That is one of the Unique, Interesting & Best Trick, that I have heard after a long time to get a Job. Really thinking out of the box. Instead of playing the game of job in Employer’s playground, the guy brought the Employers into his own game. Yes, he invited the company CEO on his Ph.D. defense. The company CEO listened well about his work, met his supervisor, he observed his efforts as you show your best during defense and as a result, he earned his job.
I think the same trick can work for you if you or your university invites people from companies, industries to your Bachelors, Masters/M Phil, Ph.D. defense. You can think of such innovative tricks and this thinking out of the box can land you a job easily.
Denmark, December 2015. I was preparing for my Ph.D. defense and looking for a job. My little family loved this peaceful country. We decided to stay here. If I got nothing before the work permit expired in 4 months, we would return Vietnam and restart everything. It was hard to get a job in Denmark, especially for those who didn’t speak Danish. It was harder for a new graduate in theoretical mathematics to apply for engineering jobs. Even with a Ph.D. degree (you know that).
Twenty-something software positions so far. Finally, I got one call for an interview. It was the only one I was asked for a cup of coffee during the winter. The recruitment was tough. The company made sure to hire the best-matched player for its R&D team.
Three one-hour interviews with the CEO and the tech lead. Five difficult online tests from the agency. None was perfect. I knew many former candidates had had that same result. I didn’t want to be said “farvel” (“goodbye” in Danish). At the end of the last interview, I decided to change the game plan.
I invited the company’s CEO to my Ph.D. defense.
How it helped
To be honest, when I invited Tobias, I wasn’t sure how it could help me to get the job at his company. Now I have more time to look back, I can understand the reasons.
It showed my best skill
Presentation skill was one of my best skills. As a Ph.D. student in Denmark, I had opportunities to go almost everywhere around the world. Conferences. Summer schools. I gave talks about my research. People loved the way I told stories.
All of my best skills were listed in my CV. The presentation skill was emphasized in the cover letter. But how could a reader know how good the skill was?
Now Tobias could watch my best performance in the defense. Very impressed. Presentation skill is vital in any job. As a Ph.D., I had this competitive advantage over others.
It answered all questions with the best way
Any employer would ask the same questions to a new Ph.D. graduate at a job interview:
- What was your research topic?
- What did you do in your study?
- What did you code for the project?
- How good were you in programming skills?
- Tell me a little about your family.
- How happy were you with the study?
- How happy were you working with your teammates?
I could answer all much better here in my defense than in any job interview. The employer might not understand what I was presenting to the committee. But he might see other good things that I did not show in the interviews. My knowledge, skills, strengths, and potential were best shown here in the defense.
The employer met my supervisor
If you listed some referees in your CV, the employer would contact some to know more about you. I had only my Ph.D. supervisor in the References. I guessed Tobias had already had a call with Peter before the defense. No matter what they had talked about before, meeting in person now was always exciting. And you know what people would be talking about in such an important event. All good, happy things.
It moved the employer
- How did he feel when he saw my successful presentation?
- How did he feel when he saw people congratulated me?
- How did he feel when he saw my supervisor was very happy?
- How did he feel when he saw my friends and my colleagues were very happy too?
- How did he feel when he saw my wonderful family was in the deepest happiness?
You know the answers. Yes. All happy things impacted the employer’s emotions and decisions. In a positive way.
Some might think that Tobias already planned to offer me the job. So he accepted the invitation. That was likely to be. But I wasn’t sure of it.
My points were
- Why not adding something else special to increase the chance?
- Don’t be too confident when the result wasn’t clear and the time wasn’t over.
I would lose nothing if he refused the invitation. But I might lose the job if I didn’t do anything else special.
The job interview is the most important stage in the hiring process. Answering questions very well maybe not enough. There are many other candidates better than you in such kind of conversation.
The good thing is you are not me. You have other interesting skills that I don’t have. You have more chances than mine. You have better ideas than mine. The only thing is
don‘t be afraid to take any chance and turn it into success.