Many of the interview techniques used for non-academic interviews can be used to prepare for interviews for academic positions, but there are a few differences.
Interviews at conferences
Interviews at conferences are often an initial “get to know you” interview. They will always be followed up by a more formal application and, if invited, a visit to the university.
The campus visit
The campus visit may include an interview with the full committee, individual meetings with committee members, a meeting with the dean, a partial lecture, social events and a job talk. The job talk is a presentation related to your current research interests.
When you get an invitation to an interview, do your homework. Be realistic—it takes a lot of time to prepare for a job interview, and practice potential questions.
- Be prepared to say what your course of research is – beyond your dissertation.
- In many academic fields, you need to identify an end-goal in answering the question: Where do I want to work?
- Let your job interview presentation not be your first presentation – practice your talk often and try to know who your audience will be (faculty, researchers, other students, etc.). Tailor your talk to your audience. Be sure to leave room for questions – do not go over time!
At the interview
Describe how you will contribute to the unit: courses you would be interested in teaching and how your research contributes to the department.
After the interview, send an email to each person who interviewed you thanking them for their time and consideration.
For more detail and practice questions, refer to our Academic Interview Guide (PDF).