrogant. Don’t be afraid to give a different answer or example if you think you answered a question badly.
- Pause before answering so you can provide a concise and appropriate example. If you need to, ask for clarification before answering.
- Never curse or use slang.
- Be positive and enthusiastic, but not hyperactive.
- Listen. Be attentive to what your interviewer is saying. In addition to representing yourself as well as possible, you’ll also learn more about our organization and its people and find out if this is the place for you.
- Be relaxed. Don’t focus on your notes – focus on the conversation you’re having.
- Let the interviewer know you’re interested and discuss next steps. Sell yourself! Ask for the job. Ask for a timeline about when the decision will be made.
- Write thank you notes to the people you met. Not only is it polite, but it will keep you foremost in their minds as they make their decisions. Highlight at least one thing you learned about the job from the interviewer. Regular mail is preferable – email is too convenient and not as sincere.
- Reflect upon your experience. Write down things that went well and what needs to be improved on your part, as well as your impressions of our company and the people you met.
- Write down the questions you were asked. They will help you prepare for future interviews.
- Notify the prospective employer if any of your contact information changes.
- Consider the next steps and prepare for a follow-up interview or offer negotiation.
Last reviewed: November 5, 2013