Successful Interview – Get The Job That You Want

Lifetime entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers have a real problem of working for someone else or working a 9-5 office environment. Who could you work for right now and be happy? But if you find yourself invited to attend an in-person interview, I have listed some suggestions for a successful interview.

Steps for a successful interview:

  1. Build Rapport — very obvious, but it warrants mentioning. First impressions mean so much, so be friendly and open. Be sure to shake hands with each person you are interviewing with and introduce you. You might also ask for a card at this point.

  2. Establish needs — This is as much the opportunity to learn about us as for us to learn about you. Establishing what we are specifically looking for will help you target your answers regarding your own qualifications. Asking questions also shows your interest. Have 3 questions prepared before the interview. You will want to have different questions for each person, if known in advance. This shows you’ve done your homework and reinforces your interest in the company. Have them memorized, but if you get stuck or nervous, you can refer back to these questions.

    Take the time to review the website:CLIENT WEBSITE: check the company’s website prior to the interview.

  1. Flesh out concerns — At the end of the interview, ask if there are any questions or concerns about your qualifications. Be direct about asking, “Do you have any concerns about my qualifications?” This gives you the opportunity to answer these questions or concerns on the spot.

  2. Ask for the job — At the end of the interview, let them know the level of your interest. Let them know you want the job. This lets the interviewer(s) know exactly where you stand. It also makes you stand out in his/her (the interviewer) mind.

  3. Restate your interest — best in the form of an emailed “Thank You.” The “Thank You” e-mail should be a brief email to the interviewer(s) to highlight the strengths you’ll bring to the position and restate your interest. I will expect a call after your interview, so you can provide a summary of your interview experience.

Don’t be shy about your qualifications. Be direct and be prepared.

  • Bring paper and a pen, as well as two (2) copies of your resume, one in case an interviewer needs one and the other for you to be able to reference for dates, etc. Be prepared, you might be meeting with multiple people, bring extra copies of your resume in case they need copies as well.

  • Don’t discuss the “What’s in it for me questions?” – in terms of salary, benefits, vacation. It is NOT appropriate to discuss these questions even if the interviewer opens this discussion topic. If the interviewer persists, please consider the following response: “the financial arrangement has already been discussed and confirmed between my agency and myself. I assure you that I am very interested in this opportunity.” or “I would prefer to discuss the salary requirements when an offer is made”.

Remember that when you go for a job interview, you are not asking them to pay you money. You are offering a PROFIT!

anayansigamboa-you are hired

Remember, it cost the company double to hire you (hiring, training, firing, benefits, etc). You are making the company money and providing value.

GOOD LUCK! and tell me about it in the comments!

Anayansi Gamboa specializes in Pharmaceutical Technologies and is available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests.

Disclaimer: The legal entity on this blog is registered as Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name – Fictitious Name – Assumed Name as “GAMBOA”.

I am someone who influence my own development. I look for a company where I have the opportunity to pursue my interests across functions and geographies, and where a job title is not considered the final definition of who I am, but the starting point.

The Only Three (3) [Programming] Languages You Should Learn Right Now (eClinical Speaking)

On a previous article that I wrote in 2012, I mentioned 4 programming languages that you should be learning when it comes to the development of clinical trials. Why is this important, you may ask? Clinical Trials is a method to determine if a new drug or treatment will work on disease or will it be beneficial to patients. Anayansi Gamboa - Clinical Data Management Process If you have never written a line of code in your life, you are in the right place. If you have some programming experience, but interesting in learning clinical programming, this information can be helpful.

But shouldn’t I be Learning ________?

Here are the latest eClinical programming languages you should learn:

1. SAS®: Data analysis and result reporting are two major tasks to SAS® programers. Currently, SAS is offering certifications as a Clinical Trials Programmer. Some of the skills you should learned are:

  • clinical trials process
  • accessing, managing, and transforming clinical trials data
  • statistical procedures and macro programming
  • reporting clinical trials results
  • validating clinical trial data reporting

2. ODM/XML: Operational Data Modeling or ODM uses XML to build the standard data exchange models that are being developed to support the data acquisition, exchange and archiving of operational data.

3. CDISC Language: Yes. This is not just any code. This is the standard language on clinical trials and you should be learning it right now. The future is here now. The EDC code as we know it will eventually go away as more and more vendors try to adapt their systems and technologies to meet rules and regulations. Some of the skills you should learn:

  • Annotation of variables and variable values – SDTM aCRF
  • Define XML – CDISC SDTM datasets
  • ADaM datasets – CDISC ADaM datasets

CDISC has established data standards to speed-up data review and FDA is now suggesting that soon this will become the norm. Pharmaceuticals, bio-technologies companies and many sponsors within clinical research are now better equipped to improve CDISC implementation.

Everyone should learn to code

Therefore, SAS® and XML are now cooperating. XML Engine in SAS® v9.0 is built up so one can import a wide variety of XML documentation. SAS® does what is does best – statistics, and XML does what it does best – creating reportquality tables by taking advantage of the full feature set of the publishing software. This conversation can produce report-quality tables in an automated hands-off/light out process.

Standards are more than just CDISC

If you are looking for your next career in Clinical Data Management, then SAS and CDISC SDTM should land you into the right path of career development and job security.

Conclusion: Learn the basics and advanced SAS clinical programming concepts such as reading and manipulating clinical data. Using the clinical features and basic SAS programming concepts of clinical trials, you will be able to import ADAM, CDISC or other standards for domain structure and contents into the metadata, build clinical domain target table metadata from those standards, create jobs to load clinical domains, validate the structure and content of the clinical domains based on the standards, and to generate CDISC standard define.xml files that describes the domain tables for clinical submissions.

Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica – Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

Disclaimer: The legal entity on this blog is registered as Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name – Fictitious Name – Assumed Name as “GAMBOA”.


SAS Institute


Comments? Join us at {EDC Developer}

Anayansi Gamboa, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry with more than 13 years of experience.

Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests. See my specialties section (Oracle, SQL Server, EDC Inform, EDC Rave, OpenClinica, SAS and other CDM tools)

As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.

Subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed and email newsletter to get immediate updates on latest news, articles, and tips. I am available on LinkedIn. Connect with me there for technical discussions.

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Freelancing/Consulting 101: Don’t send your CVs/Resumes yet until you…

What successful freelancers/consultants wish they’d known from the start?

Before you send over your CV or resume to that agency claiming they have a contract/project in your related field, ask who the client is, job responsibilities and location of the project to be performed.

After you gather enough information (most companies will come forward with this information some will not release the name of the company until you have sent them your CV), check out LinkedIn or similar professional social media and find an ex-employee or current employee and ask those serious questions about the work environment, management style and what is a day-to-day look like at your company/department?

They’re easy to get along with

After a while you’ll find that some jobs/clients are better than others. So you don’t feel desperate and you’re able to say “no I don’t need to take on this project, I can wait for something better to come along” and it usually does.

I hope you don’t feel daunted by this! I just learnt this stuff the hard way and I don’t want you to as well. You will make mistakes, but everyone does and the important thing is to learn from them.

Not every client is worth it!

Next time, I will cover contracts, legalese languages and what to look for with some examples. I will also cover USA [Employment at Will] and EU [Right to work] laws and which agencies or third parties you should avoid.

Beware, agencies already have a boiler-platter contract and may not be applicable to the jurisdiction where you currently reside and/or where the client is located at. We will get in some stuff you don’t supposed to know.

Anayansi Gamboa, “I am someone who influence my own development. I look for a company where I have the opportunity to pursue my interests across functions and geographies, and where a job title is not considered the final definition of who I am, but the starting point.”

Looking for a clinical programmer? Use the Contact Me! form to get in touch.

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Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision

How Much are Bad Managers Costing Your Company?

Harassment, discrimination or labor exploitation can become poison in the work environment. Bad attitude, micro-management, unqualified managers can be as toxic in the workplace.

How to cope with a toxic work environment?

We often hear in hours of leisure (lunch breaks) employees telling the terrible stories that turn their heads as the worst bosses they have ever known.

A toxic work environment is as harmful to health as smoking. That is why, some experts have provided advice on how to survive and come through with certain harmful working circumstances. In addition there are some strategies to determine why we can come to feel animosity towards our work.

How do you know if your workplace is or is not toxic? What happens to your boss or your coworkers? What to do about it ?

If all these questions come to your mind at times of tension in the company, you are probably in a toxic work environment. If you ask one or some of the following questions:

• Do you hate going to work every day?

• Does the work of two or more people, but you get paid the same salary?

• Do you feel little or no worth?

• Does your superior yells at you and your colleagues constantly?

• Have you asked for help, but nothing changes?

• Have you been asked to falsify reports?

• Have you been the victim of sexual harassment?

• Have you been the victim of discrimination based on race, sex, age, religion or sexual preference?

Toxic work

If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, you are working in a toxic work environment and this is due to people in positions of authority operate through abuse of power, ego, mistrust, paranoia, cruelty, injustice, inequality, pressure, greed, ambition and brutal disrespect that negatively effect everyone around them.

What could be possible solutions to a toxic work environment?

Of course, communicating to HR. Unfortunately, we don’t believe HR is there to help employees. We will cover Human Resources department role on a later article.

Changing Departments? Unfortunately, when you work for a very small company, this option may not be available. Even if you work a large corporation, most often than not, you won’t be able to transition to another department that easily.

Get a lawyer to write a letter to your boss, human resources and legal department, indicating that if the situation does not change, you will file a lawsuit for a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, unsafe conditions, etc. Companies hate lawsuits and bad publicity, and may well react.

When you start noticing that more full-time staff are leaving and consultants contracts terminated, you know there is a problem with the environment. There is not rapport and no team attitude among the ones left behind. The morale of the staff has been diminished by all of the coming and going of new employees. You can’t call that a ‘productive work environment’.

And if that does not work, it’s time to find a good company that respects its workers, you don’t need living in an adverse employment situation when the price to pay for your health is too high for something worth so little.

People leave managers not companies. I QUIT!

Share your bad managers moments or toxic work environments in the comment section.

Need SAS programmers? RA eClinica can help provide resources in-house / off-shore to facilitate FDA review by supporting CDISC mapping, SDTM validation tool, data conversion and CDASH compliant eCRFs.