7 Anatomy Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Updated 2 March 2023

Anatomy is a branch of science that focuses on the physical structures of humans, animals and other living beings. Functional anatomy, comparative anatomy and pathological anatomy are some subdivisions of this field in biological sciences. Reviewing common questions and their example answers prepares you to give impressive responses during your anatomy interview. In this article, we share seven anatomy interview questions and their sample responses from which to model your own answers, and impress hiring managers with your systematic understanding of the field.

7 Anatomy Interview Questions

Here are seven anatomy interview questions, along with their example answers:

1. What compelled you to pursue biology as a subject?

When interviewers ask this question, they seek to learn more about your interests and your passion about biology. Recruiters often start the interview with this inquiry to better understand your motivations and background. In your answer, briefly describe your passion for the field and how your knowledge can help the organisation achieve more. Although this is optional, consider including a summary of your professional accomplishments and career goals to express your sincerity toward the career.

Example answer: When I was in school, I selected biology as my primary subject for higher secondary education. I also pursued biology studies to improve my understanding of living creatures and gain expertise in anatomy. I have always had an interest in this field, so I thought I could excel in a career path in it. I enjoy reading about anatomy, and my favourite aspects are analysing data, monitoring developments and applying new findings to my work.

In my last organisation, I enjoyed working as a forensic anatomist. I worked with law enforcement agencies to conduct criminal investigations. I collaborated with forensic scientists to collect fingerprints, discover the specifics of impacts victims sustained and determine the age, and gender of skeletons. Because of my passion for working with animals, I have also combined medical research with the latest medical developments to find novel ways to treat diseases that affect livestock and other branches of the animal kingdom.

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2. How does DNA fingerprinting work and what is its use?

If you are appearing for an interview in an organisation that focuses on biotech, its recruiters are likely to ask this question. Explain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) clearly. Consider including the advantages of DNA fingerprinting in your answer.

Example answer: With chemicals, you can separate strands of DNA and reveal the unique elements of the genome in DNA fingerprinting. You get striped patterns as results that I examine by comparing them with other samples. I do this to physically associate a piece of evidence with a person to eliminate a suspect. With DNA fingerprinting, it is also possible to find out about an individual's parents, siblings and other relatives. With the help of DNA, I can even find out the identity of a deceased person whose body is not identifiable through traditional means.

Related: What Is Forensic Science? Definition and Career Guide

3. Do you think it is easier for organisms to live on land than in the sea?

This question allows interviewers to assess your fundamental knowledge and ability to apply critical-thinking skills when finding answers to unexpected questions. Think practically and use your subject knowledge when answering. Consider salinity in the sea and how it impels organisms living in salt water to develop more specific symptoms to maintain osmolality.

Example answer: According to my understanding, breathing while living on land is easy. This is because oxygen is available in abundance there. When it comes to thermoregulation, living in water bodies means having a more consistent temperature, as water is harder to heat quickly.

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4. What process do you follow to identify an unknown animal specimen?

With this question, interviewers identify your problem-solving skills and determine how you apply them as a zoologist to excel in the role. An effective way to answer this question is by providing examples from your experiences. In your response, demonstrate your strong critical-thinking skills and ability to follow scientific methods when identifying unknown animal specimens.

Example answer: I follow a systematic approach to identify unknown animal specimens. I start by examining the physical features of the specimen and documenting its unique characteristics. These features can either be the specimen's size, shape or skin texture. Then I compare the specimen's traits with features of similar species. This helps me condense my findings. This is a useful step, especially when I am studying animals that belong to a distant habitat. By applying my taxonomy knowledge and using evolutionary history, I can accurately determine the species of the specimen.

Related: 14 Job Opportunities In Zoology (With Salaries And Duties)

5. How do you determine the population of a species?

Interviewers ask this question to learn what procedures you follow to collect data and what techniques you employ when determining the population of a species. Provide examples of similar tasks that you have accomplished in your past roles to give a comprehensive answer. List the tools that you use during surveys, such as drones and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Example answer: There are multiple ways to perform the counting of the population, but choosing the right method depends on the species I am monitoring and the environment where it exists. For instance, if a species lives in a vast and open area, ground and aerial surveys are great observation methods. In my past roles, I have also used faecal pellet and camera trap methods for counting smaller animals. If a species is rare, I prefer employing genetic sampling to get an estimate of the population size.

Related: How To Answer: ‘Why Do You Want This Job?' (With Examples)

6. Why do birds use their teeth?

Recruiters often ask trick questions to examine your knowledge of anatomy. While they may not ask this exact question, preparing for such questions helps you give impressive responses with confidence. When answering, prove your knowledge with reasoning. To find out what kind of trick questions recruiters sometimes ask, consider analysing the job description to recognise subjects and topics they are likely to cover during the interview.

Example answer: Birds cannot use their teeth because they do not have them. These warm-blooded vertebrates cannot chew their food like humans can with their mouths. What they have is a gizzard, which is an organ in their digestive tract. It is a muscular organ that looks like a stomach and helps birds grind their food. In some birds, the gizzard is a hind part of their stomach.

Related: Interview Question: ‘Why Do You Want To Join Our Company?'

7. What makes Charles Darwin one of the greatest biologists?

Interviewers ask such questions to find out about your general knowledge of the field. These inquiries often involve prominent personalities or discoveries. In your answer, include the personality's achievements and how they have provided insights into the subject. For instance, consider discussing evolutionary biology to describe how Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has helped biologists understand the key mechanism of evolution.

Example answer: Charles Darwin remains one of the greatest minds in the world. Without Darwin, we would have not known our position in the evolutionary process. The theory of evolution by natural selection has unravelled how organisms follow evolution over several generations through behavioural and physical characteristics they inherit from their ancestors. This theory, even in the present times, remains highly relevant and incredibly logical, explaining to humans how life has evolved on the planet.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Interview

Tips For Your Anatomy Interview

Here are some tips for you to help you answer questions with confidence during your anatomy interview:

  • Use the STAR method to compose answers. Short for situation, task, action and result, the STAR method helps you compose high-quality answers to in-depth anatomy questions. Employ this strategy to explain scenarios and mention what your responses were to these situations, as this helps you highlight your strengths and abilities efficiently.

  • Prepare in advance. Preparing for your interview in advance includes exploring multiple interview questions for the open position, reading several sample answers and performing mock interviews with friends or family members. These exercises help you prepare for various types of questions and give answers prudently.

  • Formulate thoughtful questions for interviewers. When you have a few questions for your interviewers, they feel more confident about your application and often appreciate your earnest interest in the role. Consider asking them to define the routine responsibilities or enquiring about the next steps in the application process.

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