Journey from PhD to Tech - Interview tips and strategies

Journey from PhD to Tech - Interview tips and strategies

Created
Dec 18, 2021 11:12 PM

Job hunting and giving interviews is not something you do often that you can learn from your mistakes and improve upon. That is the reason I wanted to write this so you learn from my mistakes and see if what worked for me will work for you. I did my best to provide unique and new information that you may not find elsewhere.

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This is tailored for data scientist positions in top tech (MAANG) and equivalent companies. Some of it may apply to everyone like (Resume, Behavioral prep), but not all. This is from MY personal experience. These are MY observations and things that worked for ME. Take inspiration from this and make changes that suit you and your objectives. Being nice and personable goes a long long way. Don’t be `THAT’ person.
Getting referrals
Resume and cover letter prep
Technical prep
Behavioral prep
Case study prep
Offer negotiations and Timing

Some things about the entire process that stood out and I was surprised when I learned.

  1. Some companies shortlist resumes using automated software and some recruiters may not be qualified to understand your relevance for the role. So curate your resume for the software and recruiters. Once, you get through these hurdles, you can sell yourself to the team.
  2. Cover letters are very impactful. Even if the company does not have a field to upload cover letter, try to squeeze it in somehow.
  3. Try to get as much information from recruiters as possible. Ask them for sample questions. Ask them for as much information about the interview and interviewer as possible.
  4. The entire interview process from application to offer takes longer than you expect.
  5. Mock interviews are so underrated. Take as many as possible with your friends, colleagues. MOCK. MOCK. MOCK.
  6. Be strong at your basics. I feel most of the interviews are not trying to trick you. That want to assess the strength of your basics. For example. in statistics interviews, they would not ask you to derive variance for the negative binomial distribution, but they might ask you about the variance of sample mean.

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