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Academic Job Interview Tips


If you are applying for an academic job, you need to present that you have a good match between your experience and skill and the requirements of the institution.  A typical academic job involves planning curricula, preparing course materials and providing instructions. The academic jobs might also require you to perform research in specific fields and publish papers in professional journals. Thus, you should prepare to answer both closed and open-ended questions related with your expertise.

1. Before the interview.

Based on different levels of the job, you may have to participate in several rounds of interviews, performed by different members or interviewing panels. Before you apply for an academic job, you should do your homework researching the requirements and qualifications for the position. Prepare your resume and a portfolio including your publications and previous course materials such as sample handouts and cubiculum syllabus. Sometimes you may also need to bring your transcript, so please check ahead with the interviewers for more details.

2. Please make sure that you have confirmed the interview location and time duration.

Practice interviewing with a friend and get ready to answer questions such as “What strategies will you employ to advise student organizations”, “How you plan to give interactive lectures that can motivate students”, or “How do you supervise student’s project work?” These questions can reveal details about your previous academic experiences and interviewers can determine if your capability is fit for the job.

3. During the interview.

You should dress properly for the interview and arrive at the interview earlier than the appointment time. Generally, you should dress in a suit and get to the location at least ten minute earlier. Greet your interviewers with a smile and a firm handshake. You should speak with the interviewers in a conversational but professional tone of voice. To make yourself clear, you will also need to speak slowly and enthusiastically. Speak confidently and present your past experience, abilities and personal attributes to the interviewers. If you are asked to raise questions, you can probe for details about the daily responsibilities for the position, average number of students in a class or number of people in your department. End your question asking with a thoughtful question to give your interviewer an intelligent impression. Avoid asking about salary and benefits at this time and saying something negative on your previous supervisors and co-workers. Finally, thank all the interviewers as a conclusion of the interview.

4. After the interview.

Send a thank-you note, either email or letter to each interviewer immediately when you arrive home and address with any questions that posed during the interview and you agreed to follow up with. When you contact the interviewers, address each person by her title and name, and also refer to anything during your conversation that might be helpful to highlight your experience and skills to exert positive influence on the final decision.

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