americanangel

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Hey everybody,
I have an interview on Friday for a research position (possibly paying yay!!!) at one of the local labs. I was wondering if you guys had an advice.
 

wendywellesley

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be friendly, but not overly cheery. dress nice but not overly feminine. be enthusiasic, inquisitive and ask if there is anything you can do before you start working to prepare. make sure you have a general idea of the PI's (principle investigator) interest. if you can find some of the PI's papers either through his/her website or on PubMed, read the most recent ones. take a copy of your resume just in case s/he asks for it if you haven't given him/her it already. if you have prior experience think of how it may be relevent to your new job there (do you know how to make buffers? have you had to manage a lab before? have you worked with unix, excel, etc ?)

good luck :) :luck:
 
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americanangel

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wendywellesley said:
be friendly, but not overly cheery. dress nice but not overly feminine. be enthusiasic, inquisitive and ask if there is anything you can do before you start working to prepare. make sure you have a general idea of the PI's (principle investigator) interest. if you can find some of the PI's papers either through his/her website or on PubMed, read the most recent ones. take a copy of your resume just in case s/he asks for it if you haven't given him/her it already. if you have prior experience think of how it may be relevent to your new job there (do you know how to make buffers? have you had to manage a lab before? have you worked with unix, excel, etc ?)

good luck :) :luck:
Thanks for response...I think my nerves are just getting the better of me!!!
 

relema

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When we interview people for my lab. The PI looks for people who have a real interest in what the lab is doing and real enthusasm.Be honest and relax.... they want to see who you really are in order to see if you will mix well with the other lab people. If you have recieved the interview i am sure they think you are qualified for the job.
 

Shredder

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Read recent papers and do some research about the research. You might impress the interviewer by dropping some terms and experiments you read about in them, but be careful not to get yourself in too deep without knowing what you're talking about--that would look fake and bad. Try asking them a few questions instead of letting it turn into a one-sided interrogation, just like they say for med school interviews. Perhaps review equipment and procedures that are commonly used in the lab if you can, in case the interviewer mentions them. Stress long term commitment--labs rarely want short stints out of researchers. Most important is to show a lot of passion, just like the previous poster said about enthusiasm and interest. If it is sincere and you are moderately qualified, an interviewer would have a tough time turning you down unless they are looking for something specific. Keep us posted on your status.
 

dave613

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americanangel said:
Hey everybody,
I have an interview on Friday for a research position (possibly paying yay!!!) at one of the local labs. I was wondering if you guys had an advice.
I am not sure by what you mean when you state "local" labs, but here is my advice anyway. I recently interviewed for a lab research part time job about a month ago, and my PI is actually the director of that school's MD/PhD program, so if I weren't sincere, he would have easily been able to read through me. Basically, as the above posters mentioned, it is important to have a working knowledge about the background of what the lab does. That doesn't mean you have to read the papers in advance, as a matter of a fact, my PI gave me the papers I needed to read on the interview. Rather, if for instance your lab does research in a specific area of neurobiology, then just have a general knowledge of what that area is about. Most importantly, look and sound sincere. The PIs are looking for smart and very dedicated students who are willing to work for very low pay :oops:

Good luck!
 

Shredder

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yeah, come to think of it reading the papers is a little idealistic. typically they are so specific and convoluted that you wont understand a thing anyway until after youve worked in the lab for a long time. and yeah, they will dump more papers on you than you care to read after meeting you. its probably futile trying to understand exactly what goes on in the lab; try reviewing the lab website if it has one--they tend to cater more to newbies.
 

Darth Asclepius

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I don't see anything wrong with reading a paper or two beforehand. The problem is if you try to talk about it like you really know what it's all about (which is probably not the case), but if you can get a general idea and ask a couple of relevant questions, the PI might be impressed that you took an interest in his/her work and thought of logical and relevant questions. Scientists like to know that you can think for yourself, not just repeat what you read.
 

logos

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At least get a feel for what field the PI is working in before you go. If you go ahead and put togeather an application, you may want to include assays with which you are particularly familiar (if you've had some previous lab experience..if not..no worries). This is especially helpfull if a technique that you have done needs to be performed, but no one in the lab has done it before.

I would say the most important thing is just to be enthusiastic and interested in the work. If the PI is in a pure science area, you may want to play down your interest in medicine, as it seems that some PIs in basic sciences have one or two experiences with premeds joining the lab just for their resume, then leaving before contributing anything significant.

If you're genuine and in it for the long term, that will show and you'll certainly find a position somewhere.

good luck
 

Darth Asclepius

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If the PI is in a pure science area, you may want to play down your interest in medicine, as it seems that some PIs in basic sciences have one or two experiences with premeds joining the lab just for their resume, then leaving before contributing anything significant.
This can be very true. My PI hates pre-meds (and I have to remind her when she's bashing pre-meds that I am going to med school). Her response is usually "You're different" but it still makes me mad. She thinks that doctors are lazy and incompentent. Although this is not necessarily the norm, you should be aware that some scientists don't take pre-meds seriously. Unfortunately that's because too many "resume builders" before you have made a terrible impression. This happened in my lab this past year. A pre-med agreed to do some undergrad research, stuck with it for 3 weeks, then quit. He told me he hadn't been interested in research at all, but that he thought it would look good on his med school applications.
 

wendywellesley

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Darth Asclepius said:
This can be very true. My PI hates pre-meds (and I have to remind her when she's bashing pre-meds that I am going to med school). ........ She thinks that doctors are lazy and incompentent. Although this is not necessarily the norm, you should be aware that some scientists don't take pre-meds seriously.....
i've found this a lot, science profs bashing pre-meds, med students and doctors. it's like they have some inferiority complex. it gets really old and annoying hearing science PhDs go off on people in medicine.
 

Acherona

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Actually, I think the most important thing is to emphasize your committment to stay for a significant period of time, usually two years. There is a steep learning curve and it's not worth it to train someone who is going to be leaving soon. Just my $.02
 

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Get a review article or two on the research area in which the lab is working on.
 
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americanangel

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Wow thanks everyone for your response. I'm looking forward to Friday but I'm still nervous at the same time! Hopefully all goes well!