Hiring manager’s decision based on most recent experience?

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Hiring manager’s decision based on most recent experience?

Postby James Tyler » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:59 am

I have been doing in vivo work for the past 3 years, but before that, I was doing in vitro work (specifically cell culture and molecular biology) for about 2 years. All my positions have been research associate type of positions at the BS level. I recently had an interview for an in vitro position that involves doing cell culture and molecular biology work and I ended up not getting hired.

I spoke with a recruiter recently and they told me that in general, when a hiring manager decides on which candidate to hire, when they take work experience into account, they primarily look at the candidate’s most recent role. The recruiter said that in my situation, the fact that I did in vitro work 3 years ago won’t make much of a difference because I’ve been doing in vivo work for the past 3 years and that makes a big impact on a hiring manager’s decision if they are hiring for an in vitro position.

Is this usually the case? How do I go about moving from in vivo to in vitro? Do I have to say specific things during the interview? Will it be hard for me to obtain an in vitro position because of my in vivo experience for the past 3 years?
James Tyler
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: Hiring manager’s decision based on most recent experience?

Postby PG » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:11 am

I would be looking at it than the recruiter you talked with but I am finding out that I am doing a lot of things differently.....

As long as you have a good idea about why you want to work with the type of position that we are offering I woudl look at your last three years of experience as an extra experience that may add additional value due to being able to see something that other people with only in vitro experience might not see.

I dont think that you suddenly forget everything because you did something slightly different for three years.
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Hiring manager’s decision based on most recent experience?

Postby Ana » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:32 pm

James, some times the feedback that you get is just a way for them to say "we found someone else we like most". It doesn't mean you are not qualified for the job, but that someone had a better fit or simply they liked them more.

I would NOT recommend you to try to retrain yourself in order to get a similar job. Keep trying. Preferences on candidates are highly personal. Some people will find your mixed experience as an asset, just like PG says.

At my former company, research associates would be transferred from a department to another during their career. From cardiology to neurology. From in vitro cultures to in vivo surgery. What you describe is just extra experience that shows you can master different fields, most employers won't see it negatively. Don't trust that feedback as a judgement on your background, they just went with another candidate...
User avatar
Posts: 655
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:48 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: David Lathbury and 19 guests