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bringing laptop to interviews?

sweatybrain

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    Do you think it's acceptable to bring laptops to interview? Basically, I've done a lot of research that would be much easier to explain with visual aids. I was planning to throw together some slides on powerpoint and refer to them during the interview.

    Has anyone ever done this?
     

    Law2Doc

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      sweatybrain said:
      Do you think it's acceptable to bring laptops to interview? Basically, I've done a lot of research that would be much easier to explain with visual aids. I was planning to throw together some slides on powerpoint and refer to them during the interview.

      Has anyone ever done this?

      I wouldn't recommend it...
       
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        sweatybrain said:
        Do you think it's acceptable to bring laptops to interview? Basically, I've done a lot of research that would be much easier to explain with visual aids. I was planning to throw together some slides on powerpoint and refer to them during the interview.

        Has anyone ever done this?


        just make sure you delete all of the porn so it doesn't somehow pop up when you turn your laptop on as you begin the presentation. Also, you should probably change the wallpaper from the picture of you taking that monster beer bong to something more conservative, perhaps a nice boring pattern (they are always classy)
         

        DrDarwin

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          I pondered this question as well, because I didn't want to print out loads of pages of directions, possible interview questions, relevant research articles... I eventually decided that I needed to minimize my packing, and my laptop is not exactly an essential item. Plus there are security issues, etc. Bringing your computer for demonstrative purposes would certainly be unique, but I am not sure it would be advised.
           

          Law2Doc

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            DrDarwin said:
            I pondered this question as well, because I didn't want to print out loads of pages of directions, possible interview questions, relevant research articles... I eventually decided that I needed to minimize my packing, and my laptop is not exactly an essential item.

            Sounds like a good PDA (palm pilot etc) would make better sense for you.
             

            Manifesting

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              I brought mine to one interview, but only because my printer was on the blink and I wanted to be able to review my notes on responses to practice interview questions while I was waiting for my interview.

              In most interview situations, I do not believe there would be time for any sort of slide presentation by the candidate. Secondly, you are going to be nervous (at least a bit) and there is so much opportunity for awkwardness or malfunction in doing an impromptu presentation, especially if you have an audience of more than one interviewer. On the pro side, your presentation would certainly set you apart from the crowd. Perhaps if your interview goes well and the interviewer(s) is/are very interested in your work, you could send some tidbits from your work after the interview day.

              Good luck. :luck:
               

              Sparky Man

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                sweatybrain said:
                Do you think it's acceptable to bring laptops to interview? Basically, I've done a lot of research that would be much easier to explain with visual aids. I was planning to throw together some slides on powerpoint and refer to them during the interview.

                Has anyone ever done this?

                I thought about this too. It would be nice. I ended up just bringing about 10 slides (printed), so if the interviewer asks very detailed questions, they get a mini-presentation. It seems to work well.

                Anyway, good luck,
                Sparky
                 

                stinkycheese

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                  sweatybrain said:
                  Do you think it's acceptable to bring laptops to interview? Basically, I've done a lot of research that would be much easier to explain with visual aids. I was planning to throw together some slides on powerpoint and refer to them during the interview.

                  Has anyone ever done this?

                  I think you would get laughed out of the interview if, when asked about your research, you whipped out the powerbook and said, "I made a presentation for you, dude." It reeeeks of pretention to me.
                   
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                  Law2Doc

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                    stinkycheese said:
                    I think you would get laughed out of the interview if, when asked about your research, you whipped out the powerbook and said, "I made a presentation for you, dude." It reeeeks of pretention to me.

                    This was my initial reaction as well.
                     

                    stinkycheese

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                      Law2Doc said:
                      This was my initial reaction as well.

                      To add to what I said before, it would also raise my concerns about whether you could present your research without the help of a visual aid. If not, how much do you really know about it? I would be skeptical if I were the interviewer in that situation.
                       

                      dopaminophile

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                        Part of the point of the interview is to see how you communicate with people--they prolly don't actually care about your research. If you can't explain your own research without a pre-prepared presentation, what is that saying to the interviewer? Sure, it may help, but they want to know that you are able to do it otherwise. I am adamant that any sorts of notes, PDAs, computers, or anything of the sort are completely a bad idea. I would be suprised if an interviewer didn't ask you to not use that junk.

                        my2c

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                        Sparky Man

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                          stinkycheese said:
                          To add to what I said before, it would also raise my concerns about whether you could present your research without the help of a visual aid. If not, how much do you really know about it? I would be skeptical if I were the interviewer in that situation.


                          I don't agree. I don't see visual aids as the the kiss of death in an interview. I can explain my research just fine, but I usually ask if the interviewer if he/she would like to see a few printed slides and they are always very interested. In fact, half the time, they ask if they can keep the key slides for my file. There are many complex concepts that are explained much more clearly and are much more exciting in pictures. Scientists do this all the time and it is very professional. If your research is cool, let them know!
                           

                          Law2Doc

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                            dopaminophile said:
                            I am adamant that any sorts of notes, PDAs, computers, or anything of the sort are completely a bad idea.

                            I subscribe to this view as well. Can come off as unprepared or pretentious.
                            (My reference to a PDA above was in response to a poster who wanted to have his directions, papers and interview questions handy for travelling purposes, but not for use inside the interview).
                             

                            liverotcod

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                              Law2Doc said:
                              I subscribe to this view as well. Can come off as unprepared or pretentious.
                              This (and that other thread) reminds me of an episode of Monk where he makes a friendly call to a woman he's interested in dating... only after preparing huge stacks of note cards with potential discussion topics and his answers to every possible question.

                              Can you imagine it?

                              Interviewer: So how did you first get interested in medicine.
                              Me: [Shuffles note cards. Picks one out, then shakes head and picks a different one.] Well, I've wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember...
                               

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                                While I haven't done it, I don't think having a printout of your slides on hand is a bad idea, just as having a copy of your CV on hand isn't a bad idea. If the conversation gets really in depth on your research, you might offer the slides for the interviewer to keep to peruse on his own but don't use them as a crutch to explain your research. an impromptu laptop presentation would be over the top and could also send the message that you can't communicate to someone the goals and results of your work in a concise, coherent fashion.
                                 

                                sweatybrain

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                                  Thank you for all your suggestions!

                                  I think what I'm going to do is to print out some slides and reprints of my key publications. I only asked this question because I feel like this interview is going to focus mainly on my research.

                                  i) it's a research-oriented program (HST at HMS)

                                  ii) my graduate research was in hardcore engineering/biophysics. If you have ever seen a physicist in the same room as a biologist, you may notice that there is often a gap in the language that each speaks. Even though I've done reasonably well in my interviews--no post interview rejection so far-- it's still hard for me to explain (verbally) two dimensional histograms of Listeria motility without some sort of visual aids. The reverse is also true. I once game a seminar in the Mechanical Engineering dept. at MIT and ran into the same problem when explaining biology to engineers.
                                   

                                  beep

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                                    i think printing slides and then deciding whether or not to break them out on the fly is definitely the way to go. and i second (fifth?) it: don't bring the laptop.
                                     

                                    AStudent

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                                      What if your interviewer has no idea about the specifics of that research? Are you going to create two different versions of the same presentation and risk insulting the interviewer?? Seriously, leave it at home. You only have 15-60 minutes to argue your case for admissions, why would you want to spend 5 of it waiting for your computer to load up in silence while you could be using your time to hype your personal qualities?
                                       

                                      Law2Doc

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                                        AStudent said:
                                        What if your interviewer has no idea about the specifics of that research? Are you going to create two different versions of the same presentation and risk insulting the interviewer?? Seriously, leave it at home. You only have 15-60 minutes to argue your case for admissions, why would you want to spend 5 of it waiting for your computer to load up in silence while you could be using your time to hype your personal qualities?

                                        Maybe there is a very big difference in MD/PhD interviews than regular MD interviews, which is why I am perplexed by the notion that one would ever need slides to explain himself adequately. But generally I would think an interviewer will be more interested in you and how you present/comport yourself and not with the substance and minute details of your research. Interviewers I've come across want to know that you are well thought out, mature and personable. They seemed pleased with a verbal layman's explanation of research projects I was working on, and didn't have any need (or, in most cases, any interest) in learning more...
                                         
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