Job Interview Articles

You Can Land an Academic Job Interview

An academic job interview is not a whole lot different from job interviews in other professions. The university or school has openings for candidates who meet certain criteria and are able to perform appointed tasks as teachers, professors, administrators, assistants, and so on. Your first order of business is to determine what the hiring manager is looking for and then how to best portray yourself as the one to fill that position. Research is as important to academic job interviews as it is to any other industry.

Such research includes reviewing the written requirements for the opening. Each university and department within the school will have a mission statement, description of its purpose or objective, and some specific duties involved for the individual who is hired. Of course it will be important to find out some of the details that are often behind the obvious scene. Academic departments are often driven by the personalities of the people employed and are notoriously political. Therefore, make it your mission to speak to as many of the professors and administrators as you can regarding the way things are done, what is expected in and out of the classroom - if you're competing for a teaching position - and how you might fit into the larger scheme of things.

Preparing For a Test!

As soon as you're aware of what the institution is looking for, then you'll be better able to portray yourself in light of those requirements. Of course you don’t want to pad your resume or exaggerate your abilities, but it will be important to align yourself and your experience with what is being sought. Here is where your supporting documentation will play a significant part. Gather your transcripts and lists of publications where your work has appeared, and of course, your dissertation, if you've produced one. You'll have a chance to convey other aspects of your ability during the interview itself.

Don’t Forget Personal Stories

Your interviewer will be more than interested in hearing some of your life experiences in the classroom or in administration, depending on the job you’re seeking. Engage the senses and emotions. Be clear and concise but add the little details related to students you've encouraged and helped and the results you saw with your own eyes. Academic job interviews can be long and tedious for the interviewer who must speak and listen to as many as a hundred or more candidates for a single position. You can stand out, however, if you come across as qualified and humane, well regarded, and capable of doing what is required.

In addition, dress professionally, show up on time, and be ready to answer questions and to ask some of your own.