Interviewing for Jobs in Agriculture (Or Other Industries)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Young farmer in soybean field

Bayer’s Dr. Natalie Hummel recently hosted a webinar for the Entomological Society of America on what to expect at an interview, how to prepare for an interview, and what follow-up steps to take after an interview.  USDA predicts that there will be an annual deficit of 54,000 jobs in agriculture from 2010 to 2015. That’s an incredible number of jobs to be filled in order for companies like Bayer CropScience, as well as family farms across the U.S., to continue the mission of  feeding a hungry planet.  We hope these tips from Natalie will help fill the talent gap and help you succeed in securing a great job in the agriculture industry!

What to Expect During Interviews:

Employers want to find the right person for the job. Interviews are a way for employers to understand your strengths and get a glimpse of your personality. Be clear in your description of your personal and career goals because this will help employers determine if the position is a good fit for helping you reach those goals.

During an interview, you should expect the following from the interviewer:

  • Open-ended questions
  • Honest answers to the questions you ask, which may include questions pertaining to the culture of the company, responsibilities of the job, and alignment of objectives
  • Full attention and hospitality during the interview
  • Expect the unexpected. There is no cookie cutter format for interviews, so be prepared to think on your feet! Here are 100 potential interview questions to help you prepare.

You’ll feel more confident if you are fully prepared for the interview. Research the employer by visiting their website, reading recent news articles and press releases, look for current employees on LinkedIn and visiting the company’s social media channels.  Ask for the names of interviewers so you can research their backgrounds to find commonalities to discuss—this will also help your interview be memorable.  Bring several copies of your resume and/or business cards as other employees may join your interview. Always review the job description so you can reference specific job responsibilities that you excel at or are eager to experience. Don’t forget to prepare specific questions for the interviewer to prove that you’ve done your research.

The following are popular questions that interviewers ask:

  • Why are you qualified for this position?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • How do you work with others? Give an example of a time you worked in or led a team.
  • How do you manage conflict? Give an example of a problem and how you were able to solve it.

Going into an interview can be very nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remember that they’re interviewing you for a reason. Human Resources may have liked your qualifications, writing skills, persistence, or even have employees with similar backgrounds on their team. Either way, you stood out enough to make it past hundreds, or even thousands of other candidates, so you’re doing great!

At the end of an interview, make sure you have a contact email or address, say thank you, and ask about when you can expect to hear back regarding next steps. Always send a note or email thanking the interviewer(s) for their time and include references to unique things you discussed during the interview to remind them who you are. Don’t fret if you haven’t heard anything in a few days or weeks since business often gets in the way of hiring.  Just keep following up and hopefully your persistence will pay off.


Interested in jobs at Bayer?

1)      Visit to browse open positions, internships and educational programs

2)      Follow Bayer Career USA on social media:

           - Twitter: @BayerCareerUSA
           - Facebook:
           - LinkedIn:

3)      Read our blog post about what internships are like at Bayer CropScience

Opportunities for Undergraduates and Graduates:

Bayer CropScience is proud to support students pursuing post-graduate studies in agricultural sciences, and also those wishing to make agriculture a full-time business career.  In particular, we offer two outstanding programs to ambitious, talented young people who seek to make a positive difference and help propel farming’s future.


Dr. Natalie Hummel 

About Natalie Hummel:

Dr. Hummel is a Product and Crop Development Manager (Principal Scientist) at Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park, NC. She is responsible for a number of assets, including BELT, Requiem, RiceStar, the Cotton PGR portfolio, Stratego uses in southern row crops and the development of integrated portfolio offerings in broad acre crops in the southern US. Natalie is a native of California where she received her Ph.D. in Entomology at UC Davis in 2005.


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