Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dapi does an interview, some follow on comments on salary

Dapi had her interview and it sounds like it went well. She talks about it here, but I want to life a few points from this.

Points 1-3 are all good. I, at the end of the day, go with my gut. You can analyze until face is blue, but for me the gut makes much of the call. Everytime (for the most part...) that I have gone against it - it hasn't worked out well.

2) I was coachable since I lacked industry experience

Exactly what I look for. For folks coming from academia, they essentially know nothing about this arena. They have some bogus ideas about sales reps, and maybe some inflated ideas about salary's, but beyond that they don't know a thing. The question, and it sounds like what they asked as well, is how coachable the person is. They will have to learn a lot quickly - will they be able to do it?

The bad - point 1 - Yeah...
point 2 - this is why we have HR. They are supposed to solve these problems.

Point 3 - quoted below
3) my STRONG academic record!!! They normally dont take on people who are so academic (normally fresh PhD's)-yes you are soo right! the postdoc hurt me!)...my resume was TOO good in that area...hahaha....scientists at that level become stuck in an academic mind set and they were worried about how i'd do in industry which is more detachable and fasted past...BUT they liked me and i proved to them that I'm not the typical academic! I worked hard to prove to them i was serious and ready for this job and this is what Ive wanted all along. Also said I was willing to learn and be trained!

Exactly. Well put. The more you have gone down the academic path, the more I think that is what you wanted to do and this "industry" thing is just an after thought. If you want to go to the bench in industry, that is fine, but if you want to make the jump away from the bench I start having the thoughts you outline above. I look at it as wasted time when you weren't learning what I need you to know, but this is an equally true way of looking at. This is where being trainable comes in. You have to overcome this.

The next point is HUGE in negotiation

4) I was TOO talkative- I agree! I was running on adrenaline plus i really wantd them to see that i was a people person...normally I am talkative but I have to admit I didnt want to create a void of silence...BUT again they said that they can help me with that and the VP of business development had the same problem (he was interviewing me) and he said he got a coach to help him not ramble!! haha I learnt a valuable lesson- in business...silence is good also! The talkativeness was however NOT a deal breaker!
The most important part of closing a sale/deal is knowing when to shut up. Say your bit and then shut up. People who are trying to ram a bad point down your throat will be uncomfortable about this and will babble to fill the void. They will end up giving away much more than they wanted. Sit there and smile while they keep talking. Me learning this lesson was huge, and it was pounded in to me very early on by a sales rep who talked a mile a minute - until we were negotiating at which point they shut up... I talk A LOT, but when in front of a customer it is far more important to listen. Listen to the questions they ask. See what they say to fill the void that you leave by not talking. They will bring up something of interest and you can sell them something else. Maybe they will talk about funding, in which case you learn budget and how much they can afford. Etc... you will learn much by being quite. If there is an uncomfortable silence DO NOT be the person who fills it. Let the customer fill it and see what they say.

The salary : Are you willing to walk over $60K? Is that a deal breaker for you? Make your mind up on that front now. Always strive for more, but make sure you know what the worst case scenario is. If they won't come up from $60 what will you do? Know that answer now. Don't tell anyone, but know.

The rest of the benefits are normal. I only get paid a yearly bonus, not quarterly, but I have heard of both so that isn't weird.

"will most likely fly me back to the US on weekend" ---- Ummmm this would, to me, be non-negotiable. I *AM* going home for weekends. Or, if you choose not to go home for weekends, know the stress this will put on your relationship. It is really exciting to travel, and the business world is wonderful, but I really really really really urge you to make sure you keep in contact with fiance and make sure he is on board with not seeing you for a month while you are in some other city eating at restaurants and staying in an OK/nice hotel. You will be doing exciting new, and he won't. I made this error and really want to make sure that others don't. This would be called a "tense" time in my marriage. Survived - made changes - but is certainly something that needs to acknowledged.

Good luck,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for all your input! If there is one thing which has come through loud and clear its the separation issue when traveling! I would definitely be going home on the weekend but I wasnt sure if I could ask for them to pay for it but it totally makes sense to me!

Yeah when they commented on my academic experience they wanted to know why it took me too long to get into industry. I didnt want to bash that original company i worked for so i simply said they werent growing! In reality working there was a terrible experience for me and I had to get back into academia asap (I knew i was in trouble after 3 months but having to deal with immigration is the pits and time consuming!)-because I needed to find a real job in the US, learn new skills and then figure out which company was a good one. I was so scared of being trapped into another bad company that I went into a safe area and that was back into the lab! Then at the new lab my PI was offered a great opportunity in a new state and so he relocated our lab! Again a new visa was issued for the new location and being a dedicated employee I helped him to grow his lab and time flew by! But I have always wanted to work for industry and if I was an American or permenant resident I totally would have switched back into industry straight away! It was simply a case of once bitten twice shy!

It takes a bit of time to understand the system here in the US, form social security to medical insurance to hiring etc!

But I made it clear this has always been where Ive been heading!

As for the $60K- pros would be it would provide me with experience in industry and I can always work damn hard and ask for a raise ...but I have a number in my head and I know what I am worth in relations to quality of life!

Can you give me an idea of the the base salary that a company like your company would offer to someone who has zero experience in industry? If this helps the company of interest has roughly 100 people..(rounded it up)!

I have a number in my head and i was want to know if its realistic!

Thanks so much!