I would like to know your views from the people who have got postdoc position after interview. This mostly includes people who applied for advertized positions and also those who got the position through some contact and contacting supervisor directly etc.
I am doing my first postdoc in Materials Engineering now which I have got after long and stressful job search (actually it is second one , the first one lasted for only 6 months). I am looking for another postdoc position now. Through my job search I had many interviews and got rejected at several places. I am wondering how much importance does hiring committee give to interviews. I have got shortlisted at so many places but didn't get position finally. Many positions were so close to my research, I get shortlisted for interview but not finally selected. I feel that I can not provide full explanation of my related experience during the interview. The questions keep coming and I later feel that I could not tell them many things which were related to the job position. They don't even ask to elaborate much about it. So, in the final decision to hire someone, do committee take into consideration your CV and interview together? Or once they have shortlisted candidates, they decide based on only interview, how well one told them about all the research experience and skills they were looking for? Also, how important is it to tell in interviews in detail about the particular technique when they ask about the experience of that technique. Should I tell them the steps, I did this, I did that? I have been mostly telling them that I have experience of this technique and these materials. Do they naturally expect that I should tell them all the details of how I did that? Lately, I have been feeling that they select the candidate based on only interview once they have shortlisted. They would not go again to your CV and publications to check what kind of research you have done. what techniques you have used and in how much detail you have used it.
Good question. I'm having my first interview ever the day after tomorrow. Would be great if we have more stories/experiences shared here on how to get a post-doc.
A Professor friend of mine told me that in many cases for postdoc positions, they already have someone in mind - usually a PhD student who has been working with them. Not always of course, but it is often the case.
I'm going to be in your positions very shortly, so I just hope I can find one where someone doesn't already have it in the bag.
Good luck to you both.
I would assume if they wanted you to say more about a technique they would ask you to expand on your answer while you're being interviewed unless they were bad interviewers! So I wouldn't over analyse how you did in interviews. It might just be bad luck so far, competition is high and positions are sparse. But I hope you have some luck soon!
You're absolutely right. In my research group 2 guys were offered post doc positions immediately after viva. A PhD colleague currently in his 2nd year has also been promised a post doc position upon completion. The university/research group is obliged advertise (to fulfil government regulations or conditions set by research funders) for those positions even when the Professor/PI knows very well that he has someone in mind.
We have a new post doc in group and I asked him how he got the post, he told he attended a conference and after he made his presentation, a Professor approached and asked him to apply for a soon to be advertised position. When the post was advertised, the guy applied and the interview was just a formality
@ TheEngineer…To my experience for most of the advertised postdoc positions, the prof usually have someone in mind.One reason for this could be that because these postdocs jobs are short term, the profs usually want to get someone that they know or work with before so they can maximize their research output.
Thanks every one. What would you suggest for someone who does not have many contacts?
I think it's more about how well you come across in interviews ie how 'likeable' you are, how well you will fit in to the research group. Assuming you have the technical experience they are looking for of course, and no other candidate in mind, and they like your supervisors. Just keep trying. I reckon they would double check your CV again
Thanks all for the replies. I don't have any contacts to get the position. Whatever I had, I had tried them all but in my experience for myself in my field, no one gave me position by asking or though contacts. Whatever interviews I had till now, I got them all by applying to advertized positions. It really seems like these interviews are all show off. The point many of you have made that they already have someone in mind seems very true. For one of the interviews recently, they first had interview with me on skype. They ahd a committee of 7-8 people, the project leader seemed very positive. Then they called me even for campus interview where they seemed even more positive and everything looked like they were going to offer me the position. And then, they did not contact me at all. I had to ask them for the result few times. And then they replied that position had been offered to some internal candidate. What the hell ! This is really frustrating to get rejected at positions where you are a perfect match. It dents your confidence a lot. I have PhD degree from high ranked university, six first author publications , 2 more first author publications coming soon, but nothing seems to work !
I think you should be happy they interviewed you and it is a good sign they even invited you for an on-site interview. It means you were considered as a highly qualified applicant. So it is just a matter of luck which can be resolved by keep trying. So Keep trying and good luck!
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