By Jyotiska Chaudhuri, Ph.D.
My transition from academia to industry has been a tiresome but enriching journey.
I actively looked for new opportunities for about a year.
There were lots of failures, rejections, and sleepless nights.
But, I was committed to finding an industry position that suited me and my skill set.
I applied to 40 positions, after researching more than 500 positions I thought might be a good fit for me.
Out of the 40, I got phone screened for more than 50% and landed onsite interviews with 10 of them.
Having so many job leads kept me busy, but it also kept me motivated in my job search, as there was always something happening.
It was a crazy time and I did lots of preparing.
I conducted informational interviews to learn more about the roles and what it’s like to work in industry.
I did mock interviews with colleagues.
I did anything that would make me more prepared and make me a better candidate.
And, soon enough, I had a breakthrough.
The interview that ultimately landed me a job started with a phone screen, and then I was invited for an onsite interview that same week!
I rushed to prepare.
The full-day interview consisted of several interviews, with multiple people who were mostly higher management.
Based on the responses I received from my post-interview thank-you emails, I knew I had left a very good impression.
And, I felt confident.
Interestingly, I had to do another behavioral interview over the phone, the day after the onsite interview.
Then, after a week, I had another phone interview with a person who I would be working with directly.
But, I was ready for each of these interviews, because I had put in the work to be well-prepared.
Eventually, after about a week, HR called me for salary negotiations and other logistics.
I was extremely delighted!
Two days later, they formally made the offer, which I accepted.
It was hard work networking, researching, and preparing during my job search, but it was all worth it.
And now, I am enjoying my work as a Quality Associate III in the Advanced Surgery division of a major international organization.
Why PhDs Must Know How To Stand Out (In A Good Way) At An Interview
First of all, you are not the only person looking for a job.
According to a Gallup survey, 51% of employees are looking for a new opportunity.
That means you are competing against lots of other people to get hired, so you must know how to stand out.
You must understand what hiring managers are looking for in top candidates.
How do you stand out from the other candidates?
How do you show your value as a PhD?
By thoroughly preparing for your interview.
By investigating what the company is looking for in a new hire.
By learning how to communicate your skills.
According to Glassdoor, 72% of CEOs are worried about job candidates not having key skills.
You need to show them you have the right skills and show them your commitment.
And, “show” means more than just what you say verbally.
In an interview, your body language is saying a lot about your personality and your level of competence.
As reported by Undercover Recruiter, 67% of executives reported rejecting a candidate because they lacked eye contact, 33% rejected a candidate because they were fidgeting, and
21% of executives rejected a candidate because they touched their hair or face during the interview.
It sounds harsh, but it’s true.
There are so many facets to an interview.
What you say, how you act, how you dress, how you present…
Properly preparing is hard work, but the reward of getting hired into the industry position of your choice is worth it.
So, do your homework and learn how you must prepare for an industry interview.
Cheeky Scientist Top 10 Onsite Interview Articles
At your onsite interview, everything you do will be assessed and contribute to whether you get the job or not.
Some companies even have cameras in the parking lot so they can see how you act when you don’t think anyone is looking.
Are you prepared for that level of scrutiny?
Are you ready to give an industry-style presentation?
Do you know what questions you should be asking during your interview?
Most PhDs don’t know what to expect at an industry interview, or how to prepare.
This article is designed to help you...
Here are the top 10 Cheeky Scientist articles to help PhDs properly prepare for their next onsite interview...
Months of work undone in just a few seconds.
You know that you need to prepare for your interview.
You know that this is an essential step in getting hired.
You know you will be judged.
But, knowing how to prepare the right way is what most PhDs are missing.
Most PhDs assume an industry interview will be like an academic interview, and this sets them up for failure.
Don’t make that mistake.
Take the time and put in the effort to properly prepare for your industry interview so that you can get hired into the industry job that is right for you.
These 10 articles will help you prepare for and ace your next interview.
To learn more about how to write a killer resume and other essential tips on how to land your dream job in industry, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the waitlist for the Cheeky Scientist Association.