Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Give me a call!

So, it's been just over a week since I sent an initial batch of postdoc applications. To date, I heard back from all but one lab... my travel plans are all arranged for visits to 2 labs, and I have tentative dates for visits to one other so far... and, I have a phone interview scheduled for this week. I don't think I've ever done a phone interview before. To be honest, I'm already getting nervous about it. I think I'm a good communicator, but sometimes have trouble reading someone's reaction over the phone. I really miss the visual cues that come from sitting across from someone during the discussion. I suppose the usual questions will be asked : something along the lines of why are you interested in this lab? What would you like to work on? What scientific questions most interest you? and also probably something along the lines of, tell me more about yourself... How much can you prepare for these kinds of interviews? I guess about the same as any others. I'll have another read through some of the most recent papers, the lab website, make my list of questions, and sit by the phone. I have to find a place to hold the interview. I'm hoping that a friend might lend me hir office space, because I just don't imagine this is the kind of thing I want to do in the middle of the lab... any tips?


  1. I'd practice my answer to the 'tell me about yourself' question. People seem to like that one as a warm up and it can set the tone of the conversation. It's harder on the phone - in person it's easier to get cues on how you're doing - but I like questions about lab dynamics, collaborative opportunities, seminar schedules (because I'm obviously very interested in working with others and learning stuff!). You'll be great - if you have a sense of what factors will influence your decision and get a sense of those, all will be well. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the tips post-doc. I'll see if husband will practice with me a bit tonight already

  3. I recently had a phone interview for a postdoc position. I sent the PI a series of slides about my research before the interview so that they would be able to follow along when I discussed my thesis research. I also got standard interview questions-- what's the most difficult problem you've encountered in lab and how did you deal with it? How do you handle stress? Why did you choose this lab? I was able to use our office phone which is in a separate office from the student desks; I would encourage you to find a quiet spot to have the interview. It's stressful enough without worrying about people interrupting/loud noises/etc. You'll be fine! Good luck!