banner
You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Firefox
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2014 (0)2010 (39)
December (3)

It's not "goodbye," it's...
Friday, December 17, 2010

I can haz music warz?
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two weeks
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
November (10)

Interviews, for reals!
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I get a pdf of this?
Thursday, November 18, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 5: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SfN 2010 Day 3: A video featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN Day 2 (better late than never)
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN 2010, Day 1: a video blog featuring Tideliar and Dr Becca
Saturday, November 13, 2010

30,000 people is not actually that many people
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We have a winner, and a cocktail!
Sunday, November 7, 2010

You. Immortalized. In a cocktail.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time for BANTER!!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
October (8)

Your PowerPoint and You
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Thursday, October 21, 2010

So I have an Interview.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's bribe time
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Research Blogging: The Postpartum Brain
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Business Time
Friday, October 8, 2010

That time I was on TV
Thursday, October 7, 2010

What?! Only 300 thread-count and no robe? Two stars!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
September (5)

SABOTAGE!!!
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let me give you my card
Thursday, September 23, 2010

I gotta have some of your attention, give it to me!
Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Science Enemy
Monday, September 13, 2010

What I wish I knew before...I moved to New York City
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
August (9)July (4)
Rate This Post
Total votes: 2
Blogger Profile

Dr Becca, Ph.D.

Dr Becca can now be found at http://scientopia.org/blogs/drbecca .

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Recent Comments
Comment by marguerite in SABOTAGE!!!

So nice to know I'm not the only paranoid one. :-) But sad to know that sometimes "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean their not after you". :-( **Off to go check prices for tiny cam. . .Read More
Jan 10, 2011, 8:39pm
Comment by Lab Mom in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Best of luck over in your new digs! We'll miss you! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 9:32pm
Comment by JaySeeDub in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Awww...does this mean no ex-scientist restaurant? Google reader has been updated! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 8:41pm
Comment by NatC in It's not "goodbye," it's...

It's been an exciting few weeks for you! Congrats on this (and surviving your first TT interview), I'll definitely be commuting over to continue following your adventures! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 1:07pm
Comment by Tideliar in It's not "goodbye," it's...

Wow! Congratulations Becca! . . .Read More
Dec 17, 2010, 12:37pm
Awesome Stuff
Banner design by Zen Faulkes

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's next Monday.

Now, before you go getting all excited, it's for a 2nd post-doc, not a TT job (I think it's a little early for those. [RIGHT???]). But my plan is to treat it like a TT interview dry run, anyway. I mean, I do have to give a formal talk, and I have a full day of interviews, so I imagine the two aren't wholly un-similar. And dammit, I'm going to prove my worth with the confidence and fervor of someone who's ready to be her own boss, even if she's auditioning not to be her own boss.

This lab--at a Classy Institution in the NY tri-state area--would be really good for me. It's definitely a little outside my comfort zone science-wise, but I think I'd learn a ton and get a new perspective on my own research. Commuting would be a bitch, but...doable.

I got my final itinerary yesterday, and I have to admit I'm a little intimidated--I have nine interviews. Nine! How can any one person be expected to talk that much? In addition to the PI I'd originally contacted, I'm meeting with one of his primary collaborator PIs, as well as seven post-docs from seven different labs in the department, many of whom do research that is WAY outside my sphere of knowledge. I'll be honest, I'm not completely sure what the goal is in scheduling meetings with so many other post-docs--is it for me to ask them about post-doc life in general at their Classy Institution, or does post-doc hiring here take more of a department-wide, by-committee approach? Am I expected to have science-y questions for these post-docs? Yesterday I printed out a recent paper or two from each lab, so I wouldn't go in completely clueless. But how much do I need to prepare?

And more importantly, will there be constant access to coffee and snacks? Because I'm much more of what you'd call a "grazer"--I don't have huge meals, but sort of munch (and sip) throughout the day, which means I'm pretty much always hungry, and very caffeine-addicted. When I don't get my snacks, my stomach growls REALLY loudly, and I'm positive this is going to happen during at least one of my interviews (probably 3 or 4).  J has suggested I keep a stash of Luna Bars in my purse and chomp down when I get a bathroom break. This is not the worst idea I've ever heard.

Who's got other tips for me?

This post has been viewed: 1259 time(s)

Blog Comments

Brian Krueger, PhD
Duke University
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I wouldn't count on food or coffee throughout the day unless they have one of those little Café's you can sneak off to when no one is looking.  And why can't you take a stab at a real TT interview?  You might be surprised, and if it doesn't work out, it'd be great practice :)


Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I was wondering the same thing, Brian. Why do you feel like you need a second postdoc?


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Sorry, I suppose I should have provided a little background, for my new-found LabSpaces fan base! To learn why I need a second post-doc, please see the blogspot site for "There's no crying in science," Part 1 and Part 2.

In short, the grant I've been on is finished, and the other projects going on in my lab are really not my bag. My last day is Dec 15. I'm also applying for TT jobs, and so when interview season for that happens (I think usually Dec-Feb or so), I'll hopefully have some of those, too.

 


Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Ok ... that makes a little more sense!


Jason Goldman
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

w00t! yes, hide snacks in your purse. presumably one of your 9 interviews is over lunch, as well?


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Nope--9 interviews PLUS lunch with the labs!


Doctor Zen
The University of Texas-Pan American
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Don't forget to smile.


Gerty-Z
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

IME, postdoc interviews like you are scheduled for a pretty laid back. We would have postdocs from outside the lab talk to candidates if 1) the other postdoc expressed an interest or 2) we were interested to see how well someone from "outside" the field could interact with others or 3) there just weren't enough folks in the lab at the time and we wanted more feedback. Meeting with 9 people sounds about right. You don't need to worry too much about reading up before hand. Probably, the other postdocs will ask you a question or 2 about your talk, then tell you what they are working on. Then you ask questions. But they don't have to be super-informed. Something like "WoW! I never knew you could slice the heads off the flies to do invertebrate brain proteomics*! Can you actually measure serotonin* levels that way?!" is sufficient. Also, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, this is your time to ask real questions about how the lab is run and how happy the other folks are in the environment to see if it actually would be the kind of place you would like to be.

As for the food, that is hit-or-miss. On many of my postdoc interviews, I was taken down to the coffee bar for our "chat". I am quite a caffeine addict myself, but that was not a problem. If there isn't a coffee bar onsite you may be in trouble. For tt interviews this was much different. NO ONE offered me anything to drink (water or otherwise!), and I was usually expected to talk while others had lunch. I carried water and cliff bars and scarfed when possible.

Good luck and have fun!

 

*I totally made this up, and serotonin is about the only neurotransmitter I know. Also, I realize this question makes no sense. That is sort of the point. If you can be excited about what is going on, and they get the sense that you are interested most people will give you the benefit that you would be able to learn stuff in a new field. Unless you ask the same silly questions over and over, of course Smile


JanedeLartigue
UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I agree with Gerty, it will likely be pretty laid back, and they will be expected to talk to you about their work and you to ask a couple of questions.  I've had a couple of interviews that were like this, in the one for the lab I'm now in everyone had a little presentation prepared to show me what they were working on.  In the other they just wanted to speak to me about what I was interested in, and one of the postdocs actually used her time to give me a 10 minute run down on precisely why I shouldn't go to that lab and why her life was miserable because no one had bothered to tell her the truth, which I really appreciated, everyone else in the lab kind of skirted around the issue without being so blatant.

Definitely take some snacks and water with you and anything you get will be a bonus!

Good luck!


Nat
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Yay! Kick ass!

 

You might not need to worry too much about getting snacks. At the start of meeting with new people, you could always suggest grabbing something. Wouldn't surprise me that most of the people you're would jump at the chance to get a coffee as well. Whenever I talk to post doc candidates, I suggest we start by getting coffee.

 

It allows me to check their all important opinions about coffee. I ain't too fond of those caffeine teetotalers.


Namnezia
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I think as with most postdoc interviews, they are trying to convince you to go their lab rather than the other way around. So use your time with the postdocs to ask a lot of questions about the lab and the environment in that department. Bring backup snax, but it is not inappropriate to suggest to some of the people that you go out and grab a snack or coffee.

Good luck!


27 and a PhD
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

good luck! I agree with everything, but most importantly, don't forget to ask every single question you can think of regarding the ambience, the way they intereact (if they do at all, I've heard horror stories of labs/groups who didn't see each other/talked until someone showed up for an interview .... basically a front to get the intended postdoc to join). Ask about any resources you currently have and like and see if this is similar at their place (lab cores, computers, gym, hell whatever you like/find comfortable at your current place which would enhance your experience). It's only fair-game. Yes, bring a bottle of water and snacks ... the same thing happens to me .. I just chalk it up to low blood sugar and eat me some snacks before the next round of interviews/visits/etc.


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Thanks, everyone! You're making me feel much less stressed.

Gerty, you are hilarious, and impressive! Usually the one neurotransmitter people know is dopamine, so you're ahead of the game!

And Zen, don't you even worry! I'm a big smiler. :D


Candid Engineer
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

W00t!!! If they don't feed you at some point during nine interviews, then thay are douches. Just smile and ask questions and make sure your fly is zipped.

Isis the Scientist

Guest Comment

I agree with Candid.  Totaly douches.

 

Good luck.


Gerty-Z
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Seriously, just have fun. If they are spending a whole day to talk to you they are probably "recruiting" more than "interviewing". Just don't be creepy or get defensive if folks ask questions at your talk. If you are excited about the science (and your fly is zipped) you will do super!


Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Agreed with the others...I'd bring snacks just in case, but they're probably going to be very interested in making you feel welcome and convincing you of how great they are. I bet they'll be asking you lots of questions about your research, and you'll be offered lots of time for breaks/food/bathroom/etc. Also, as others have said, use your time with the postdocs to ask lots of questions about the lab, department and institution...collaborative environment? training opps? postdoc office/association? Sometimes these indirect questions can get you good info on how happy they are there.


Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

FYI, I know of at least one case when fly unzipped didn't cause postdoc interview failure. ;P


Will
UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Great job on getting the interview.  I kind of have to agree with everyone else that it will probably be informal and relaxed, and will just give you the opportunity to see as many people as possible and get an idea of what is going on in the lab(s).  They probably do this to give a bit of structure, don't think of the sessions with the other postdocs/postgrads as interviews but more informal chats.

Enjoy it!


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
CE, Gerty, Dr O: not to worry about my fly; Dr Becca will be rocking a pencil skirt.

JanedeLartigue
UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Good news about the fly, but make sure you don't get your skirt wedged up in your knickers after you've been to the toilet, could be equally, arguably more embarrassing! Probably more difficult with a pencil skirt though!


yellowfish
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

oh good luck!

One thing that has helped me in interviews, is to go through the list of people and print out one sheet of whatever university or lab page they have that that has their picture on it, and then based on the little research blurb, write down a few potential questions for them (like, if I see that they use the same subjects as I do, I can ask about that, while it might be pointless to ask someone else, who I could instead ask about certain equipment, or whatever). For me, I think mainly it helped me feel less anxious to know what people were going to generally look like, and also I could sneak a quick peek at the paper on the way to the meeting so I could remember what they worked on and what kind of stuff I could ask them.

That either worked, or just provided some kind of anxiety-soothing displacement activity in the day before the interview, but I felt like it helped so I recommend it!

 

(and take a big purse with a small water bottle, kleenex, and a granola bar, for emergencies).


Prof-like Substance
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I have no idea what a pencil skirt is, but I agree with much of what has been said. A PDF interview is going to be much more laid back than a TT interview and as long as you give a good talk, don't threaten anyone with violence during the interview and appear to be an interesting person, it'll be fine. These people are interviewing a colleague for a 1-4 year commitment, not a potentially career-long one. The snack stash is a good idea as well.

 

Good luck and have fun.


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 1 Dislike

TL;DR comments

Not too much thigh,

not too much cleavage.

Try not to use your teeth too much.

be funny, but not a comedian

be nice, but not a push over

be strong, but not a bitch

be confidant in your abilities as a professional scientist

be yourself. You fucking rock, and you know it.

 

and not too much teeth.


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 2 Dislike

Oh, and if anyone is a dick, hits on you or acts otherwise all d00dly, punch 'em in the fuckin throat. When his hands fly to his throat, you can grab his head/ear and pound his face into the table. Whilst doing this say quietly, "Little boys need to learn respect"


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Excellent advice, Tideliar! No worries on the teeth thing, as I happen to be missing a few.


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Damn...scars, missing teeth... you'd fit right in down here!


Evie
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Good luck! :)


Professor in Training
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I'm a couple of days behind on bloggy reading so apologies for being late to the party. A few simple suggestions ...

1. Wear comfortable clothing, particularly the shoes. No short skirts.

2. Carry a water bottle with you.

3. Don't be afraid to ask for a toilet break in between meetings.

4. Be yourself.

5. Kick ass.


chall
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I'm also late, but not too late - huh? it was Monday right?... Anyhow, I think everyone has said what I wanted to say but maybe repeat "they need to show you why you should go there too". It's not all about you fitting in there, you need to get some kind of clue of the peeps in the labs you are interviewing with.

So, questions and attentive about the things they don't mention ;) I've gotten the lots of information abuot the things that people don't say anything about - like "where did the old post docs go after this" [enter quiet and "don't know" - danger bell sounding in my head], "if they interact in the lab and share stuff" etc.

and PiT has an excellent point; comfortable shoes! (Best to find good looking and comfortable but.... noone looks good limping in high heels in the end of the day [again, someone might have done that in an interview... ;) ]


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

PiT and chall, it's never too late to comment! The interview is this coming Monday, so I will definitely take your advice.  Luckily, the Medical campus where I'm going isn't too sprawling, so my feet should be OK in my very hot (but not slutty-hot) Calvin Klein black patent pumps. And the skirt is your standard knee-length suit skirt, so I think I should be the paragon of professional dress!


Will
UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Why are people dissing the 2nd postdoc.  Apparently (according to a seminar I went to this week) it takes on average 6 years+ from once you have received your PhD to getting TT (the average age is 39).  Are you advocating staying in the same lab for those 6 years or do you think that it should take less time?


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 1 Dislike

You probably don't want to stay in one place for those 5-6 years. If you have to have such extended training take advantage of it and move around. Learn new techniques, perfect old ones, write papers with new people network, network, network...


JaySeeDub
Dub C Med School
Rate Post:

Like 1 Dislike

"black patent pumps"?  And you accused me of being fancy over a suit?  I'm calling "shenanigans!" :P

And I heavily agree with Tideliar.  Network and expand.


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

+1 for agreeing with me.

Dr. Cynicism

Guest Comment

In all sincerity, best of luck at the Classy Institution interviews! Knock em dead... and then sign off on the paperwork, forge their signatures, and turn them in to the appropriate offices before the people regain consciousness.


Will
UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

How did the interview go?


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Why, thank you for asking!

It was exhausting, but overall a really fun day. I met a lot of people in the lab and in the department, and everyone seems to be really happy, and the lab is doing quite well. The PI is interested in bringing someone with my skills in, and has an interesting project that I would be on if I went there. There was some good discussion during my talk, too, which also made me happy. So all in all, very positive experience!


Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

w00t

Becca PWNs it!


Nat
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Yay, that's awesome!

NatC
Rate Post:

Like 1 Dislike

Yeah! Great news! Did you like the PI and lab peeps?


Nat
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
NO ONE CAN STOP THE TWO NATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like -1 Dislike

Anyone got a can of Raid?


Nat
Rate Post:

Like 1 Dislike
-1 for that hating.;)

Tideliar
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Waaah! Nicely played sir, nicely played!

Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.
Friends