Science Job Candidates Say The Darndest Things

Feb 07 2012 Published by under Lab, Uncategorized

Overheard during job interviews in my lab:

-Lab Member: "Do you have experience in (particular technique)?"  Candidate: "No but I enjoy doing (hobby that has nothing to do with business).

-Lab Member: "So what skills from your current position do you think you can bring to our lab and contribute?"  Candidate: "Absolutely none!"  This may be true if your lab does completely different stuff, but at least come up with something.  Damn.

-PI gave job candidate some reprints of important papers from the lab, when asked by a lab member if they would read them, they responded, "If I get job?  Maybe."  Whaaaaaat?  Even if you aren't going to read them, lie to our face and say you will you dummy.

-Candidate: "So you guys don't work that hard right?  I don't really like to work that much."  Fuck me.


15 responses so far

  • Alyssa says:

    Good Lord! I hope you have seen at least one good candidate!

  • Bashir says:

    Really? I guess it's good that they let you know.

  • chall says:

    Sounds like a keeper. Really a person you want to work with, right? 😉

  • tideliar says:

    LMFAO what a clusterfuck

  • 27andaphd says:

    Oh dear ... how the hell did they even get interviews to begin with?? I'm scratching my head in awe and shock.

  • scicurious says:

    LOL, I've heard that last one, rephrased as "soo....what are your hours? Do you work...a lot of hours?" When we heard that we lied outright and said the boss expected 100 hour weeks.

    • Yael says:

      I have actually asked that question of the PI and lab people during postdoc interviews (how much vacation time, and how much face time is expected). How else do you avoid the kernish labs? Not that I am a slacker, but I do not plan on working 26 hours a day.

      • scicurious says:

        Yes, but there are much more subtle ways to ask those questions. See if the people already in the lab went anywhere and took vacations. See how tired they look. If they're cracking under the strain, they'll find ways to let you know. But asking about working a lot of hours makes it look like you're not willing to put in more than 40. And while I think it should be fine to work 40 in a normal week, when the experiment needs you, it needs you. I've found that many people who ask about hours...don't even want to put in 40, and definitely don't want to be there when the experiment calls for it.

        • Yael says:

          Interesting. I don't think people in the lab saw it that way (got the position) but will bear that in mind when grad students ask for advice on that (I work nights and weekends when experiments call for it, so I don't think it's entirely predictive...but then your work and interview should speak for themselves to some extent).

          I didn't ask "do you work a lot of hours", given that I basically work till the experiments are done, but I did ask if the PI expects weekend hours. I expect long hours, but I don't really want to sacrifice flexibility. Worst of all, PIs who micromanage people's hours.

  • Yael says:

    Eh. Don't people read the papers and ask questions about the papers even BEFORE going for the interview? How else do they know they want to join the lab?

  • darchole says:

    Better to hear such shit now, rather than later

  • This was for a technician posting, and we expect those to work 40 hour weeks normally. As for trainees, that is a different story.

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