Transition Report On-Demand

Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

The premier podcast by industry PhDs. With thousands of monthly listeners, the Cheeky Scientist Radio podcast is dedicated to helping PhDs transition into their first or next industry position. Every episode provides leading edge insights on how PhDs can avoid career failure and job search rejections, and instead attract hiring managers and recruiters to get hired into top industry jobs. Recent shows cover industry resumes, LinkedIn profiles, creating a job search strategy, identifying surging career tracks and avoiding dead end career tracks, successfully preparing for and passing phone screens, video interviews and site visits, and much more. This show features top industry PhDs in 50+ different industry positions. Subscribe now and listen.

Episodes

Business Minded Questions To Ask Interviewers

Monday April 4, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains why it’s so important to ask questions during job interviews and gives a list of questions to ask interviewers Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses why you should always take the opportunity to ask questions during a job interviewNext, Isaiah details the types of questions you should askFinally, Isaiah gives a list of questions to ask interviewers From This Week’s Show…  Why You Should Always Ask Questions During A Job Interview The quality of your candidacy for a position in industry is most clearly reflected in the quality of the questions you ask those interviewing you. You must seize the opportunity in every interview to turn the tables on the interviewer. You must become the interviewer yourself by asking questions that engage the other person and showcase your professionalism, business acumen, and overall understanding of the role, the company, and industry itself. Asking questions shows you’ve thought about and are committed to the position at hand. Asking questions also allows you to find out whether the position and company are truly a good fit for you. The Types Of Questions You Should Ask The key here is to ask questions…

How to Answer Using the STAR Technique

Friday April 1, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about the power of using the STAR technique to answer interview questions and each of the components of the answer Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains what the STAR technique is and discusses the first component of the answerNext, Isaiah lists the two next components of the STAR technique and what you should consider when delivering your answerFinally, Isaiah explores the last component of a STAR answer From This Week’s Show…  What Is The STAR Technique The STAR technique is a way to structure an answer to an interviewer’s question. It is highly effective and leaves a great impression with interviewers at any organization, whether the organization is a big corporation or small startup, for-profit or nonprofit company, intergovernmental organization (IGO) or nongovernmental organization (NGO).  When answering an interview question with the STAR method, start your response by describing a specific and relevant situation. You can use an example from your current job, a previous job, education, personal experience, or any relevant event. Always choose a situation that demonstrates your most impressive results and is relevant to the role for which you are being interviewed. This situation should involve a…

How To Prepare For A Site Visit

Wednesday March 30, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains what is the best way to prepare for a site visit, no matter the types of interview you will face Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses the main pieces of information you should find out once your site visit is confirmed Next, Isaiah lists the actions you should take to prepare for your site visit one week in advanceFinally, Isaiah lists the actions you should take a couple of days before the site visit to ensure you are fully prepared From This Week’s Show…  The Basic Information You Need To Prepare For A Site Visit Regardless of which interview types you will be a part of during your site visit, you should prepare extensively by asking the employer specific questions before the interview, researching the company in detail online, and setting up informational interviews with people currently working at the company. Make sure you find out why they are hiring for this position, what the metrics of success are or likely will be for the role, and what the average salary range is for the position (you’ll need this information to comfortably deflect verbal offers and attempts to negotiate onsite…

Mastering Group Dynamics During A Panel Interview

Monday March 28, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains what are panel interviews and discusses what is the best way to navigate them to ensure a a job offer Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah tells what a panel interview is and when are you more likely to have one during the interview processNext, Isaiah gives some good practices that you should follow during a panel interviewFinally, Isaiah points out the best way to close a panel interview to increase your chances of getting a job offer From This Week’s Show…  What Is A Panel Interview During a site visit or a late stage video interview, you may be faced with a panel of interviewers. Panel interviews are done because the company wants as many people as possible to see your face and interact with you before committing to bringing you on board. Best Practices PhDs Should Follow During Panel Interviews Once you are told you will face a panel interview, be sure to ask who will be on the panel so you can research each panelist on Linkedin. During a panel interview itself, make sure you engage with all the interviewers, not just the most outgoing participant. Make sure…

How To Dominate A Video Interview

Friday March 25, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the best way to prepare for a video interview and why the technical aspects are so important Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains the basics of a video interviewNext, Isaiah gives some tips on how to prepare the location where you will take the video interviewFinally, Isaiah goes through some technical considerations that will increase your chances of success From This Week’s Show…  What Are The Basics Of A Video Interview The video interview commonly follows the phone screen and is the next step in the interview process. In this step, you need to consider the technology you will be using, how the interviewers see you, and what you need to do to come across as a professional candidate. One of the biggest keys to executing a video interview successfully is knowing how you look on the other side of the camera. A great way to prepare for this is to ask the company who’s going to interview you, how many people will show up, and where the interview is going to be held. This is a normal question to ask before a video interview or a site visit. You…

The First 90 Seconds Make Or Break Your Interview

Wednesday March 23, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about how the first 90 seconds can make or break an interview and how to prepare so you always give the best first impression Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah lays down some facts that should convince you of the importance of your first impression during a job interviewNext, Isaiah gives some advice on how to prepare ahead of time to give a good first impression every timeFinally, Isaiah discusses how to answer the two questions that get asked during the first 90 seconds of a job interview From This Week’s Show…  The Importance Of The First 90 Seconds Of A Job Interview When it comes to executing an industry interview, a typical interview round can last anywhere from fifteen minutes for a phone screen to forty-five minutes for an individual meeting during a site visit. However, no matter the overall length of the interview round, studies show that the interviewer decides whether or not they will recommend hiring you within the first ninety seconds. The same studies found that 55 percent of your impact comes from the way you dress, act, and walk through the door; therefore, you should prepare…

Academic Values Versus Industry Values

Monday March 21, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses one of the main differences between academia and industry and why you need to adopt an industry mentality to succeed in your job search Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains the differences in timelines between academia and industry and what that means for your job searchNext, Isaiah explores the best way to research a company so you’re always prepared for an interviewFinally, Isaiah talks about one of the worse habits PhDs pick in academia and how it can jeopardize your chances of getting the industry job you deserve From This Week’s Show…  The Difference Between Academia And Industry Values Industry time is not like academic time. Things move much faster. For instance, new job postings receive their first application within two hundred seconds of being posted.  Things move even faster later in the hiring funnel. You must be ready to say “yes” to a phone screen request at a moment’s notice if your dream employer asks if you’re free to talk about your experiences. You must be prepared to reply right away to their LinkedIn message requesting more information about your candidacy. You must be highly responsive with your phone,…

How To Request A Live Informational Interview

Friday March 18, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains what is the best way to ask for an informational interview, ensuring that your connection doesn’t feel pressured Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah presentes the best way to ask for an informational interview without directly asking for oneNext, Isaiah discusses the importance of clarity and politeness when asking for an informational interviewFinally, Isaiah gives a full script you can use to ask fro an informational interview while keeping the intensity of your request low From This Week’s Show…  What Is The Best Way To Ask For An Informational Interview The most important part of an informational interview is how you request one. If your requests are open-ended or intense, the other party will pass or ignore you completely. When requesting an interview in person or by phone or video, always be very clear about how much of the other person’s time you’re going to take. Clarity and politeness are crucial here. Never ask someone for a moment of their time or open-ended questions like, “Do you have time later this week for a short conversation?” And, of course, as I already emphasized, never mention an “informational interview.” Instead, ask for…

Setting Up A Face-To-Face Informational Interview

Wednesday March 16, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of face-to-face informational interviews to secure job referrals Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains the purpose of a face-to-face informational interviewNext, Isaiah discloses the importance of having inside information about jobs that won’t be posted online at your target companyFinally, Isaiah gives some advice on how to set up face-to-face informational interviews to gain access to insider information From This Week’s Show…  What Is The Purpose Of A Face-To-Face Informational Interview The purpose of a face-to-face informational interview is twofold. First, you want to gather intelligence that will help you determine whether a particular company or role is the right fit for you. Second, you want to leverage the informational interview to build rapport with the person you’re talking to and get inside information about jobs that are open at the company, especially jobs that are not yet posted online or never will be posted online.  Industry experts agree that over 80 percent of today’s available jobs are not advertised. Those jobs are not hidden deliberately; they’re not advertised because the ideal internal or external candidate has already been introduced to the hiring manager through a referral. The…

Pivoting A Networking Conversation To Asking For A Referral

Monday March 14, 2022

Join Isaiah as he goes through the last levels of professional intimacy and explains how you can pivot an informational interview to ask for a referral Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses third level of professional intimacy and gives some pointers on how to transition into itNext, Isaiah explores the fourth and final level of professional intimacy and how to make the transition Finally, Isaiah explains why it is so important to pivot the informational interview at the end if you want to ensure a referral From This Week’s Show…  The Third Level Of Professional Intimacy In the previous Transition Report, we talked about navigating the 4 levels of professional intimacy during an informational interview. Now, we will discuss the final two levels. The third level of professional intimacy overall, is termed “How-To Intimacy.” The ideal question to ask at this level is: “How did you get hired into your role in the first place?” After you’ve learned about the fulfilling and challenging aspects of your connection’s role, it’s time to go deeper in the third level of professional intimacy and ask about their professional story and how they transitioned. Pivoting to this third level…

The 4 Levels Of Professional Intimacy

Friday March 11, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about the right way of carrying out an informational interview and introduces the concept of professional intimacy Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains the goal of an informational interview and how this relates to the levels of professional intimacyNext, Isaiah explores the first level of professional intimacy and the questions you should ask at this levelFinally, Isaiah discusses how to transition from the first to the second level of professional intimacy and what questions to ask when you’re there From This Week’s Show…  What Is The Goal Of An Informational Interview The purpose of an informational interview is to elevate the other person’s credibility – the employee that is. You are showing appreciation for their success in industry. They have gone before you and transitioned successfully. They are where you want to be. Act like it. Serve them in the conversation. By doing so, you’ll leave the other person wanting to help you and even work with you in the future. And this all starts by learning to navigate the four levels of professional intimacy correctly. The First Level Of Professional Intimacy The first level of professional intimacy when talking…

How To Reactivate Your Current Network

Wednesday March 9, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about the importance of reactivating your network as you plan your transition Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses the importance of reactivating your network once you decide to transition into industryNext, Isaiah explains how levels of separation work and the opportunities you will gain access to by reaching out to people you already knowFinally, Isaiah gives you tips you can follow to reactivate your network From This Week’s Show…  Why Is It So Important To Reactivate Your Network Reactivating your current network can instantly decrease the degrees of separation between you and professionals in your target companies. Your connection efforts on LinkedIn or otherwise should start by pursuing your own contacts because the people you already know, even if they aren’t in fields of interest to you, can lead you to people who are working at your companies of interest. This includes family, friends, teaching assistants, professors and former employers. In particular, as a PhD, you should work to identify alumni from your current and previous universities to contact as they often take a special interest in “giving back” to fellow alumni (you). It’s been said that there are only…

Which Company Culture Is Right For You

Monday March 7, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of company culture for employers and employees and gives a framework to identify the right culture for you Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why company fit is so important both for employers and employeesNext, Isaiah presents a framework to choose the right company culture Finally, Isaiah gives some advice on how to choose the right option for you based on the framework From This Week’s Show…  Why Is Company Culture Fit Important Company culture is important to employers because employees who fit in with the company culture are not only happier, but more productive as well. When an employee fits in with the culture, they are also much more likely to want to stay with that company for longer, which reduces employee turnover and the associated costs of training new hires. Company culture is important to employees too of course, because the company’s employees are more likely to enjoy work when their needs and values are consistent with their employers. If you work somewhere where the culture is a good fit, you’ll tend to develop better relationships with coworkers and be more productive. On the other hand,…

The 3 Stages Of Getting A Job Referral

Friday March 4, 2022

Join Isaiah as he dissects the right networking strategy to ensure you get a job referral Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses the goal of a networking strategy and points out two common mistakes PhDs make when networkingNext, Isaiah reveals the three steps of his proprietary job referral strategy that will help you navigate the networking process Finally, Isaiah gives some pointers on how to execute the job referral strategy successfully From This Week’s Show…  What Is The Ultimate Goal Of Networking Online The goal of your online networking efforts is to build a professional relationship where the other party feels comfortable enough with you to refer you for a job at their company, or otherwise help you further your efforts to get hired. It is a multiple-step process where every problem is followed by another problem. I have worked with many PhDs who thought they would get hired if only they could finally get a reply after sending a connection request to someone on LinkedIn. But then when these same PhDs finally started getting replies from industry employees and employers, they freaked out. They didn’t know how to keep the conversation going. So, they…

Behavioral And Competency Based Interview Questions

Wednesday March 2, 2022

Join Isaiah as he gives some examples of behavioral and competency based interview questions and helps you prepare to answer them Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah gives some examples of behavioral questions and discusses the best way to answer themNext, Isaiah gives some examples of competency questions and discusses the best way to answer themFinally, Isaiah discusses the last competency question you should explain at any interview round and how to answer it From This Week’s Show…  How To Prepare To Answer Behavioral Questions Behavioral Questions are usually the toughest interview questions for PhDs to answer. Here, the interviewer is seeking to find out how you react to different kinds of situations, especially challenging situations. Behavioral Questions are designed to induce stress and determine how you make decisions under pressure, as well as how you communicate. Examples of Behavioral Questions include: Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with a stressful situation and how you coped with it?Can you tell me about a time when you had to violate your own ethics to get your work done in a previous role?How do you prioritize your work? Can you share an…

Credibility And Opinion Based Interview Questions

Monday February 28, 2022

Join Isaiah as he gives some examples of credibility and opinion based interview questions and helps you prepare to answer them Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains the structure of a typical interview for an industry positionNext, Isaiah gives some examples of credibility questions and discusses the best way to answer themFinally, Isaiah gives some examples of opinion questions and discusses the best way to answer them From This Week’s Show…  The Structure Of A Job Interview Employers typically start their interviews with the more basic question types, i.e., Credibility Questions and Opinion Questions. These employers will spend about five minutes asking Credibility Questions and five to ten minutes asking Opinion Questions. For interviews early in the interview funnel, such as initial phone screens, employers may spend more of the interview time on these types of questions, as much as 50 to 80 percent. The Behavioral and Competency Questions are leveraged more during the later interview stages, including video, panel, and site visit interviews. How To Prepare To Answer Credibility Questions Credibility Questions about your experience and credentials are perhaps the easiest to prepare for because they can be anticipated. One credibility question that is…

What To Expect From A Site Visit

Friday February 25, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses what a site visit is and what is the best way to prepare for it to ensure you get a job offer Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah tells the story of his first site visitNext, Isaiah explains what a site visit is and the types of interviews you can expect to encounterFinally, Isaiah gives some advice that will ensure that you come prepared and ensure the job offer From This Week’s Show…  The Story Of Isaiah’s First Site Visit I got on the plane headed to California for my first site visit. I didn’t know it at the time, but 20 other job candidates were on the 737 headed to the same location as me. When we arrived, there was a large company caravan waiting to pick us up. None of us knew who was applying to which position so the ride was pretty quiet. I was embarrassed too because, unfortunately, I failed to dress professionally for the plane trip. There were two company officials on the caravan welcoming us and now, the first impression of how I looked could never be undone. When we showed up to the company’s…

The 4 Types of Interview Questions All PhDs Are Asked

Wednesday February 23, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the four types of interview questions that PhDs should expect during the interview process so you can set the right expectations Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah talks about why gatekeepers follow a framework of 4 types of interview questions when evaluating job candidatesNext, Isaiah lists the types of interview questions that are relevant for PhD-level positionsFinally, Isaiah gives and explores the structure of a typical interview process so you can set the right expectations and increase your chances of interview success From This Week’s Show…  Why Gatekeepers Follow A Framework When Asking Interview Questions How you answer different types of interview questions will determine whether or not you get hired. Employers ask PhDs 4 key question types in order to gauge their communication skills and their interpersonal skills. These question types are used as a framework for the interviewer to gauge whether or not you’re a good fit for the position. Studies reported in the Human Resource Management Review found that interviewer judgments based on structured interview questions are more predictive of job performance than those from unstructured interviews. Overall, the studies concluded that adding structure to the interview process…

How To Add Value To Others While Networking

Monday February 21, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about his mantra, “Add Value First” (AVF), and why this is so important when it comes to correct networking etiquette Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses why you should always add value first when networking with industry professionalsNext, Isaiah explains the difference between adding value and manipulating a connection to get what you wantFinally, Isaiah lists the most common ways to add value to industry employers From This Week’s Show…  What Is AVF And Why It’s Important My mantra when it comes to networking is to “Add Value First” or AVF. If you want someone to accept your connection request, let alone like you and trust you enough to refer you for a job in industry, you must think about them first and yourself second. This must be done authentically. The Difference Between Manipulating And Adding Value Many PhDs over the years have asked me, “But won’t they know that I’m just being nice to get something?” …Yes, if you’re just being nice to get something. You can’t just add value to capture a referral with no intent in developing a professional relationship. Likewise, you can’t just directly tell an…

How To Quickly Prep For A Phone Screen

Friday February 18, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses what a phone screen is and the steps you need to take to prepare for it Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains what a phone screen is and why it’s importantNext, Isaiah reveals why you always need to be prepared for a phone screenFinally, Isaiah gives you tips to make sure your wow interviewers during this stage of the hiring process From This Week’s Show…  What Is A Phone Screen The first round of the interview process is most commonly done over the phone or through a similar audio only channel. As such, this type of interview is commonly referred to as the phone screen. An employer – typically someone from human resources – has seen your resume or received a referral from your networking contact and now wants to talk to you on the phone to screen you and determine whether or not you should progress to the next step in the interview process. Many PhDs tend to underestimate the importance of the phone screen because it’s the first round of interviews and not technically focused, but remember, if you got to the phone screen, you are among the…