Getting Hired: Interviewing with BioMarin

Interested in getting hired by a top-level biopharmaceutical company? Much of the customary advice applies: be skilled, experienced, make sure your resume is up-to-date, polished and focused, and exercise your interview skills. One aspect of interviewing that often goes overlooked is understanding more about the company, what it does, what it offers and its culture. With that in mind, here’s a look at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. 

BioMarin Inc.

Located in San Rafael, Calif., BioMarin is the world leader in delivering therapeutics that provide meaningful advances to patients who live with serious and life-threatening rare genetic diseases. They target diseases that lack effective therapies and affect relatively small numbers of patients, many of whom are children. These conditions are often inherited, difficult to diagnose, progressively debilitating and have few if any, treatment options. BioMarin will continue to focus on advancing therapies that are the first or best of their kind.

BioMarin’s Technical Operations group is responsible for creating drugs for use in clinical trials and for scaling production of those drugs for the commercial market. These engineers, technicians, scientists and support staff build and maintain BioMarin’s cutting-edge manufacturing processes and sites, provide quality assurance and quality control to ensure they meet regulatory standards and procure the needed goods and services to support manufacturing and coordinating the worldwide movement of drugs to patients.

In 2016, the company reported total revenues of $1.116 billion. For the first nine months of 2017, the company reported total revenues of $955.3 million, an increase of 17 percent from the same period in 2016. In 2016, BioMarin had approximately 2,200 employees.

Interviewing Process

In GlassDoor reviews, BioMarin gets mixed comments. Based on 217 reviews, it received 3.2 stars out of 5, with 58% willing to recommend the company to a friend. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Jacques Bienaime received an 84% approval. The overall consensus of the reviews is that the company’s science is cutting edge, there are fantastic salaries and benefits, but it’s a hard-driving company where work-life balance can be difficult to juggle.

One reviewer who recommends the company notes BioMarin as having a, “Great learning environment, lots of extremely smart people, room for advancement, great study teams, and flexible hours”.

Another reviewer who gave the company four stars states, “Roll up your sleeves mentality, long hours not necessarily expected, but are more the norm than exception”.

In terms of interviews, the company was rated as “average,” with 68 percent citing a positive experience and 20% rating the experience “neutral”. One individual who did not receive an offer noted the process took more than four weeks. Interview questions included, “Give us an example of a mistake you made,” “Describe a little about yourself,” “What would you do if work became too stressful?” and in what seems a bizarre question, “What are your three favorite apps on your phone?


BioMarin has a variety of career opportunities in locations all over the world. Examples include:

QC Scientist II/Senior Scientist in Novato, Calif. This position calls for a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline with at least 2-4 years of relevant laboratory experience, or an MS in a scientific discipline with at least 8-10 years of experience. The Scientist will lead transfer, improvement, optimization, and validation of QC assays in the areas of virology and molecular biology for the company’s gene therapy products. The candidate will also manage contract lab development/testing and assure the quality of results generated.  The successful candidate will have a strong analytical background preferably in virology and/or molecular biology.  This position will play a key role in troubleshooting, optimizing, and validating QC test methods related to the gene therapy program.

Senior Research Associate I, BioAnalytical Sciences, (HPLC and Mass Spectrometry) in San Rafael, Calif. The “Bioanalytical” Sciences team is part of the company’s Translational Sciences department. This group develops and validates novel assays to measure pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and biomarkers. The position calls for someone with a Bachelor’s degree with six to 10 years of relevant experience, or a Masters’ degree with four years of relevant experience. Required skills include six to 10 years of hands-on experience in basic biochemistry, such as immunoprecipitation, small-scale protein purification, and HPLC.

IT Business Analyst (CMMS) in San Rafael, Calif. This role will work with functional leads to transform and develop new requirements into system design and implementation. This individual will also elicit requirements using interviews, document analysis, requirements workshops, business process descriptions, use cases, scenarios, business analysis, task, and workflow analysis. Candidates with over 5 years’ experience in a technical or process improvement role would be great applicants for this position.

BioMarin does excellent and important work for an underserved population, developing and marketing therapies for orphan drugs and rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases.

One in five interviews at BioMarin are derived from the help of recruiting/consulting agencies. Come join our team and start making a meaningful impact on patients’ lives. Polish your resume, practice your interviewing skills and contact us at requests@compasscgroup or by calling (925) 884-3811.

Read BioMarin GlassDoor reviews here.

Read Compass Consulting’s GlassDoor reviews here.

Eager to work at a top-level biopharmaceutical company? Compass can help you stand out. We’ll refine your resume and enhance your interview skills to get you noticed. Connect with our team today!

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