Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spotlight on Careers - Request for Feedback on Interview Questions

Dear Readers,

In 2013-14, we plan to provide a series of ~50 blog posts highlighting the full range of career routes that astronomers pursue after their degree. Thank you to all our readers who provided great recommendations for people we should contact!

If you have additional recommendations, please email me at l-trouille [at] with the person's name and email address. We are especially interested in highlighting women, but are open to all suggestions.

We are now in the process of compiling questions to ask our interviewees. We would greatly appreciate your feedback on these questions and additional questions you recommend we include. 

  1. What is your current job title and company/organization? 
  2. Where are you based? (Please include city, state, and country.)
  3. What was your last academic position before switching fields of work (i.e. masters/PhD student, first/second post-doc, etc.)? 
  4. What has been your career path since you completed your degree? (Including intermediate steps you may have taken along the way).
  5. What were the most important factors that led you to leave academia? 
  6. What was your age at the time you made your first career change? Your most recent career change? 
  7. What have been particularly valuable skills for your current job that you gained through completing your degree?
  8. What additional training did you complete in order to be able to perform your new duties?
  9. What qualifications were necessary for obtaining your current position?
  10. What advice do you think faculty advisors need to be giving their students?
  11. How many hours a week do you work? 
  12. What is your salary range (i.e., between $40K-50K)?
  13. What is your level of satisfaction with your current job?
  14. What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job? Least? 
  15. What do you enjoy most about your working environment? Least?
  16. What opportunities does your job provide to be creative and/or to take initiative?
  17. What advice do you have for work-life balance (including having a family)?

Additional Yes/No Questions:

  1. Can we include your contact info in the blog post for people who might want to contact you directly about your specific career route? 
  2. Are you interested in working with the AAS Employment Committee on creating formal ties between your company or your field and the astronomy community? (This could come in a range of flavors -- advertising jobs through the job register, having astronomer-specific calls for jobs, creating internships for astronomers at your company, … other examples??) 

Final note: Readers, check out these Jobs for Astronomers Networking Groups: