I have been working at Midwestern University (More than a year)
approachable professors and faculty, open door policy, down to earth and relatable
uneven spread of work and assignments
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Midwestern University (Glendale, AZ) in June 2017.
I was contacted about a month after submitting my application with an initial phone screening with HR, which was pretty basic and pleasant. Just verifying your information you provided and expanding on it a little. About two days later I was contacted by e-mail for an in-person interview on campus the following week. I was instructed in the e-mail, that I would be meeting with Sarah from HR and Dr. Smith from the department. (Fake names provided for anonymity's sake but this part is rather important)
The first interview occurred with HR and was very friendly and welcoming including rather typical interview questions. This part took about an hour and was breezy and pleasant. Next, we traveled to the department who the position was with. I met with Dr. Smith out in the hallway and he was perfectly friendly, shook my hand, and lead me into the interview room... with 4 other individuals in it. This immediately threw me off as the e-mail made it sound as if I was only meeting with one individual, whose work I had researched and for which I was prepared for. I was completely unaware this would be a panel interview but I tried to roll with it.
Of the other 4 people, one was friendly, two were neutral, and the last one was 5 minutes late and refused to introduce himself to me during introductions. They went around the room and asked questions about my background relevant to their projects, some questions were rather straightforward but there were a few that were unexpected (provided below). A few questions were about my experience in the past and what I did, some were about how I felt my skills would transfer to specifics of their research, and how I handle multiple projects at a time. Oh, except the guy who arrived 5 minutes late. He asked me seemingly irrelevant questions that seemed to poke fun at me as a person and my intelligence rather than to evaluate me as a legit candidate. This helped increase the edge and create an awkward environment that the others seemed to be picking up on as well.
Honestly, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt at first thinking maybe it was just his demeanor or it was all in my head but as the interview progressed the condescending tone became prevalent in all his comments. I also noticed that he glared at me without breaking gaze throughout the interview which was extremely uncomfortable. At the end, he informed me that it was unprofessional that I had not researched every single PI in the room and knew exactly who they were and what work they had done before showing up. I am no stranger to the scientific community and the expectations of it, so while I absolutely agree in theory, for this situation I did my due diligence for the individual I was under the impression I would be meeting with.
The next part was a tour of the lab area. The lab manager showed me around the facility, introduced me to lab assistants and other employees and asked me a round of questions himself. He was super down to earth and relaxed so these questions were not difficult at all.
I think in total, the whole process lasted about 4 hours. I have been in the professional world for 10+ years and through countless interviews on the job hunt for the majority of this year. I have never left an interview with tears of frustration before.
I was told by Dr. Smith himself, that I would be contacted about the position, no matter what the decision about my candidacy. It's been 4 months. I'm assuming I didn't get the job.