I'm an early-stage academic (post-doctoral researcher) who is mulling about transitioning to the tech-industry. My reasons for doing so are primarily due to higher pay, decent benefits and predictable work hours than academic life (at the risk of being an "at will" employee who has to work for the company's bottom line first). One question that is often asked in questionnaires is:
What excites you about working in X industry?
I understand what sort of answer they're looking for here, but I'm afraid that if I'm chosen for an interview, my academic past might come out stronger than in written text and be a turn off for hiring managers. In fact, this has happened to me once before — I got interviews at top companies after undergraduate, and nearly everyone said "You seem keen on doing research, and should pursue graduate school.", and I did. The problem is, I still am keen about academic research; I'm a good academic, have published good work and have a steady job (or a clear career path)... but I'm tired of the shitty pay.
I'm confident I'll be good at the industry job (which only hires PhDs), although the work might not be as stimulating (or leisurely paced) as academic research. My mind is more or less made up about moving to the industry and I really do want the job, although perhaps for the wrong reasons from the interviewer's point of view (my heart probably is still in academia... for now). At this point, my main concern is closing the deal at the interview. My question is:
How can I (mentally) prepare myself to fully let go of academia, or at least position myself convincingly to the interviewer and demonstrate that I really want the job?
I understand that the challenge is more psychological than anything else, but I was wondering if someone more experienced (or hiring managers) have a different perspective on this situation and how they sniff out such candidates.