Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Tis the Season: Job Interview Resources & Advice


With phone and campus interview season underway, I thought it would be useful to compile CSWA, AstroBetter, and other site's advice and resources.

If you know of other useful resources or have additional advice, please add a comment. The more we know, the better prepared we can be! 

Before I get to the list of links (see below), first some advice from my father :-)

  • Why Laura or David, rather than Peter or Mary? Highlight your strengths. Assume you and the others selected for the interview are all about equal on paper -- what sets you apart? What’s unique and great about you? Don’t be shy about stating these strengths, but find a way to say them so it's natural to your voice.
  • What can you say to them so that they will remember you (in a positive way) over the other 10 candidates and tip the balance in your favor? 
  • Focus on the positive. 
  • Have a clear set of reasons for why you specifically are a good 'fit' for the department and the University. 
  • Do your homework. Bring up the Department's strengths and how you can enhance those in particular. Relate your research directly to the interviewers, if possible, or work their research into the conversation. People remember this, take it as a sign that you're serious, and, well, everyone likes to hear how great they are. 
  • Be ready to handle questions about potential weaknesses in your application. 
  • Be yourself and get a good night's sleep beforehand.
  • Specific to phone interviews:
    • Create specific talking points for questions that are likely to come up. Write these on notecards as short bullet-points to use as prompts. 
    • If you can, walk around during the phone call to keep your voice energized.
Interview Advice & Resources:
Campus Visit Advice:
Negotiation Advice:
http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2012/11/negotiation-is-dialogue-compiled-advice.html

Advice on Dealing with Rejection:
http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2012/03/guest-post-dealing-with-rejection-by.html

General Job Hunting Advice:

3 comments:

Maryam said...

Thanks for compiling all these resources! I've been also getting a lot of questions by junior astronomers/friends and it's great to also point them to this nice compilation.

Maryam said...

Thanks for compiling all these great resources. I've been getting questions/inquiries by junior astronomers/friends and it's great to also point them to this nice compilation. Thanks for all the efforts!

Jobulo said...

Lots of good advice on the links here and some valuable points made by your Dad too! Focusing on the positive and ensuring you stand-out among the other job candidates are some themes we have discovered that feature very highly on the list of things employers are looking for.

Although not strictly related to Astronomy we recently questioned several employers on what they look for in job interviews and compiled a list of 10 Tried and Tested ways to prepare for an interview, check out the information here - http://www.jobulo.com/advice-articles/10-tried-tested-ways-prepare-job-interview/ - I think it would be great if you could add our page to your list of resources as the points made are relevant for any industry. Good luck to anyone going for a job interview!