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Interviewing Tips for Academic Positions Based on remarks by Dr. John Courtright Director, Office of Undergraduate Studies Professor, Communication, U of D. Marianne Green Assistant Director MBNA Career Services Center. Pre-Interview Activities. Mock Interviews

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Marianne green assistant director mbna career services center

Interviewing Tips for Academic PositionsBased on remarks by Dr. John CourtrightDirector, Office of Undergraduate Studies Professor, Communication, U of D

Marianne Green

Assistant Director

MBNA Career Services Center

Pre interview activities
Pre-Interview Activities

  • Mock Interviews

    Formal activity scheduled by Department or ask adviser to participate. Ask them to grill you unmercifully with the type of questions you will face. Career Services has video equipment for mock interviews.

Pre interview activities continued
Pre-Interview Activities (continued)

  • Participate in actual interviews

    • Observe presentation and question and answer sessions.

  • Don’t go to job interviews without serious intent.

  • Practice answering questions that reveal how you acted or will act in a given situation. Have examples for support.

Interview activities
Interview Activities

  • Do’s- Audience Analysis

    • Make certain that your expectations and their expectations match. Whom will you be meeting? What group will you e presenting to? Faculty and grad students? Will you be lecturing to a class? Is this a formal or informal presentations. Will you need equipment?

Audience analysis continued
Audience Analysis (continued)

  • Have intelligent questions prepared for each type of individual with whom you will meet privately. If necessary, ask the same questions again. Don’t say, “I don’t have anything to ask.” Don’t make them take the conversational lead.

Audience analysis continued1
Audience Analysis (continued)

  • Questions for Faculty

    Atmosphere, support, expectations, teaching loads and your assignment, style of the Chair, Departmental governance, best points/worst points of Department.

    Is this a stable, mature Department? A growth Department? A Department in decline?

Audience analysis continued2
Audience analysis (continued)

  • Questions for the Chair

    Almost the same questions. When you don’t hear consistency explore a little deeper.

    Merit pay? Style of Dean? Perception of Department within the University? Anticipate retirements or resignation? How are perks assigned? How long does he or she plan to be Chair.

Audience analysis continued3
Audience Analysis (continued)

  • Questions for Chair (continued)

    Obtain more specific information on expectations for promotion and tenure. Are there numerical criteria? How is teaching evaluated? What percentage of Asst. Profs has this chair gotten promoted?

  • Questions for the Dean

    Mostly perception of Department questions. Listen carefully for qualifications, caveats, and hints of problems. Ask Chair for clarification.

Audience analysis continued4
Audience Analysis (continued)

  • Be Yourself!

  • Don’t’s

    • Act—be yourself.

    • Be arrogant, glib or superficial. Even if you have already decided this isn’t the position for you, treat each individual with respect. Sooner or later they will pop up in your career.

  • Audience analysis continued5
    Audience Analysis (continued)

    • Drink too much, and never order first. Always stay within the expense account (if you don’t feel comfortable asking, order what the “host” orders).

    • Smoke

    • Be unnecessarily critical of the work of established scholars and never criticize individuals personally, even if others do so.

    Audience analysis continued6
    Audience Analysis (continued)

    • Discuss money during the interview, unless the topic is raised by the Chair and only the Chair. Be prepared to discuss it---intelligently and with data----but don’t initiate such conversations.

    Post interview activities
    Post Interview Activities

    • Write or email a thank-you note to the Chair and your “host.” Reiterate the match between the job requirements and your qualifications. Bring up any additional information not touched upon in the interview.

    • Withdraw immediately if you are certain you don’t want the job.

    • Inform school if you take another position.

    Post interview activities continued
    Post Interview Activities (continued)

    • If you get an offer, be prepared to discuss remuneration and requirements intelligently.

      Know what others are earning and exactly what type of equipment you will need (and what it will cost).

    Prepare to answer sample interview questions
    Prepare to Answer Sample Interview Questions

    • Apart from your area of specialization, what other areas would you feel confident about teaching?

    • How would you adjust to a small liberal arts college when you are obtaining your doctorate at a large institution?

    • What are some areas in which you need to improve and how would you go about doing this?

    • Who has influenced your research and teaching development?

    • Where do you plan to be with your research in 5 years?

    Academic interview questions continued
    Academic Interview Questions (continued)

    • Describe a situation where you had a conflict with a student, peer, or mentor and describe how you solved it.

    • What frustrates you most about teaching?

    • Tell me about a project you initiated.

    • Can you give us an example of how you have solved problems?

    • How do you deal with pressure situations in the classroom?

    • How would you describe your teaching style? Why do you choose to teach this way?

    Academic interview questions continued1
    Academic Interview Questions (continued)

    • Describe two or three research accomplishments that have given you great satisfaction?

    • Give an example of a situation in which instructional activities you had planned failed, and how you handled this.

    • Why are you the best person for this position?

    • How do your community service and research intersect?

    • What software and computer programs have you used in your research work?

    • What is the most difficult class you taught last year. What made it difficult? How did you cope with the challenge?

    Academic interview questions continued2
    Academic Interview Questions (continued)

    • What strengths do you bring to working at this urban, commuter-based college?

    • What experience do you have with course management software such as WebCT or Blackboard?

    • Give us some examples of community leadership you have demonstrated off campus?

    • What are some ways that you relieve stress in your life?

    Sample questions to prepare for talking with faculty
    Sample Questions to Prepare for Talking with Faculty

    • How many hours per week, on average, would be devoted to academic advisement?

    • Do faculty have the opportunity to team teach?

    • Tell me about the town. What is it like to live here?

    • What career aspirations do your students seem to have?

    • How would you describe the students in your courses?

    • What is the interface between your department and other campus units?

    • With which units/departments does your department most frequently interact?

    • What is your teaching philosophy?

    Sample questions to ask chair of department
    Sample Questions to ask Chair of Department

    • What classes would I be expected to teach my first year?

    • What research funds are available for start-up?

    • What is the teaching load?

    • What technical equipment will I have access to? What about laboratory space?

    • Are interdisciplinary teaching and research encouraged?

    Discriminatory questions
    Discriminatory Questions

    • You should not be asked questions about marital status, age, children, ethnicity, or religion. Only questions that pertain to your ability to do the job are acceptable.

    • What should you do if you are asked an inappropriate question?

      • Answer question.

      • Ask: Please explain how this question relates to my position as assistant professor.