I have done postdoc interview-presentations before and usually you are asked to talk about your past research projects and/or your research/teaching expertise/background. But the requirement from most recent employer got me more than a bit puzzled. They want me to talk how would I manage a research lab. And it really is for a postdoc position, not a technician or lab manager. From what I gathered I basically would have to talk in a creative way on how my expertise and skills match their requirements and job description. But I just don't now where to start, and how to go about it. The general tone, the structure on how to put the talk together - no idea. And it has to be 10 minutes, which makes for even bigger challenge, as I would have to polish every word to fit the timeframe. I tried to google for some tips/examples, but it seems like such presentation type is so very unusual, that it wasn't mentioned even. Anybody had similar experiences? Any tips anybody? I still have some time to prepare, but it starts to eat on my nerves. Thanks in advance.

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    Does the job description actually include managing the lab, or is this otherwise something they're expecting you to do or help with? – Nate Eldredge May 24 '18 at 22:56
  • Job description doesn't name 'managing the lab' precisely among the job responsibilities. Only in roundabout kinda way - i.e. 'do synthesis, analysis, comply with safety regulations' and thing like that - standard spectrum of responsibilities of postdoc in my field. That is why I am so puzzled about this "Managing lab" presentation they want. – – AgarAgar May 25 '18 at 8:09
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    If it were me, I would ask them directly if they expect whoever is hired to participate in managing the lab, and if so, what specific duties would be involved. Then you'll have to decide if that's a job you would want. – Nate Eldredge May 25 '18 at 14:42
  • At least in the US, I would say that it is entirely inappropriate to have a post doc working as a lab manager. If they want to hire a lab manager with a PhD they should create a suitable position. – Bryan Krause May 25 '18 at 17:09
  • Is this a particularly large lab? I know that some labs work off something similar to the "brigade system", where postdocs are viewed as middle managers for grad students, undergrads and techs. If that's the case here, it could be a "how will you manage your subsection of the lab" thing. -- Alternatively, it could be an "a postdoc is training to be an independent PI" thing, where the PI wants to make sure they're not taking on someone who will never cut it as a PI due to lack of managerial skills. (Either way, I agree that it's rather odd.) – R.M. May 25 '18 at 23:04

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