Interviewing

What to expect from an industry interview and how to prepare.

How to Conduct An Informational Interview Like A Boss

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

When I first decided to do an informational interview, I was nervous.  I’d sit down in front of my computer and look over my dozens of questions. When the time came I clicked on the zoom link and waited for my interviewee to come on. I was always early. I thought that would help me prepare and become less anxious.  However; the waiting always made me less confident. And when the informational interview started, I fumbled through my questions.  The conversation was rigid, forced and awkward silences made up the majority of the time. At the end of every informational…

5 Onboarding Steps For PhDs That Protect Your New Industry Job

By: Sarah Smith, PhD

Onboarding expert and contributing author Sarah Smith, PhD, shares her company onboarding experience. The day I had been waiting for was finally here. My first day in industry. I had been looking for a job for nearly a year, and this one seemed like a great fit for me. I couldn’t wait to get started…But when I showed up, no one was prepared for me to be there. I had no desk. One of my coworkers seemed very annoyed that they had to find a random table for me to sit at. I didn’t have a computer either. I was…

Recessions Are Tough - 3 Ways PhDs Can Be Tougher

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Let’s talk about frustration.  I’m talking about the frustration of a rejection in your job search.  Many PhDs are experiencing this kind of frustration in their post-pandemic job search. It’s important for you to understand that Cheeky Scientist has been through this before.  Cheeky Scientist actually came out of the financial crash of 2008 when we were in a recession.  I can tell you firsthand that the mood of the public changes during a recession.  There are fewer jobs.  There’s a greater sense of urgency.  This causes people to get more rejections. And rejection leads to frustration.  So, how can…

7 Video Resume Failures That Make Employers Press “Pause”

By: Sarah Smith, PhD

My very first video resume was embarrassing. At the time, I thought it was pretty good. I had some music going in the background because it seemed like a way to add personality. Bad idea. After reviewing my recording, I noticed there was also a dog barking somewhere in the background. On top of that, the lighting wasn’t very good in the room where I filmed myself. I had shadows on my face, and it made my eyes look a little sunken… However, this seemed fine to me – after all, I was applying for a PhD-level position not a…

5 Ways To Protect Your Informational Interview And Get A Job Referral

By: Aditya Sharma, PhD

The world is your canvas. What does that even mean? I was a PhD looking for an industry job, and that was the kind of advice I used to get. But this one I really struggled with: You’re a PhD – you can do anything. Hearing this sentiment over and over again was not empowering for me, but infuriating. Why? Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Sure, I could do anything…  But that still left me very lost. The tide shifted when I discovered informational interviews. An informational interview is when you contact a stranger and ask…

You're a PhD Who Revealed Your Salary. You Won't Like What Happens Next...

By: Sarah Smith, PhD

Your salary should always remain a secret from interviewers and potential employers. Contributing author Sarah Smith, PhD, explains why… And how PhDs can deflect questions about their current salary. After 2 postdocs at 2 different universities, I realized something… I didn’t enjoy what I was doing anymore. The academic career wasn’t what I had envisioned. All I did was sit at a desk and work on my research in isolation. I had lost my passion – my future in academia was painfully limited. So at a networking event, I took a deep breath and awkwardly introduced myself to a prominent…

The Job Was Mine Until These 5 Unexpected R&D Interview Questions

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Undercover Recruiter found that 33% of interviewers take only 90 seconds to determine whether they’ll hire you. As an employer myself these days, I can confirm that sometimes, 90 seconds--or less--really is all it takes This does NOT mean you can drop your guard after the first 5% of the interview! While some interviewers may privately decide to hire you almost right away, it’s still possible that you’ll struggle with a key question and change their mind for the worse. Especially when the questions catch you off guard and you end up looking confused or unprepared. Employers want R&D specialists…

7 Top Job Skills That PhDs Can Leverage To Get Hired Fast

By: Surayya Taranum

The key to making a successful transition to industry is through developing and highlighting your transferable skills. And yes, as a PhD you already have the transferable skills you need for your future career. Now you must learn to leverage these skills to build a career in industry. Your potential employer knows that you have deep technical skills in your field, what they need to see is that you have the ‘soft-skills’ they are looking for in their next hire. You need to show to potential employers that you are a well-rounded individual with the transferable skills needed to be…

5 Ways PhDs Sabotage Their Own Job Interviews

By: Sarah Smith, PhD

If you’ve been selected for an interview, the employer knows you have the skills to do the job. But the interview is the last step - the point where they weed out candidates they don’t want. It’s your final opportunity to shine, so look at your interview strategy. Is it time to change things up?

What The 'Flow' Of Your PhD Level Interview Process Will Look Like In Industry

By: Aditya Sharma, PhD

Hiring is up. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been for 50 years and according to Execu-Search 55% of candidates were interviewing for more than one position at a time. This means that you, as a job seeker, have power to leverage in your job search. This is especially true because you are a PhD. You should be going on multiple interviews, getting multiple offers and then choosing the job that is the best fit for you. Data from Express Employment Professionals show that 42% of job applicants rejected a job offer because it was not the perfect…

5 Ways PhDs Sabotage Interviews & Lose Out On Job Opportunities

By: Aditya Sharma, PhD

In the current market, hiring is way up. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been for 50 years and according to Execu-Search 55% of candidates were interviewing for more than one position at a time. It is a candidate driven market. But, those hiring managers are still making the choice about whether or not to hire you. Once you are at the interview it’s your chance to prove that you are a great person to work with. They know you are qualified, that’s why you are at the interview, what the don’t know is whether you will be…

Use This 5-Part Job Search Strategy To Get Multiple Industry Job Interviews And Job Offers As A PhD

By: Pierre-Antoine Crassous, PhD

No one is coming to knock on the door of your lab and offer you a job. Getting a job requires strategy. Large companies, like Google, Microsoft, Pfizer, etc get 1,000s of applications per job opening. If you are relying on luck to make you the 1:1,000 that gets hired, you are going to be waiting a long time. Instead, you should be strategic. Realize that, according to JobScan, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking software to screen resumes. And understand that employers care more about your soft skills than they do about your specific technical skills. Inside…