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Advice for an all day job interview?

  1. Nov 4, 2011 #1

    Ryan_m_b

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    I have a job interview on Monday that is scheduled to last 9-5. It is for working on a research project for a bioartificial liver, the job roles will be a mix between conducting research and helping run the lab. I'm OK on the science side of things and I consider myself great at interviews but I've never done an all day one before. Has anyone ever done one? What kind of things might they entail? Lastly any advice?

    Considering the horrific job prospects for people my age in the UK at the moment (and the really interesting nature of the job) I'm keen to get it so would appreciate any input!
     
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  3. Nov 4, 2011 #2

    D H

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    We do all day interviews. We start with individual interviews, then the interviewee gets to do some kind of presentation, then lunch, the lab tours. Keep your game face on all day long, including lunch. Candidates have screwed themselves out of a job just based on lunch. Be able to ask why you want to work at that company. How did you find out about them? What do you know about them? Show that you know your stuff. Some doofus of an interviewer is going to ask trick questions. Be ready for them. During the lab tours or equivalent, show interest in what they are doing and ask pertinent questions.

    Also take the time to find out if you really do want to work at that company. They are going to spend the time finding out if you truly are a good match for them. You should spend some of your time finding out if they truly are they a good match for you. (But in this economy any company that is willing to hire you is probably a good match.)
     
  4. Nov 4, 2011 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Cheers D H, that sounds good. It's definitely a place I want to work for, I'm currently spending my time reading all about what they've done and what research they plan to do (as well as reading around the field). Asking questions is good advice, I'll try to come up with some in advance :smile: thanks
     
  5. Nov 4, 2011 #4

    AlephZero

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    If several candidates are being interviewed on the same day, there might be a group activity involved (e.g a problem solving task, or a simulated meeting to reach a conclusion about something where the individuals are "briefed" with conflicting information). This might be observed "live", and/or video recorded. If so, you score the most points for making relevant constructive input - i.e. quality not quantity.

    Another tip: if a "general" question about something occurs to you (as opposed to a specific detail about what is in front of you at the time), don't necessarily use it straight away. It might be useful for keeping the conversation alive over lunch, coffee breaks, etc.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2011 #5
    Don't bump into the furniture.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  7. Nov 4, 2011 #6

    lisab

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    And if you do, don't apologize to it.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2011 #7

    Monique

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    Same here, you will probably get to talk one-on-one to the group members. Ask lots of questions and radiate positive energy, be interested in each and every project description that you will have to listen to :smile: Ask what people consider the best quality of the lab and what they like to see improved.

    I've interviewed people who would be completely mute during the meeting and and the end would say "I really like the research", that doesn't show interest.
     
  9. Nov 5, 2011 #8
    I was going to say, "be sure to ask poignant questions," but Monique beat me to it. I wouldn't ask a ton of questions, though. Watch, listen, observe, and see if you can't figure out things on the fly. Do ask pertinent questions to fill in the gabs. Also, if you have an idea, ask a leading questions, such as "is there a reason you batch process that solution instead of stream-mixing it?"
     
  10. Nov 5, 2011 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    Thanks everyone :biggrin: now everybody keep your fingers crossed (or whatever your cultural version of gathering good luck is)
     
  11. Nov 5, 2011 #10
    Take every chance to use the lavatory.
     
  12. Nov 5, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    Well, everything I would have suggested has already been said. At AT&T they had a 2 day assessment. By lunch of the first day, one woman was doubled over in her chair and rocking back and forth, they had to send her home. Nerve wracking but fun in retrospect. It was a group of contenders and a group of 'assesors'. The end of the second day, we each ended by giving a presentation to the entire group that was an assessment of our performance. That was probably the hardest.

    Just remember every other candidate is just as concerned and nervous as you, if not more. You'll do great, I know it!
     
  13. Nov 5, 2011 #12
    bring cash for lunch. Bring lots. Don't want to get caught short. Bring singles for vending machines, just in case. Eat light though. Don't drink too much in the morning, you wouldn't want to have to pee all day. Bring a notebook to take notes on, and a pen. Dress appropriately for the lab so you can get your hands on if they offer or ask. Dress warm enough, but also cool enough.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2011 #13

    Evo

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    Eat a light breakfast, one that will give you energy and not put you to sleep. Also, bring aspirin, or whatever you take for a headache. This is important. If you have allergies, bring whatever you take, as well as an anti-diarheal. Trust me on this!.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2011 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    These are good tips, I probably wouldn't have thought about the basics like not drinking to much and would have drank tea at all opportunities. Cheers for the pills advice too :smile: I'll stock up.
     
  16. Nov 5, 2011 #15

    D H

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    Seriously? If I interviewed at a company that had me pay for lunch, that would be a very serious strike against them. Interviews are a two way street. While the employer is trying to find out if the candidate truly is worthy of a job offer, the candidates should be trying to find out if they truly do want to work for that employer.

    Working for a cheap employer is not fun. Do you really want to work with ten year old, bottom of the line equipment, have every request for software be treated like you are stealing from the company? Signs of cheapness are something for which a candidate a high-skilled technical job should be watchful. Peek into the employees' offices or cubes. How many people per office? How modern/powerful do their computers look? What kinds of lab equipment do they have? How the potential employer treats you if you are traveling from out of town can also be a clue as to how they will treat you once you are an employee. For example, if the employer puts you up at a hotel that advertises hourly rates, run.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2011 #16

    Evo

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    LOL! I would assume lunch, snacks, and beverages would all be supplied. My experience is that they usually have a nice restaurant cater to save time and allow a more leisurely lunch (if it's a group assessment). If it's a job interview "trying to impress you meal", then they will take you to a nice restaurant for dinner and drinks in the evening.

    They should supply paper, pens, pencils, if not a nice leather portfolio with the company logo for you to keep. (I have a nice collection now)

    But if you're not sure you can bring a writing portfolio. Women have it easy, they can carry a professional looking purse/briefcase to have everything imaginable with them and not look obvious.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  18. Nov 5, 2011 #17

    Monique

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    Same here, we always took applicants out to lunch with a small group of people to create an informal atmosphere. I once had a lunch with the entire research group, which was very uncomfortable: nobody was speaking and everyone was looking at me. That was a bit weird, but overall the lunches have always been the most fun part of the interview process. I did always bring snacks and a bottle of water along, better safe than sorry.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2011 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    They didn't specify anything more than drinks and refreshments provided so I'll take both cash and a packed lunch just in case. If they provide lunch then I've got something to eat on the commute home and if not I haven't lost anything.

    I'm hoping it will be a smaller group, I'm hoping for the nice informal atmosphere you describe Monique.
     
  20. Nov 5, 2011 #19

    Astronuc

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    This reflects much the same experience I've had being interviewed for my first and second jobs in industry, and then being part of the process of interview prospective employees. Usually, the company provides lunch.

    In my first job, I was asked to bring samples of my writing. For new hires, we look for publications.

    In the quote, I bolded key areas. Why does one want to work for the particular employer? What does one have to offer in terms of experience and knowledge - knowledge of the field/research and industry or R&D sector?

    I've been disappointed by some students who come across as clueless or incurious about the field and the industry. When I was in university, I'd read trade journals in addition to scientific journals in order to understand the areas of concern in R&D/industry. Being able to cite relevant issues and potential solutions or insights in one's field or in the industry is a huge bonus.

    I'd also echo the practical aspects mentioned by ArcanaNoir and Evo, although not necessarily the details. The bottom line is - 'be prepared' - and demonstrate resourcefullness.

    I was fortunate in my first job to have had experience with a particular computer code for which the company with which I was interviewing was desparate need of someone who know how to run the code. I also had some unique experience with other similar codes, and I could readily discuss particular and general aspects of the software and its application. My first job actually lead to my second job.
     
  21. Nov 5, 2011 #20

    Monique

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    Same here! I would ask "so, why are you interested in our group". I've had students applying for a PhD-position say "I don't know, I just need a job". How clueless can one be? At least that made the selection process really easy.
     
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