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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 who can manage their time effectively and work independently. They want problem solvers, and they want to know what kind of scientist you are when crunch time arrives. Any scientist can work under smooth conditions. Industry employers want a researcher who knows how to manage inevitable failures and turn dead ends into doorways. Bloomberg research indicates that among industry employers, the most desired traits in job candidates include strategic thinking, leadership skills, communication skills, analytical thinking, and creative problem solving. So what does this mean for PhDs? Specifically, what does it mean for R&D hopefuls heading into their on-site interviews?

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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 successful in their company.

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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?

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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 fit. Don’t be afraid to reject an offer if it’s not right for you. It’s normal. Both you and the employer are making a huge investment when you join the company. Harvard Business Review reported that on average a company will spend $4,129 on hiring per job. The company wants to know that you are the right fit, so you will likely have several interviews with one company. There will be as many touch points as possible to assess whether you are the right candidate for the job. So you need to be ready.

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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 a good fit for the company. A Jobvite survey found that 49% hiring managers rated conversational skills as most likely to influence hiring decision at an in person interview, reported by Devskiller. Hiring managers are placing your ability to have a conversation and communicate as a key factor is whether or not they hire you. The employer is thinking well beyond your technical skills once you are at an interview and you need to realize this. How are you preparing to shine at your next interview?

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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 Higher Education reported that the most in demand skills according to employers were, listening skills (74%), attention to detail (40%) and effective communication (69%). You need to be taking all this information, and more, into account when crafting your job search strategy.

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As a PhD is it’s difficult to let go of thinking that your technical skills are the most valuable thing you will bring to an organization. But, you need to realize that your transferable skills are what will be the deciding factor in whether you get hired or not. A recent survey by Yoh, found that 75% of Americans would hire someone who had the right soft skills but lacked the technical skills required for the position. Companies are more concerned about how you will fit into the culture of the organization than they are about the technical skills you already have. They can easily teach you technical skills, but teaching you soft skills is much harder. Businesses are going to hire people who have the transferable skills they want, and the data supports this. For example, LinkedIn found that 57% of leaders reported that soft skills are more important than hard skills. If you are not communicating your transferable skills during your job search employers are not going to see how valuable you are.

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From the moment you enter the grounds of the company, your interview has begun. Everything from the way you act to the way you are dressed will factor into the hiring decision. And you don’t get a second chance. According to an article published in Psychological Science, people decide if someone is trustworthy within 100ms. So the way you present yourself the very first time you meet someone is of the utmost importance.

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You are being judged from the moment an employer learns about you as a potential candidate. Before they even speak to you, they will check your resume and your online profiles. But you are a PhD, so you look great on paper. You are highly qualified and skilled. But, the interview is the key next step, because employers don’t want to hire you just based on your skills, they need to know that you will work well at their company. And according to Undercover Recruiter, 33% of bosses know within 90 seconds of an interview if they are going to hire someone or not. You must be ready as soon as you set foot onto the company’s property. They will immediately start to evaluate your fit for the company culture.

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In the past few years, the global life science and healthcare industry has experienced significant changes brought about by technical breakthroughs such as CRISPR or implementation of artificial intelligence (AI). According to a report by the consulting firm, Deloitte, at the end of 2015 total global health care spending was US$ 7 trillion. This is expected to grow to US$ 8.7 trillion by 2020. Some of the key factors driving this noticeable growth include: increased life expectancy resulting in higher percentage of an aging population, growth in the healthcare market in emerging economies, and the introduction of more advanced medical technologies. This represents opportunities of growth as well as new challenges for major players in the life science sector.

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Your technical skills as a PhD might get you in the door for an interview or a phone screen, but it’s not enough to get you hired. To be the one candidate who gets hired, you must have a solid understanding of business. Business intelligence was on the top 20 list of in-demand skills (LinkedIn). When companies have a pool of talented job candidates, having a solid understanding of business can make you the top candidate. 41% of Chief Human Resources Officers cited business acumen as the most lacking skill when sourcing new talent (Consultancy UK). And, 65% of business leaders said that a lack of business acumen strongly inhibits the execution of company strategies (BTS). Bottom line, businesses need employees who are business savvy. If you develop strong commercial and business acumen, you can be a great asset to a company. Your PhD makes you a highly desirable candidate. And, a solid business understanding will put you right to the top of the list.

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51% of employees are looking for a new opportunity (Gallup). 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. 72% of CEOs are worried about job candidates not having key skills (Glassdoor). 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. 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 (Undercover Recruiter). It sounds harsh, but it’s true.

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You’ve made it to the in-person interview stage. Now is when you can really shine and show the employers why you are the best candidate, because many of the top skills employers want are difficult to convey on paper. The most sought-after transferable skills are leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management (LinkedIn). The way you perform at your in-person interview can demonstrate whether or not you possess these in-demand skills. The skill you will be able to demonstrate best during an interview is communication. Simple communication mistakes can lead to rejection, where 50% of hiring managers would not hire someone who spoke negatively about past employers and 33% would not hire someone who didn’t give specific examples when answering questions (Careerbuilder). Non-verbal communication can be an opportunity killer too, where the same survey found that not smiling was a huge issue for 44% of hiring managers. At the onsite interview, the evaluation becomes about more than just your skill set.

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The biggest thing to remember is that if you have been invited for an onsite interview, then the company is seriously considering hiring you. So, you need to be seriously prepared for the interview. Only 2% of candidates are called in for an interview (Workopolis). By getting to the interview stage, you have already proven that you are a great candidate and the company has invested in you. So, in your site interview, you need to go above that — you need to impress them further so that investing in you seems like the right choice. Because, hiring is expensive. The average cost to hire a new professional is $7,000 but, depending on the role and company, this cost can increase to $25,000 or more (Berkeley). How will you prove that you are the candidate they should invest in?

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Now is a great time to be on the hunt for a job. According to a recent report by CNBC, for the first time in nearly 20 years, there are more job openings than people who are unemployed. There are 6.7 million job opening and 6.4 million people looking for work. Now, only a very small percentage of those 6.7 million will be competing directly against you, but that still leaves lots of competition. Most companies receive hundreds of applications for a single position, while larger companies can receive thousands. For example, Fast Company reported that in one year, Tesla received nearly 500,000 applications. Companies are picky about who they bring out to a site interview because this is when hiring starts to get expensive. On average, it costs a company about $4,000 to hire a new person, and much of that expense is incurred during the site visit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. A company is investing in you by bringing you out for a site visit, so the pressure is on.

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Humans can produce more than 250,000 postures and more than 1,000 facial expressions (Axtell 1991). So, you want to make sure you are choosing postures in your interview which convey that you are the best candidate for the position because, when it comes to your body language, interviewers can be harsh. If you are slouching, fidgeting, playing with your hair, looking around or conducting any other inappropriate behavior, you can kiss the job opportunity goodbye. Poor body language is often a reason that candidates are rejected, where 67% of interviewers reported rejecting a candidate because they lacked eye contact and 33% rejected a candidate because they were fidgeting (Undercover Recruiter). A further 21% reported rejecting a candidate because they touched their hair or face during the interview. Your body language is very important. If you don’t control your body language, it can ruin your job search. But, if you take the time to learn how to control and leverage your body language in a positive way, it will give you a major advantage over other candidates.

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If you’ve been invited to a phone or video interview, you’ve already beat out most candidates because 98% of candidates are eliminated by the initial resume screen (Workopolis). If someone takes the time to get on a phone call with you, they are demonstrating that you are worth their time. So, you must take your preliminary or screening interview seriously, whether it’s with a hiring manager, a recruiter, or someone else at the company. You must prove that you are a candidate they want to learn more about. As soon as your screening interview begins, you must be ready to “wow” your interviewers. You need to feel confident. The only way to feel confident is to be well prepared. 89% of executives say being unprepared in an interview will keep you from getting hired (Moneyish). But, how should you prepare for a screening interview? Are there other things to prepare for when you know your interview is going to be over the phone or via video chat? Yes. Do not just “wing-it” for your screening interview, or you can kiss the opportunity for an onsite interview and a job offer goodbye.

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75% of companies are using video interviews in their hiring process (The Society For Human Resource Management). And, 56% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that new interview tools are the top trend impacting how they hire (LinkedIn). This includes video interviews — both 2-way and 1-way video interviews. Using video interviews and AI can reduce hiring time from weeks to days, and can reduce the number of pre-hire questions from hundreds to just a handful (Deloitte). Many companies are using the combination of video and AI, by using services such as HireVue, to screen candidates. Video interviews are becoming ubiquitous. They are a part of the majority of recruiting and hiring processes. You must prepare yourself well, so that you can execute video interviews properly.

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Having a child to care for does not mean that you need to put your job search aside. It is also not something that you need to hide. There are companies out there who are family-friendly and will support you as a working parent. But sadly, there are also companies that are not family-friendly. 83% of respondents who had children felt some level of pressure to return to work during their leave (Indeed). But, that leaves 17% of respondents working somewhere that fully and completely supported their parental leave. That’s where you want to aim to work. That is where you will find high levels of job satisfaction. 93% of women who are highly satisfied with their jobs rated their company as being family-friendly (Fairygodboss). Meanwhile, only 41% of women who were not satisfied with their jobs said that their company was family-friendly. Clearly, a family-friendly company is correlated with higher job satisfaction.

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While a phone interview may not seem as important as an in-person interview, very few people actually make it to this stage. 98% of candidates are eliminated by the initial resume screen (Workopolis). If you have earned a phone interview, it means you are in the top pool of candidates. Now, it’s up to you to prove that you deserve to move on to the next step. 49% of interviewers know within 5 minutes if a candidate is a good fit, and only 8% needed longer than 30 minutes to make this judgement (Careerbuilder). So, as soon as your phone interview starts, you need to be at the top of your game. You need to show that you are the right candidate. You need to feel confident. And, that all comes down to being well-prepared.

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As a PhD, you are a leader. You are comfortable leading the way into the unknown — you did this every time you designed and executed a new experiment. The #1 in-demand soft skill, as reported by thousands of industry employers, is leadership (LinkedIn). As a PhD, you are qualified for a management-level position where you will lead. Industry needs leaders like you to take on management roles and move up the corporate ladder into C-suite positions. In North America, only 2% of CEOs have a PhD (Study.Eu). This is ridiculous. PhDs are experts, leaders, and innovators — they are well-suited to the leadership role of CEO. But, Academia leaves PhDs unprepared for their industry job search and their industry interview process. 73% of recruiters said that they have rejected a candidate because they did not prepare well enough for the interview (Global Recruiter). But, how can you make sure you are prepared enough?

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The truth is in the numbers. PhDs need data. You need to know the facts. How else will you make a decision? This is true in the lab and in your job search. Understanding the essential job search statistics is the only way to really know how to execute a successful industry transition. You need to know statistics, such as: 80% of jobs are never advertised, it takes an average of 52 days to fill an open industry position, it can take up to 2 weeks to hear back after an interview, 56% of job offers are rejected, and not negotiating will cost you more than $500,000. Learning the important job search statistics, and executing your job search accordingly, will set you up for a successful industry transition.

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To ace an industry interview, you must not only know what to do during an interview, but also what NOT to do.

Any PhD can craft a successful industry resume. But not every PhD can show up to an interview, make a great first impression, and get a job offer. Too many PhDs blow their first interview by not taking it seriously. The worst thing you can do during a job search is work hard for months (not to mention the years it took to get your PhD) and then mess it all up in the first 90 seconds of meeting an employer. A better strategy is to prepare strenuously for every interview and express yourself exceptionally well during those first few minutes. Here’s what NOT to do during an industry job interview.

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Why are you a good scientist?

Are you an ethical scientist? What could you bring to other companies? Imagine getting these questions in rapid fire succession at the very beginning on an industry interview. How would you answer them? By challenging yourself to think about how you would respond to these and other tough interview questions, you will put yourself ahead of the majority of PhD job candidates who are just winging it and hoping for the best. Here are 6 tough interview questions you should know.

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While preparing your elevator pitch and crafting responses to difficult interview questions is important, the body language you display while you interact in interviews and networking situations is even more important. A sure way to sabotage your job search is to not smile when you meet new people, avoid eye contact, have a weak handshake, fidget, and slouch. Each of these adds up to poor body language and sends the message that you are not qualified and lack confidence. Changing poor body language habits can be difficult but, with practice, you can master your body language and get the job you deserve.

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As a PhD who has spent many years in academia, it is possible to lose sight of your value. But, when you are transitioning from academia to industry, you must reconnect with your value in order to get the pay you deserve. The only way your future employer is going to see your value is if you communicate it to them. Once you know what your skills are worth, negotiate to get the salary to match. Sending the right type of email will help you secure a higher starting salary. Negotiation emails should be polite but direct. Here are 5 email templates, addressing various stages in the negotiation process, to help you reach your salary negotiation goal.

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Academia is designed to keep PhDs in academia. Professional development for industry is seen as irrelevant and a waste of time because you’re just supposed to fall in line with the system and stay where you are. For PhDs who want more out of their careers, the lack of professional development can feel crippling. The reality is that the majority of PhDs leave academia because there’s no future there. Not any fulfilling future that does justice to the hard work you’ve done, at least. Industry-relevant professional development is your responsibility. But it’s not as hard as it seems. Here are seven areas of professional development that will help you round out your transferable skills and be primed for industry success.

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As a PhD, you have countless technical and transferable skills that make you an extremely valuable job candidate. The academic environment can make you feel like your PhD doesn’t hold the value in industry that it actually does. Do not give in to this mentality. Having a PhD is a rare and valuable trait. You are an expert innovator, a master of conflict resolution, and a master of learning. As a PhD, your concern should not be that you may lack value. Your concern should be that others may not understand your immense value, which is why it’s your job to communicate your value to others, including your future industry employers. Here are three ways your PhD makes you more valuable than other job candidates.

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Your value as a PhD stands on its own, and all you want is a chance to prove it by getting in front of the right person. The reality is that you can take the perfect, handcrafted resume to follow up on your diligent networking and personal job referral, and finally land your industry interview with a job you really want… and still blow it. It won’t matter how impressive you look on paper if you show up to your interview dressed inappropriately and looking unprofessional. The impression you give hiring managers when you walk through that door determines how far you’ll go in the hiring process. This guide gives you specific advice on how to create a winning interview wardrobe to get you through to an actual job offer. Here are three elements of appearance to consider…

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We all know the power of first impressions. Everyone has had an experience where a strong first impression was a make it or break it moment. In a competitive industry job market, your resume is your first impression on hiring managers and recruiters, and it holds the power to lead you to success or destroy you in your job search. You need a tailored resume for every job you apply to. You need to perfect it so it creates an unforgettable first impression that makes managers and recruiters want to invite you to an interview and meet you in person. It doesn’t matter how perfect a fit you think you are for the job, if your resume communicates a weak first impression, it’s over. Here are five ways you can construct the right resume to make the best first impression for the industry job you want.

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In the middle of your industry interview, you may be asked to disclose your current salary. Not only is it an uncomfortable question, it’s an inappropriate one — and if you answer, you may reduce your value and your salary offer before you even get a chance to negotiate for what you deserve. The bottom line is, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, disclose your current salary. Doing so will only work against you. Managing the question should revolve around focusing on the value you can provide the company. This will increase your odds of a fair salary negotiation for your industry job. Here are three strategies to use to avoid discussing your current salary during your industry interview.

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Non-STEM PhDs have highly sought after transferable skills for industry jobs that many are not aware of. It is important to recognize and develop the skills you have gained during your PhD and highlight them in your industry job search. Set yourself apart from other job candidates by demonstrating these five transferable skills and you will become even more valuable to recruiters and hiring managers.

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Industry jobs are ripe with opportunity. Whether you move into an industry job with a small company or a large one, there are pros and cons to each one that you need to be aware of before you interview. Both have unique opportunities and a corporate culture that might suit one PhD but not another. Whether you want more focused work or like to wear many hats, the private sector has a job for everyone. Here are five important differences between small and large industry companies.

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Interviewing is the most crucial and time-consuming aspect of the hiring process. You have proven your skills on paper and now your interview preparation is about doing your homework to be able to give the best answers for the hiring team’s questions. The final missing piece that many PhDs miss is coming prepared with their own questions to ask back. The market and your expertise allow you to be selective and assess if this is the best job for you, given your future career aspirations. Go to your next industry interview armed with these 6 questions to land the perfect industry job for you.

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An effective job search strategy has core fundamentals that set apart the best candidates. Learning how to build relationships and communicate effectively with recruiters to build career-long partnerships will give you an advantage in your industry job search. Knowing how to present yourself, your transferable skills, and your career goals to recruiters while avoiding these 5 mistakes will help you get the job you want that much faster.

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PhDs leaving academia often find their first industry interview unnerving. It’s nothing like a postdoc interview. Your resume and published work might have advanced your career in the past, but these items alone will not be enough to get you hired into industry. Top industry recruiters have a predetermined set of guidelines for how PhDs should approach industry interviews. By following these interview preparation tips, you will increase your chances of getting hired into the position of your choice. Here are 7 non-academic interview tips according to top industry recruiters.

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Interviewing for a job you’re really interested in is nerve-wracking. One wrong answer and you can completely fail the interview. The only way to set yourself up for success is by being well-prepared with answers to all the types of questions you will be asked during an industry interview. Being prepared with answers to these questions will not only help you diffuse pre-interview nerves, but also set you apart from every other PhD job candidate.

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Having a job search strategy is the only way a Life Science PhD will be successful in landing a top industry position. Without a strategy, their experience in academia merely translates to an entry-level job working for someone with half their qualifications. Getting a top job in industry means investing in an organized, consistent approach to prove you are worthy of the industry job you deserve. Here are 5 strategies that will help you transition into a top Life Science position in industry.

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Getting an industry interview isn’t easy. When you’re offered an interview, it means you’ve put your resume into the hands of a decision-maker through a referral or through other means. Now, it’s all on you to prove that you’re more than just your achievements on paper. It’s all on you to prove you’re the right person for the job and the right fit for the team. This means performing well during an industry interview and avoiding the 5 biggest industry interview mistakes. Here’s how.

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Being invited to a site visit means you only have one or two other job candidates in between you and getting a job offer. During your site visit, you must convey your valid interest for the position. The only way to do this is to prepare the right questions to ask before, during, and after your interview. Asking the right questions impresses hiring managers and also helps you assess your fit for the position and company. Here’s how.

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Industry interviews are very different from the academic interviews you once prepared for. Technical skills matter very little at the interview stage. Hiring managers are looking for you to demonstrate your critical thinking, communication, interpersonal, organizational and management skills, to name a few. You need to effectively demonstrate these transferable skills while showing that you are both personable and dependable. Most importantly, you must avoid the easily overlooked aspects preventing you from performing well during an industry interview. You must get comfortable with your own voice, practice answering questions aloud in front of others, and more. Here are 3 common mistakes to avoid during your first or next industry interview.

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Job searching requires strategy, self-control and self-motivation in the face of discouragement, setbacks and self-criticism. It’s not an easy process. A recent After College Career Insight Survey found that only 13% of graduate students have a job lined up before graduation while 74% do not have a job lined up at graduation. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota followed and analyzed over 70 job seekers who had high levels of expertise in their fields and found that 51% of them couldn’t face repetitive rejection. Here’s how to manage frustration during your career search and stay motivated long enough to get the job you want.

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Having a PhD does not guarantee you an industry job.

Too many graduate students fall into the trap of talking about their specific research niche when networking and interviewing for non-academic careers. They feel their strong academic record and long list of publications will get them the industry position they want. This is why it’s so easy for biotech and biopharma hiring managers to glaze over your industry resume and say you lack real work experience. It’s your job to show them how your academic experiences have prepared you for industry (even though they likely have not). If you want to get hired fast in competitive job markets, you need to show hiring managers that you are qualified. Not only that, you need to show them you are more qualified than other job candidates. Here’s how.

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Phone and video interviews are growing in popularity among biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies, but they remain very unpopular with PhD interviewees.

Very few people feel completely comfortable getting on the phone with a total stranger. Most of us feel awkward and can’t wait to get it over with. As if this wasn’t enough, add on the stress of trying to get your first industry job. Now, not only are you anxious about talking to a stranger, you’re also stressed about trying to impress the stranger enough to get hired. As the interviewee, you have to be able to quickly assess, within the first few spoken words, the interviewer’s personality and adjust your demeanor accordingly. Here’s how to prepare.

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Meeting someone for the first time activates both your amygdala, which is one of the few areas of the brain that receives information from all your senses at once, and your posterior cingular cortex, which controls your autobiographical memory, emotional memory, and attention. First impressions stick and having good interpersonal skills is the key to making a good first impression. The good news is you can improve your interpersonal skills any time by following a few simple guidelines.

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