My current contract is close to expiring and I've been applying for new Postdoc jobs, so far I've had 3 interviews, 2 of which when ok (although I didn't get the jobs), and the last one which was a nightmare which has really hit my confidence, where several things came back to haunt me. My current position is with my PhD supervisor so I didn't need to apply for it.
The application form required details of all qualifications from GSCE onwards, my results at A-Level were very poor and raised questions as to why someone with my subsequent qualifications had done so poorly at A-Level and how I had gone on to even go to university in the first place. My explanation was that there were a number of factors as to why I did so poorly which included the teacher failing to teach part of the syllabus, personal reasons (illness and death of a close family member) and the main reason being me not really having good enough study skills or working hard enough. I said that I felt by being offered a place at University I was given a second chance and I worked extra hard and developed better skills which have helped me achieve my degrees and PhD.
The second thing I was pulled up on was my publication list, he took offence at me listing a conference proceeding as a journal article, and he suggested I was being devious. I explained myself by saying that the article was submitted to a special edition of a journal but had to conform to the same regulations as other regular articles, so I considered it to be of equal merit, I thought this made it's classification quite subjective, and that I was not attempting to mislead them at most I was a little naive.
I was informed a few days later that I hadn't got the job, when I asked for feedback they flagged these issues. :-( Although the responses to these questions were off the cuff, having thought about them I'm not sure I would do much different if I faced similar questions in future. But I am now becoming nervous about how to present some of these things in future applications. Any advice?
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