Interviewing for a job with a PhD

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In summary: What I found is that it really doesn't matter what you do or how you do it as long as you can communicate your ideas to others in a way they can understand. So if you have something to say that you feel passionate about, go for it.In summary, it really depends on the position you're applying for. If you have a talk about your work experience, be upfront about it and offer to give a presentation on something else.
  • #1
RandomGuy88
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I have a quick question about what is generally expected during an interview for a position in industry when you have a PhD. When applying for my first industry job out of grad school I gave a presentation about my work as a PhD candidate during the interview. Is this sort of presentation expected for future job interviews? I ask because the work I have done in my first job is proprietary so I cannot give the same type of presentation as I did right out of grad school.
 
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  • #2
It really depends on the position you're applying for.

If you are in such a situation where you can't disclose the work you've been doing, but have to give a talk, be upfront about that and offer to give a presentation on either your PhD work, or something else you're interested in. Often, the point of such presentations in an interview is to assess your presentation skills.
 
  • #3
I've known interviews to go in different directions. No one is going to have gas if you can't talk about something you did due to non-disclosures.
 
  • #4
I have interviewed successfully for several jobs requiring PhD's. In the three successes I tailored my presentation to fit the job requirements.

For example during the on site interview process at Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), I was given a tour of the entire facility where I could question other scientists and engineers. I also had personal interviews with most of the principle researchers where I learned even more about the goals and conduct of the laboratories, how experiments are structured and funded, what data and resources could be shared, etc.

By the time I gave my presentation to the staff I had (mentally) tailored my talk to the needs and requirements of the laboratory. The Q&A following my lecture became a brainstorming session where we modified a computer network I had help design while at NASA to a lower budget series of shared networks suitable to the different research environment. I was able to judge from the earlier interviews the subjects of most interest. When I began work at SRI we essentially implemented the networks outlined in my talk with excellent results.

Not to sound manipulative but professional, by listening closely during numerous interviews I was able to pitch my lecture to the audience level. Parts of the presentation reached the computer science PhD's with appropriate explanations for mathematicians and linguists. I found that clear concise English coupled with clean white board diagrams made for a successful lecture. In a nutshell: adapt to the environment.
 
  • #5
When I interviewed for my current position,I dug out my PhD defense presentation because I worked proprietary programs throughout my intervening work history, they didn't care, they just wanted to know if I could speak in front of an audience.
 

Related to Interviewing for a job with a PhD

What type of questions can I expect during a job interview for a PhD position?

During a job interview for a PhD position, you can expect to be asked a combination of technical and behavioral questions. These may include questions about your research experience, your knowledge in your field of study, your problem-solving skills, and your ability to work in a team.

How should I prepare for a job interview for a PhD position?

To prepare for a job interview for a PhD position, you should research the company and the specific job position you are applying for. You should also review your research experience and be prepared to discuss your skills and achievements. It is also important to practice answering common interview questions and be familiar with your own research projects.

What should I wear to a job interview for a PhD position?

You should dress professionally for a job interview for a PhD position. This typically means wearing a suit or business attire. However, it is also important to consider the culture of the company you are interviewing with. If the company has a more casual dress code, you may want to dress accordingly.

What qualities do employers look for in a candidate during a job interview for a PhD position?

Employers are looking for candidates who have a strong research background, good problem-solving skills, and the ability to work independently and in a team. They also value candidates who have excellent communication and time management skills, as well as a passion for their field of study.

How can I stand out during a job interview for a PhD position?

To stand out during a job interview for a PhD position, you should highlight your unique research experience and skills. You should also demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your field of study. Additionally, asking thoughtful questions and showing interest in the company and the position can also help you stand out to potential employers.

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