We recently asked you what your most hated interview questions were. Here we share our tips on how to answer them. For answers to the other questions, check out the series links at the bottom of this post.
4. Why does a PhD want an admin based job?
To be fair, this is a very good question. Why are you applying for a job you are overqualified for, or which is far from your area of study?
It may be that you are desperate for work, that you see this as a stop-gap whilst you look for something that you really want to do, or you just can’t find anything else. This is certainly not what the interviewer wants to hear, so if this is the case you need to come up with something better.
Of course you might genuinely want this job, in which case the employer wants to hear that you are not going to get bored, that you understand it’s not an academic role, and that you have a good sense of the direction it will lead you in. Convey to the interviewer what it is that you are excited about with this job, and why you think the skills you already have can be applied to the role. They might be worried for instance, that you are too analytical in your thinking and not practical enough, so give them examples of projects you have managed and how good you are at time management.
If the reason for applying for the job falls into the first of these two categories, it really is work considering whether you have any options elsewhere. Doing a job because it will teach you new skills and experiences, and boost your CV, even if it’s not your dream ambition is fine – but if you really are despondent about the idea, it is unlikely you will get the job in the first place, and even if you do, it might make you miserable.