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The Pharmaceutical Industry...

The Pharmaceutical Industry. Interviewing For and Getting that Job. Finding a Potential Corporation. ACS Meetings at the Clearing House C&E News and Job Advertisements Your Professor or Advisor Chemistry department Bulletin Boards On Campus Recruiting. Typical Sequence of Events.

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The Pharmaceutical Industry...

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  1. The Pharmaceutical Industry... Interviewing For and Getting that Job

  2. Finding a Potential Corporation • ACS Meetings at the Clearing House • C&E News and Job Advertisements • Your Professor or Advisor • Chemistry department Bulletin Boards • On Campus Recruiting

  3. Typical Sequence of Events • Preliminary phone call from scientist who receives your resume. Be ready to answer questions about your research, job interests/preferences and availability • Scientist will check 1-2 references (by phone or request letters). • Phone calls to set up interview date (R&D host and HR). • Before the interview, host will usually call to make sure you are all set. • Interview takes place

  4. A Typical Interview day... • Dinner with host and a colleague • Arrive at the site • Seminar (30-45 min for BS/MS, 1h for Ph.D.) • Personal interviews (30 - 45 min. each) • Lunch (cafeteria, with future peers) • More personal/group interviews • Return to HR • Wrap up chat with host • (Possible) second dinner if staying a second night* Each part of the interview may affect your hiring!!!

  5. People Involved in the Interview(in order of decreasing ability to decide your hiring) • [Department Director] if present • Associate Director(s) • Group Leaders, Senior Staff • [Future direct supervisor] if identified • Other scientists • Future peers • HR representative

  6. Lets Go through the Steps...

  7. Now That You Have Landed an Interview… • PREPARE SEMINAR • STUDY YOUR RESUMÉ • GO SHOPPING • RESEARCH THE COMPANY (Web Site is a good start) • PREPARE Some Q&A’s • PREPARE A RESEARCH IDEA

  8. Prepare and Format Your Seminar • State the problem and give adequate background (ca. 10% of total material) • Describe how you tackled or solved the problem. Tell a story in a logical manner. • Draw specific attention to problems you solved. • Summarize your progress in one slide, and put it in perspective. • Acknowledge all contributors in a final slide.

  9. Preparing The Seminar: Useful Tips • Don’t hesitate to discuss several different topics; highlight variety of experiences. • Do a lot of background reading… Then do some more! Ask your supervisor for material. KNOW IT WELL ! • Take extra care to prepare a polished presentation (ChemDraw OK, Powerpoint best), but don’t overdo it… • Draw large visible structures. Avoid complex tables. • Rehearse your talk extensively in the presence of others. Solicit questions. • Make sure your timing is what it should be.

  10. Common Mistakes Made In Presenting SeminarsThe Presentation... • Not being completely familiar with your own material. Not understanding the background/context of your research. • Highlighting indecisive “work-in-progress” without demonstration of problem solving. • Failing to highlight contributions (“who did what”). • No or little background information. • Too much background information. • Having slides that are too busy (large tables, equations, too may structures, etc.) or having small characters that cannot be read from the back of the room.

  11. Common Mistakes Made In Presenting SeminarsThe person... • Under-rehearsing; not knowing what is next. • Over-rehearsing; sounding like a tape recorder. • Seminar too long • Seminar too short (not enough results?). • Talking with the back to the audience. • Failing to acknowledge others. • Failing to thank host and seminar attendees.

  12. Re-familiarize Yourself With Your Resumé Be prepared to: • Discuss any of the research you’ve done (even undergraduate, summer internships, etc.). • Discuss any of the special skills you may claim (analytical instrumentation, foreign languages, computers, etc.). • Explain your career path or choices.

  13. Go Shopping! • Business-style (conservative) clothing • Appropriate Accessories (briefcase, bag, etc.) • BE YOURSELF, but be aware that an extravagant appearance may not be well received • Personal hygiene/ unusual personal decoration

  14. Research The Company! • It may help you decide whether it is the company you want to work for. • It will help you ask well thought out questions. • Information about the company/R&D staff may help you anticipate questions/topics for discussion. • Not every company is the same !

  15. Things to Search for... • Find out whether the company is privately or publicly held • think about what this may mean to you. • Find out if the company is profitable • obtain annual report from company ahead of time; make sure you understand what it all means to you. • Find out what products they have on the market and in the pipeline • Physician’s Desk Reference (for marketed products). Ask for company reports. INTERNET SITES/SEARCHES!

  16. Things to Search for... cont’d. • Find out who the key people are who will interview you • Ask for schedule ahead of time • Read publications if possible • Find out what research the company does • look at current literature (J. Med. Chem., Ann. Rep. Med. Chem., or search by company). • Has the company been through mergers? Is it rumored to be a takeover target? Ask around...

  17. Q&A Make a list of ‘safe’ questions • Whom does position report to (organizational structure)? • Function of position (job description). • Career opportunities, promotions (timing, criteria), training available (internal & external courses). • Performance reviews, criteria for raises & bonuses. • Therapeutic areas of research; publication/patent policies.

  18. Q&A... • Why do you like to work here? What do you like about this company ? What is unique about this company? • Describe the company’s strategy to stay competitive in the new decade. • Is upper management selected from within or from outside? • What is the turnover rate? • What are the key qualities you are looking for in a candidate?

  19. Questions to Avoid in an Interview • Inquiries about vacation/salary • Ability to move to other departments or functions, career switches • Personal questions • Questions that may indicate you are testing the interviewer • Anything trivial or annoying

  20. Prepare Answers to Possible Questions • Anything about your work... • How did you choose your field/school? • What are your main strengths and weaknesses? • How do you react to pressure? How well do you work in a team environment? • What are your own major scientific/technical accomplishments? Be able to provide examples and situations

  21. Prepare Answers to Possible Questions • What are you looking for in a company? How will you make your choice if you have many offers? • Do you have your own research ideas you would like to work on? Tell me about them…

  22. Especially Prepare for These... • What is important to you in a job? Why do you want to work for us? Tricky question: it’s hard to win… • Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Another tricky question: it’s hard to win... Don’t be afraid to say that these questions are very hard for you at this time, but be sincere in your answer !!!

  23. Some Tips...

  24. Dinner A relaxed social situation used by the employer to gauge you as an individual. Few technical questions may be asked. Interviewer’s agenda: • Is the candidate a pleasant, balanced and mature person? • Will he/she work well in a team? • Does he/she make intelligent (career) choices? • Does he/she have interests outside work? • Does he/she have a sense of humor? • How will he/she deal with difficult situations?

  25. At Dinner • Relax, it’s not a test - be yourself. • Use your best manners. • Enjoy yourself: eat and drink what you want (in moderation). • Smile. • Answer questions openly and honestly: don’t be afraid to reveal something about yourself. • Ask general questions when you can, without steering the conversation. • Thank the host for the meal (don’t criticize the food).

  26. The Seminar You have prepared your material carefully Now be prepared for: • Technical problems: lost or upside down slides, bad focus, no pointer, fire alarms, etc. Make sure you can draw your chemistry on the board • Interruptions - Be ready to answer questions at any time. Do not appear irritated at the audience • People coming and going -- It’s rude; it can be minimized, but not fully prevented • Lots of questions at the end. Always repeat question to make sure you understood correctly • Be willing to speculate, but admit ignorance if you have no clue • Assume that the interviewer is knowledgeable: he is just testing you

  27. Possible One-on-One Interview Topics: • Small talk - possibly the interviewer will help you relax. • Questions on your research/a more probing examination. • Be prepared to speculate, go to the board, show you can reason through a scientific discussion. You don’t have to be right… • Things about your resumé you did not discuss in seminar. • Technical questions totally unrelated to your work • I have this problem: how would you solve it? • How would you prepare this compound? • Describe a research idea that you have had.

  28. The One-on-One Interview • General questions about your research interests. • The interviewer will solicit questions. • The interviewer will ask you about your day and your impressions. • Be positive, but do not overdo it with praise • Bring concrete examples, e.g. name one of the scientists that made a good impression on you

  29. Don’ts… In Order of Importance • Don’t give your supervisor’s opinion on issue.Always state your own views • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know(no bluffing!) • Don’t attempt to keep track of your schedule or look at the watch. The interviewer will lead.

  30. Do: • Look at the interviewer directly all the time. • Listen carefully and answer concisely, making sure the interviewer is listening attentively. Stay within the subject area. • Ask for a business card and/or reprints or preprints of recent work. • Shake hands and thank them for their time.

  31. Wrap-up • Always ask your host what the next step will be and for the timeframe for making a decision • Thank host for the opportunity to visit the company • Re-express interest in the position (if true).

  32. After the Interview • Write your host or the director to thank them for the hospitality and confirm your interest in the position. • Collect your thoughts about the company: • Were you treated well? • Would you like to work with the people you met? • How were the facilities? • What was the scientific caliber of the scientists? • Are you likely to learn a lot in that environment?

  33. Getting An Offer • Phone call (HR, scientist) announcing offer (salary, supervision, other perks). • Invitation to second trip to look at the area and find out more about the job: take it if you have any interest in the job. • Written offer asking for a reply within a narrow time frame (2-3 weeks): an extension is possible, but you should be ready to decide fairly quickly or withstand pressure. • Give a start date, but be realistic - If you don’t show up on time, the contract may be void.

  34. Getting An Offer • Inquire about bonus eligibility, vacation vs. start date • Once you have accepted in writing, you are legally bound to take the job. It is unethical to continue the interview process. • Keep your future employer abreast of your progress and possible changes in your graduation or start date.

  35. After You Start • Work hard: the first impression you make will stay with you a long time! • Make sure you increase your knowledge base by learning new skills (technical and general)! • Maintain a publication/patent record. Stay marketable!

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