Interview season is here...
It's time to start preparing your spiel: the things you are going to be saying about your research in interviews.
Students who have done superbly on the market have consistently said that when it comes to the spiel, relentless preparation--thinking long and hard about exactly what words to use--is absolutely worth it. Of course, it is not easy to do this in an unstructured way.
To help you put a first draft of your spiel together, we're offering a new tool called the Spiel Builder. It is not perfect yet, but a number of people going on the market have tried it out and found it useful.
In addition to having a good spiel...
Having a good spiel is crucial, but other things matter too, some of them subtle:
-Attitude matters. Arrogance, bravado, meanness, and undue pushiness have cost people flyouts.
-Polite professionalism is usually a safe bet. Say hello, thank you, and know how to exchange brief pleasantries. If job interviews are taxing for you, they are no picnic for interviewers either. In this scenario, especially after a series of awkward exchanges, polite professionalism can be a great relief! If English is not your first language, practice with a native speaker.
-Overeagerness can be off-putting. For instance, if things have changed since you first uploaded your CV, you can flag them for interviewers without being over-the-top insistent. A gentle "oh, by the way..." is very different from an insistent "Make sure you take note!"
-Keep your sense of humor. The job market is a big circus. As such, it has its amusing elements. It is OK to enjoy those, even when things feel stressful. In fact, I would recommend it. People who can keep things in perspective are nice to have around, even for interviewers.
Post by Varanya Chaubey Image by bpsusf (http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfbps/4607149870/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons