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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/12/09
Preparing for a Phone interview
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 8:39 am

The phone message said, “Received an email
from a PI responding to my resume submission.
What should I do next?  I did not expect to
hear back so soon.”

“I will send you the email.  Hopefully, we can
talk.”

The email contained quite a bit of information
describing a lab manager/ researcher position
musts and wants.

This is a position that is of interest for this
young mother as she nears the end of a post-
doc.
We reviewed several essential items and developed
a near term plan.

Review:
   what are the essential needs– opportunity for
relevance, child care, cost of living, minimum
commute time
   is there a good match between musts and wants
for the job and her background– very good match,
even mentioned in the response letter from the PI.
   develop a statement ( specific example)
supporting each item that there is a good match
for in the job description, describe equivalent
transferable skills statements (specific example)
for other “musts”

Need to learn:
  how much does a person in this position make?
  what are the benefits?
  does the institution assist in green card issues?
Check with colleagues and administrators where she
currently works.  BUT DON’T ASK IN THE
PHONE INTERVIEW OR ON-SITE INTERVIEW.
BE PREPARED TO RESPOND IF ASKED THE
QUESTION.
  does anyone have connections at the institution
in the organization where she currently works?
 (follow up with a LinkedIn.com survey.)
  do a detailed literature review before the return
call to develop common interests and show where
you have used or see the importance of published
work.  Have this information available for mention
in the telephone interview.
 
Create an action plan and timeframe
The next steps include a (1)screening interview, (2)
an on-site interview, (3)a job offer and (4)a spousal,
family living arrangement visit. (So you can
anticipate what will be expected from you.)


What questions should be asked that will be helpful
for deciding whether this position is for her and her
family?
- Ask what the next steps are?
- Ask what their time frame is?
- Ask what would be expected from the successful
candidate to do well in the job?
DISPLAY ENTHUSIASM AND INTEREST
- Although they should not be asked in the screening
interview, know what criteria are critical for you and
your family and the questions you need good answers
for– housing, child-care, health care, spousal
relocation, relocation assistance, etc.

Then, plan for the next interaction.  If you can gather
all the information above or have it already, send
an email expressing interest and asking when of a
series of days that are good for you, would the PI
be able to speak with you on the phone.  Provide
a number where you will have good contact and
will not be bothered or interrupted by others.

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