Interview Tips for Industry Jobs
Do you have an interview coming up for an industry position? Here's 3 quick tips to impress the hiring manager.
You went through the standard application process and have an interview coming up. Unfortunately, there's still a couple of other potential candidates on the shortlist. How do you lock in your next PhD industry job and leave a memorable impression?
Just like the resume or cover letter writing process, interviewing is a skill that takes time to perfect. Here's some 3 quick tips that could get you thinking on what you need to brush up on for your next interview.
Know the Product and Market
Although pretty self-explanatory, candidates usually don't spend enough time into researching the company or the market. You may know the general idea of where you're applying and what the company does from a Wikipedia article but so do all the other candidates that are being interviewed.
Take it a step further. Think about the dynamics between the company and the market. What are the main hurdles that the organization is trying to overcome? What is the role of the department you're applying to in this? Most importantly, how is the manager trying to reach these objectives by hiring you?
Think on the Spot
Always rehearse common interview questions beforehand but leave some room for improvisation. The interviewer is probably going to ask a question you're not prepared for. However, don't stress out. If you feel that you're blanking, start explaining your thinking process out loud. Not only does this help collect your thoughts, but it also gives the interviewer an idea into how you think, which is usually more valued than a canned answer.
Have a Crystal Ball Handy
The ability to synthesize where future trends are headed are just as important as the ability to understand what's currently happening in the market. This also makes for great conversation topics, especially near the end of the interview when you're the one asking questions.
Do some preliminary research and make a couple of points on what you think is going to happen with new product developments, scientific research, or competitors changing their strategy. Compared to academia, industry trends are extremely dynamic and require a lot of flexibility from companies if they want to keep up.
Show that you can think outside the box to the interviewer by explaining your best guess and how you came up with it. Remember, that based on the resources you have, you're probably not going to predict the future. After all, they are industry experts and have internal information that the public may not have access to. However, by exploring such topics, you show that you're capable of planning ahead.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this useful as you're looking for PhD jobs in industry and preparing for your next interview.