interviewtalks

interviewtalks - Phys 7857 Graduate Seminar How to get a...

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Phys 7857 Graduate Seminar “How to get a job in physics” Today: going on an academic interview Giving scientific talks
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Postdoctoral positions are usually offered without interviewing the candidates. Faculty positions involve an on-campus interview (perhaps after a phone interview). Usually being interviewed means that one has made it to a “short list” of 3-5 candidates from where they will select the one that gets the job. The other candidates are not usually disclosed to you, though there are ways of finding out (e.g. checking online who gave talks in the same timeframe as you did). There also exist various “rumor mills” on the internet: Theoretical Particle Physics http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/rumor/doku.php Experimental Particle Physics http://www.freewebs.com/heprumor/ Nuclear Theory http://www.phys.washington.edu/users/savage/NucRum/NTrumors.html Astro http://cdm.berkeley.edu/doku.php?id=astrophysicsjobs Condensed matter/AMO http://www.freewebs.com/cmamo/index.htm Germanic/Nordic high energy http://members.fortunecity.com/gasdrumor/ UK http://pyweb.swan.ac.uk/~pybl/rumours/
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The interview consists of a 1-3 day visit in which you will have appointments with various faculty members, the department chairperson, the dean of the college. You will give a “colloquium style” talk and have meals with faculty. The meetings have a three-fold purpose: a) The faculty members will try to impress you with their research. b) They would like to learn about you (your research but also your personality). c) You will use them to collect information about the place. You, of course, are more interested in b) and c). It is a good idea to inform yourself about the place. These days it is relatively easy using the web. This will allow you to get out of tight spots in conversation and to appear alive and entrepreneurial rather than naïve and disoriented. Usually you are given a schedule of the visit the day before (either in person or by email). You can use this the night before the interview to brush up especially on details of the faculty members you are going to meet.
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Things people want to know about you: Your research: what is it about? Are you going to be successful and bring good reputation to the department? Are you going to be able to get tenure? Are you going to be able to get funded, establish a research group, publish frequently? You should practice a little speech to have ready answering all of these questions implicitly. Prepare a couple of versions, one for people closer to your area of research and another for people more distant. If you are meeting a dean that is not a physicist, you should think about what to say there as well. People also will be gauging what kind of colleague you are going to be. Are you going to be a team player that helps shoulder the burdens of running a department? Are you going to be a nuisance at faculty meetings?
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interviewtalks - Phys 7857 Graduate Seminar How to get a...

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