Thursday, October 29, 2009


For the first time, I am slated to interview someone. It's kind of exciting and interesting at the same time.

I have no idea how I'm going to do it. There is a significant part of me that thinks this person is going to come out and say, "why the fuck do you have a job at this place? they should totally take me instead. you're found out now!!!"

I don't actually think that's going to happen, but one thing I am finding to be a problem is my need to feel SO on top of everything that I am extremely unsure if I don't know exactly what I am talking about, which makes me seem stupid. It's the classic "bluff" problem that has been discussed ad nauseum regarding the genders. I need time to think, plan out what I am going to say, and all that jazz. And at this interview, for a position/role that I am unfamiliar with, I am terrified of seeming like an idiot because obviously I will not be the expert in the room.

I guess I need to approach this with a position of power and not be such a wimp.


momphdstudent said...

Let us know how it went.

Alyssa said...

Holy Impostor Syndrome, Batman! :) I ran some interviews this summer, and it was definitely less stressful than being on the other side. Remember, the person/people you are interviewing are going to be much more nervous! Good luck.

Candid Engineer said...

Consider your role more to assess the professionalism of the candidate and the way he or she is going to fit into the company. I interview lots of people in my group whose research I don't even comprehend- but I ask them to tell me about what they do. I note the excitement with which they speak of their accomplishments and how well they can explain to me what they are doing. I ask them simple questions about how they envision themselves fitting into our group.

Just using these simple questions without being an expert in the candidate's field, I can very easily differentiate between the good candidates and the buffoons.

Mrs. Chemist said...

I recently had the chance to hear one of the leaders in the women in chemistry movement speak. Her advice was to always be confident in yourself, and if you don't have the confidence yet, fake it.

Don't worry about being the expert in the room - you wouldn't be on an interview committee if your opinion wasn't valued. Good luck!

ScienceGirl said...

I was recently involved in an interview for a position higher than mine and for a tangent field; the person in charge of the interview told me that my role was to assess if the interviewee would be a good person to add to the team and if our group would be a good fit for them (in addition to them being able to communicate the technical stuff to someone outside their expertise), while the people closer to their research field would be more responsible for the technical evaluation. So you can think or ask about what role you are filling on the interview committee.