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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interview blog: Startup edition

I had an interview at a startup company today.  They are very small (4 people) and are looking to hire a chemist with my background.  The CTO knows a lot of the current and former people from the company where I currently work, including all 3 of my former bosses.  (Hopefully, he won't talk to one of them!)  Not surprisingly, they had already talked to a number of my coworkers about the same position.  In fact someone else was being interviewed at approximately the same time, at another location. 
The CTO was a good looking, fast-talking guy of extremely confident, slightly shorter than average, slender but muscular, dark-haired variety.  They seem to be fairly common in academics but this was the first industrial one I've met.  In any case, I've known a few in my time so I felt about as comfortable as possible, considering it was an interview. The other guy was an inorganic chemist with approximately the same job history as myself (do postdoc, then go to tiny startup company and stay there for a very long time).  He'd just started there last week, although he and the CTO had worked together twice before.  I was assuming, since it's a startup , that they'd have people right out of grad school, but this guy was about the same age as me, and they'd also hired someone with 30+ years experience who starts next week, so at least they'd done their homework and realized they needed some experienced people.  Whether this translates into giving me a competitive advantage over my younger colleagues remains to be seen. 
Anyway, it's very long-shot technology.  They are going to need a good business plan to succeed.  Since this was just a preliminary interview, they didn't have me sign a non-disclosure agreement and couldn't tell me exactly which reactions they were targeting, so it's hard to judge how feasible the chemistry is.
I'm still in this strange phase where I'm not stressed about the reorg or the interviews.  Part of me thinks that the deal will go through and we'll get bought, part of me feels like it would be nice to get a fresh start, even if that means moving to another part of the country, and part of me is still burnt out from the stress of T breaking up with me that I'm guarding myself from feeling too much.  Nonetheless, it does help that I've already had two interviews and the job market for chemists seems to be picking up compared to the summer.

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