Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I am hiring... an Employer

I will be done with my 4 years PhD in Molecular Microbiology by September 2015. The submission of my thesis will mark the beginning of the end in yet another professional adventure in my life. I will be 36 years old by then, with a son of approximately year and a half and a strong background in science research; ready to start another grandiose stage in my life. I have huge dreams, I have many plans, I have skills and the drive to move forward under the toughest atmospheres. I know that there will be many projects to consider and evaluations to carry on with, but I also know that the job market is fierce, the job hunting can be quite unfair, however I am most certain that I do not want to spend even a single month unemployed with nursery and rent to pay, and the house I promised my wife being bid for! Nevertheless, I am not in shackles or desperate, hence I am going for the job of my dreams. By January 2015 I want to have an idea of where in the business spectrum I will be ending up, and in order to help my future employer know me better without having to waste time on introductory phone calls, emails or checking my credit history, I decided to give a hand and respond to the commonest questions employment agencies fire when interviewing us. I will also attempt to be as straightforward as possible.

Please go fetch yourself a nice hot beverage, relax in front of the computer screen and read the post thoroughly. By the end of it feel free to contact me at any time. If you can't find me that's because I'm in the lab (I work really hard, you know?!), but I will contact you at my earliest convenience. Thanks for your time and patience. Shall we start?

I am keen...
on being involved and start a solid sound career in Biomedical Sciences. My specialties are Toxicology, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I am versatile, very creative and have a strong work ethic (integrity, sense of responsibility and teamwork, emphasis on quality and discipline). Despotism and judgmental  personalities put me off.

What can you do for us that other candidates can't?
They are not me, they haven't acquired the experiences I gained working in Portugal, England, Germany and India. I have learned  a lot under different cultural environments and very different professional approaches.

What would your colleagues and friends consider as your best qualities?
I took the liberty to ask the first person I found in my office and she wrote in a piece of paper the following words: hard working, innovative, confident, helpful, generous. Incredible, she is right about every single one!

Why should we hire you?
Why shouldn't you hire me? I have 10 years of experience in research, I have a strong science background, I speak four languages, I am professionally mature, I listen whilst enjoying the freedom to endorse my opinion. 

What are your goals?
I want to start a role that can get me to the top of the hierarchy, as an expert, in no more than 10 years. I want to excel and be the person people come to when they need to overcome complicated obstacles.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I want to be involved in exciting projects that demand knowledge, professionalism, team-spirit and integrity. Then, be asking potential candidates wanting to join my team the exact questions I am hereby responding to. 

Why did you leave your last job?
No one can be a PhD forever, there's a moment you know you can reach higher and you deserve better. My learning curve is now ascending to a put-it-to-practice momentum. Post-Doc instability is to be avoided.

Tell me about a typical day in your current/previous job:
Arrive at work. Check the to-do list prepared the day before. Order what's in absence. Collect what has arrived. Fetch the protocol. Down to the lab. Experiments in motion. Interpret results. Meet supervisors.

What have you learned with your PhD?
To never dismay. To listen to the most experienced. To try my idea, but accept other routes when mines haven't worked. To believe in myself. To work really hard for that milestone. To accept that "I can".

What motivates you?
New ideas/projects, Freedom to Act, Trust, Friendship, Travelling and Communicating. Different environments and cultures. Complicated tasks that ultimately need to be made simpler and more effective.

Which tasks do you get the most satisfaction from?
Deconstructing complicated networks, regulatory ones and the like. I am passionate about going from the complex and abstract to single details and how these relate. These qualities have many practical applications.

List three laboratory areas of expertise:
Molecular Biology, Chromatography, Toxicology.

What makes a good team?
I cannot stress this enough, one should always compete with himself by improving constantly as an individual whilst trying to improve the team's rapport. Communicating, brainstorming and trusting the leader are crucial.

What makes a good team member?
Positive criticism, sincerity, honesty, reliability, energy, positive attitude, responsibility, versatility, problem-solving skills, good listener, assumes mistakes within and correct issues pronto.

What makes a good team leader?
Knows the job and the best way to reach success. Respects his team members as professionals and humans. Can referee conflicts with a firm hand but is aware of the extent of his responsibilities towards others. 

What was the last film you saw or the last book you read?
A PhD does not allow much time for cinema, but I am constantly reading books. The best way to answer is to say which one have really taught me something lately - "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell.

If you were a biscuit, what type of biscuit would you be?

If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?
A wolf.

Great! Now you're in possession of a lot of good information to decide whether to contact me or hang me out to dry. I tried to make my answers two/three lines long and remove any unnecessary bits to save you precious time. My contact details can be found on my LinkedIn profile []. No time is too soon, no job is inappropriate. It all depends on how well it fits my professional profile and the chances for me to grow in it. Cheers!

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