Good Morning Job Seekers! Anyone currently applying for post docs....


Hello everyone! :-)

I don't think I have ever started a thread on here so i'm bit nervous about whether i'll get any replies or not!

I had an interview for a post doc research post a couple of weeks ago and found out recently I have been invited back for a 2nd interview. Obviously super chuffed! But I am now rather nervous as I have never before had to attend a 2nd interview, and am rather stumped as to what to expect.

A Google search comes up with the usual advice, but nothing really 'academic post specific'.

So....I was wondering if any of you guys have ever attended a 2nd interview for an academic/research post, and if so, whether you could offer any words of wisdom.

Any advice would be very much appreciated! And good luck to all fellow post-doc hunters out there on the forum! (up)

We could also use this thread as a general post doc hunters group, so if anyone has had any recent application/interview experiences, it would be great to hear them!

Snelison :-)


Congratulations on your call back! (And congrats on your first thread! :-) )

Have they provided any details about the 2nd interview such as...Will it be one-to-one, or with a panel?...Will you make a presentation, or just talk about yourself? It would be helpful to find out the format ahead of time.

In my experience, with academic posts, you have to give a presentation about your academic work to faculty members and students, and do several private interviews with faculty members. For research posts, it's more like a traditional job interview where you answer questions about your experience.

Asking in advance about how they want you to prepare always makes a good impression.

Avatar for sneaks

I would imagine that they're going to prefer someone REF-able, so big up any publications or prospective publications - its the last minute scramble now for REF entries.

Also try to be confident but not cocky - they don't want to have to hold your hand, but they don't want someone who thinks they're smarter than the top professors either. Just don't be too meek - which is what I usually do - I got my job when I got angry in the interview and started to really tell them what I could do and be confident as I thought I'd messed it up anyway haha!


Hi Guys, thanks so much for replying!

Your story about getting the job when angry is very funny Sneaks! I'm kind of imagining you turned green like the Incredible Hulk and the panel were scared into giving you the job! it is a good point though. looking back on previous interviews for things, i have always been unsuccessful when i have not been at my most confident, but then managed to do well when i have come across as being confident and relaxed in the interview.

in answer to your questions Dalmation, it is going to be a panel, with one of the academics from my frist interview, and then 2 of the centre directors who i havent yet met. the info i was provided with was that it would be just a talk type interview rather then a presentation or anything. i guess the first wave interview was to see who had the relevant experience etc and looked like they were qualified to do the job. i get the feeling now that the 2nd interview is a chance for the directors to decide which if the most well qualified etc candidates they think they could get on with and work well with.

flamin' 'eck! applying for jobs is pretty stressful. i think alot of it comes down to whether panels 'like' you as a person as well as all the other stuff. and that you can't predict!! ;-):-)

Avatar for sneaks

I think it was me being confident about my ambition. I basically went in there with 1 publication, saying I WAS going to publish the others in top journals. One of the panel said "yeah, well how would you know that" in a really sarky way, I got angry, then calmly said "well its very good research!" and then went into a long explanation about the niche area I was looking at :p

Be ready for questions on interdisciplinary work i.e. which other departments could you work with? look up other staff members so you can name drop when they say who you could work with across the same department, think of a 5 year plan of what you want to achieve, if you're going for a job with teaching, revise their NSS ratings and what they're good/poor at.


ha ha! i am liking your work Sneaks!

thanks for the tips...luckily i have been doing some interdisciplinary work over the past few years so should be able to nail that one. as for the publications....i do have a few but none as yet for my PhD work (apart from a Cochrane review but im only 3rd author on that). best try and get a couple of articles out soon! :-)


Hi there! I'm doing a post-doc now that I had two interviews for last year. The first interview was with a panel of four, and they checked my understanding of the subject area, knowledge of research methods/statistics, clinical skills, etc (I'm a research psychologist). I did a 10 minute presentation and the interview was about half an hour on top of that. It wasn't especially difficult but then I had prepared quite thoroughly. The second interview was with the centre director, who had been in the first interview, and an NHS manager who was involved in the project. It was a lot less formal than the first interview- more like a chat about my experience and how it would relate to the position, what I thought would be the difficult parts of the project and how I would overcome such challenges etc. I got the impression that they just wanted to make sure that I was someone they could get on with and who would be able to communicate appropriately and confidently with a vaiety of other NHS professionals. They had a discussion straight after the second interview then called me back in and offered me the job. I don't know if this was a typical second interview or not- it's the only job I have ever had two interviews for! But good luck, let us know how you get on! Best, KB