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How to Be Competitive for Industrial Research Jobs


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Invited talk, NSF Career Mentoring Panel, ICDE 2012.

Published in: Career
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How to Be Competitive for Industrial Research Jobs

  1. 1. How to Be Competitive for Industrial Research © 2011 IBM Corporation Jobs Yuanyuan Tian IBM Almaden Research Center
  2. 2. Application  When to start applying? • Industrial research labs do hire year around, but the bulk is in spring • Try to send out your application before Feb, but the earlier the better  Application materials • Resume/CV • References • Research Statement  Where to send the application • Directly to the researchers of the lab • Applying online is usually not useful – gets lost in the flood  What gets you an interview? • Publications • Past internships or collaboration • References © 2011 IBM Corporation 2
  3. 3. Interview Format  Phone Interview • 30 minutes or 1 hour • About your PhD work and intern experiences  Onsite Interview • 1 or 2 days • 1 hour job talk on your PhD work (expect questions during the talk) • 30 minutes dedicated Q&A (grill time) • One-on-one with individual researchers, 30 to 45 minutes each  Usually about your PhD work and other experience  Usually, people won’t ask you to write a sort algorithm on the white board © 2011 IBM Corporation 3
  4. 4. What are interviewers looking for?  Phone Interview • The candidate is the same person as on the resume • Communication is reasonable • No surprises  On-site Interview • Is the candidate smart? • Can the candidate stand by his/her work? • Will the candidate work well with people here? • Will the candidate be successful here? • Will the candidate be happy here? © 2011 IBM Corporation 4
  5. 5. How to prepare the interview?  Know your stuff well • Practice your job talk • Think about what questions people will ask  Be honest when answering questions  Do some research on the lab • Who are the people working there, What are they working on, especially your interviewers • Any chance to connect your work with their work? • Think about what questions you would like to ask © 2011 IBM Corporation 5
  6. 6. Interview is a bi-directional process  You are also interviewing the company  What should you look for? • Do you like the way they do things? • Do you like the work environment? • Do you like the people there? • Do you see yourself successful there? • Will this place help achieve your long-term goal?  Observe during your interview  Ask questions during your interview  Talk to people you know © 2011 IBM Corporation 6
  7. 7. We are hiring at IBM Almaden Research Center!  Full time and Post doc • Talk to me if you are interested • Or email me © 2011 IBM Corporation 7