Top 10 Genapsys Interview Questions and Answers

GeneSysTM Founder Hesaam Esfandyarpour and Commercial Lead Chris Barbazette met with us at ASHG 2019 to talk about the new GeneSys Sequencer. GenapSys have developed a novel electrical-based platform which aims to change the landscape of DNA sequencing.

Are you preparing for an interview at Genapsys? As a leading genomics company Genapsys develops advanced sequencing systems for genetic analysis. With my insider perspective I’ll walk you through the most common Genapsys interview questions you’re likely to encounter and provide sample answers to help you make a winning impression.

Founded in 2009, Genapsys is headquartered in Redwood City, California and is backed by notable investors like Sequoia Capital. The company aims to make genomic sequencing accessible and affordable to improve human health

Let’s get right into the key questions and strategies to ace your Genapsys interview

1. Why are you interested in working at Genapsys?

This opening question allows you to demonstrate your passion for the company’s mission. Be specific about why Genapsys appeals to you.

Strong sample answer:

I’m deeply interested in Genapsys’ goal of making genomic sequencing more accessible globally. Genapsys’ new sequencing technology really speaks to me because I’ve seen family members struggle with diseases that could have been avoided with earlier genetic testing. I’m impressed by how the company is decoding the human genome at a low cost and using genomics to make personalized medicine possible. With cutting-edge science, I want to be a part of a team that changes healthcare.

2. What do you know about Genapsys and our sequencing technology?

With this question, interviewers want to gauge your knowledge of the company and product. Show you’ve done research.

Strong sample answer:

Genapsys has developed an electrical sequencing platform called ARGUS that uses proprietary molecular electronics and nanofluidic chips. This technology sequences single molecules of DNA/RNA directly, delivering accurate, rapid and cost-effective sequencing compared to traditional methods. ARGUS enables targeted sequencing as well as whole genome sequencing, with a portable format suitable for clinical applications. I’m impressed by Genapsys’ advancements making precision diagnostics and genomics-based treatment more accessible globally.

3. Why do you want to leave your current job?

Hiring managers want to understand your reason for change. Keep your answer positive.

Strong sample answer:

I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my current role, but I’m looking to take on a new challenge aligning with my background and interests in genomics. Genapsys is pioneering technology I find truly exciting, with a mission that resonates with me personally. While my current job has been a great experience, I’m ready to apply my skills in a more impactful way, and I believe Genapsys is the ideal next step in my career progression.

4. How does your background make you a good fit for this role?

This is your opportunity to connect your experience directly to Genapsys’ needs. customize your answer to the specific job.

Strong sample answer:

With a PhD in Bioinformatics and 3 years’ experience analyzing genomic datasets for clinical trials, I have a strong foundation in statistical genomics and translating genetic analysis into actionable insights. My coding skills in Python and R and hands-on work with sequencing tools like Illumina HiSeq give me practical experience as well. I’m excited to apply my data science and genomics expertise to advance Genapsys’ sequencing platforms and analytics capabilities.

5. What do you consider your greatest strength?

Pick a skill or quality relevant to the role and provide a specific example of using this strength effectively.

Strong sample answer:

My greatest strength is my persistence and determination – I don’t give up easily when solving complex problems. For example, while analyzing a genomic dataset, I encountered issues with missing values and biased sampling. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to resolve these data problems through coding alone, I employed creative solutions like imputation methods and bootstrap resampling to deliver a robust analysis. My determination to find answers despite obstacles is a value I would bring to Genapsys’ product development challenges.

6. In your experience, what makes a good manager?

Hiring managers want to know that your management philosophy aligns with Genapsys’ values. Focus on communication, empowerment and accountability.

Strong sample answer:

In my view, an excellent manager leads by example, providing clarity in expectations while empowering their team with autonomy in how they accomplish goals. They foster open communication, offering constructive feedback and insight. Outstanding managers also stay accountable to their direct reports, taking responsibility when issues arise and protecting the team from blame. They create an environment where people are motivated to develop their skills and thrive. I would bring this management perspective to empower high performance at Genapsys.

7. How do you prioritize tasks when everything is a priority?

This behavioral question assesses your time management skills. Outline your approach to prioritization and efficiency.

Strong sample answer:

When faced with competing priorities, I use a framework to assess urgency and importance. Critical time-sensitive deliverables get top priority. For other tasks, I look at expected impact and work to clear barriers for high-value projects first. To maximize efficiency, I cluster similar tasks together when possible. I also regularly communicate with stakeholders when balancing priorities to get guidance and set expectations. By outlining milestones and tracking them rigorously, I ensure no key priorities fall through the cracks even when things get hectic. This diligent prioritization approach has helped me successfully manage multifaceted workloads in past roles.

8. Tell me about a time you failed. What did you learn?

Share an example that highlights important lessons you learned from a setback or mistake. Demonstrate maturity and growth.

Strong sample answer:

Early in my PhD program, I struggled significantly with a genomic data analysis for an important research project. Despite my best efforts I just couldn’t seem to extract any meaningful insights from the dataset. After weeks of frustration, my advisor suggested I step back and consult with specialists in algorithm development to get a fresh perspective. Taking that collaborative approach proved to be a breakthrough – I ended up co-developing a novel method for analyzing the complex data. This experience taught me the importance of knowing when to seek outside help and how new perspectives can drive innovation. I apply those lessons today by actively consulting peers and specialists when I reach a roadblock.

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hiring managers want to understand your career aspirations and interest in growing with the company long-term.

Strong sample answer:

In 5 years, I see myself thriving at Genapsys in a leadership role, overseeing a team of scientists and engineers advancing your sequencing technology and portfolio of genomic testing capabilities. I’m excited by the opportunity to take on increasing responsibility and complexity, leveraging my background in genomics and passion for your mission. Most of all, I want to help drive Genapsys’ continued innovation to unlock the life-changing potential of genetics and genomics. I’m committed to growing my career here and look forward to contributing to the company’s future success.

10. Do you have any questions for me?

Always prepare at least 2-3 thoughtful questions to show your engagement and interest in the role.

Strong sample questions:

  • What are the biggest challenges facing your team currently and how can I help meet them in this role?

  • What tools and resources are available to help new hires ramp up successfully here?

  • How does Genapsys support ongoing education and development for employees?

  • What do you enjoy most about working for Genapsys?

  • Is there anything about my background or experience that gives you concerns about my fit for this role?

Digging into these kinds of thoughtful questions shows your preparation for the interview and enthusiasm to join the Genapsys team.

Takeaways for Acing Your Genapsys Interview

With preparation and practice, you can tackle any question confidently and make a fantastic impression. Be sure to highlight your relevant genomics expertise, problem-solving skills and passion for improving healthcare through advanced sequencing technology. Keep your answers focused on the value you can bring to Genapsys.

Show genuine excitement for the company’s mission and innovation. With the right approach, you will be ready to succeed in your Genapsys interview and launch an exciting new career improving lives through genomics. Best of luck!

How does it build on previous sequencing techniques?

Hesaam: It is quite different from previous technologies. Unlike older technology that used optics or fluorescent tags, this one is based on semiconductors. It has a high-power laser, camera, scanner, and robot, which made the machine big, bulky, and expensive. With that approach, you are talking about devices that can cost up to one million dollars. The size of our device is about the same as an iPad, and it works with a chip that fits in the palm of your hand.

We have three versions of this chip: 1 million sensors, 16 million sensors, and 144 million sensors. None of them force users to send samples in groups and wait a long time for the data, which is one of the biggest problems with sequencing today. Instead, they all offer a wide range of throughputs based on the user’s needs and application.

The cost of running current devices is high. To achieve a reasonable cost per sample you require an expensive machine. Every time you run it, a vast number of consumables are required. Due to the high run costs, many samples will need to be batched together. Since getting these samples takes time, you have to wait weeks or even months before it makes sense to use the machine. This delay makes things very hard for people with stage 3 or 4 cancer because they need the information before they can decide on a treatment plan. In these cases, we don’t have time to wait. That is just one example of the many issues with legacy sequencing technologies.

Our device solves this problem in a deep way because it offers a flexible solution at a low price, which means that most people can afford it. We believe in a world where every researcher has access to sequencing technology. Sequencing effectively is high-resolution biology; you have access to data on a molecular level. We live in a world of biology — everything around us is biology. If you have a way to read the information, that can be a very different world. This is what we have developed at GenapSys, the enabling tool to power a revolution in genomics.

Chris: If you think about it from an accessibility standpoint, in the world there are approximately 5000 labs that actually have sequencers. If you analyze the information for Thermo Fisher (MA, USA) or other companies, which constitute labs that could potentially use this technology, you are talking about 400,000 labs. Accessibility makes a big difference, and we are really trying to make this technology accessible to as many researchers as possible.

What were some of the challenges that you faced while developing this technology?

Hesaam: It has been a great, long ride. I am an electrical engineer by training. I started in a very different field, where I was building semiconductor chips for wireless communications. A very close family member of mine was given the wrong diagnosis when they were young, which is why I became interested in healthcare and genomics. This event made me think a lot about what was going on in medicine and genomics and how we could fix it to make it more useful and important.

When we examine the digital revolution and semiconductor technologies, we are so advanced. Nanotechnology has given us the ability to do amazing things, but when it comes to medicine, especially genomics, we did not use this to its full potential. I became more interested in this subject during my graduate work at Stanford University (CA, USA) because of this. Before this, I barely knew the difference between ABCD and ATCG. I started to learn more about genomics and DNA sequencing. I learned about the expensive and rigid optical system that was mentioned before and saw that it didn’t meet the quality standards.

Coming from a semiconductor background, I thought about the possibility of measuring the electrical signature of sequencing reactions. In the field of genomics, Ronald Davis, who is in charge of the Stanford Genome Technology Center, and I talked about the idea. If I could build these things, Davis said, they would be like a PC in the world of mainframes for genomics. As a result, I made the move from radar to DNA 15 years ago. In the first couple of years, we developed a quasi-electronic method. After this we attempted to address the various issues that exist within sequencing with advanced semiconductor-based technology. After that, we worked on the technology at Stanford for four years, from 2006 to 2010, and again from 2011 until now.

This has resulted in more than a decade of interdisciplinary work. We have a diverse team, and some of our chip designers are working hard to make chips that are as good as those made by Apple, Samsung, and Intel. There are chemists, enzymologists, as well as machine learning and AI experts, all of them work together. Through the past eight-and-half years at GenapSys, it has been a humbling experience watching the technologies merge.

There are a lot of complicated things in engineering, physics, and biology. I call this set of problems “exponential complexity.” When biology and technology come together, things never go as planned. If one of them falls behind, it has a huge impact. When you are dealing with biology, it is exciting but unknown territory. It was exciting for me coming from an engineering background and for our team. We have developed a technology, that we believe is one of the most powerful examples that exist today. Imagine reading DNA, each base is approximately 1. 3Å apart, atomic-level resolution is required. Everything must be completed to an almost perfect degree. That is what our team has developed, and we are very proud of the product.

Chris: We are just starting to work on launching our products, and for a company our age that is just starting out, we already have hundreds of patent applications and 75 patents that have been issued around the world. This is a significant accomplishment for the company as we approach our launch.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *