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Presentation on theme: "ON INTERVIEWING FOR AN ACADEMIC POSITION Phil Garcia ACE University of Illinois."— Presentation transcript:


2 Introduction Background Uncertainty about the process Heterogeneous opportunities and different types of interviews Information Needs – How do I get an interview? – What do interviews involve? – How will I be assessed?

3 How Do I Get the Interview? Procedures – AAEA Employment Center – AAEA on-line – JOE The Personal Touch — “stand out” Keep the CV current and accurate Use university career centers (CV, mock interviews)

4 What do Interviews involve? Convention Interview (structure and objective) – Structure 30 to 45 minutes (?) Components: position definition; questions about your research, teaching, and other activities identified in CV that might relate to the position; and time for you to ask questions – Learn about the position

5 Convention Interview – Make a good impression (Be prepared) Research the position and department Anticipate questions/responses – Research (“elevator story”) – Teaching – Service and Outreach – CV and position statement

6 Convention Interview – Make a good impression Prepare questions primarily about the position and related faculty Be Collegial (reasonably “upbeat but relaxed”) Answer questions in a direct but rather succinct manner Talk about your experiences – A variant (phone interview) Identify who will participate and…

7 What do Interviews involve? Campus Interview – Structure 2 days Components (variable): research seminar; meetings with the Dean and/or Head of extension, department head, search committee, faculty and students; a teaching opportunity; social occasions, real estate tour Obtain a schedule for the interview and ask the department head to identify expectations for the position – Learn about the position and present yourself as a potential colleague. Let’s start with the position.

8 Campus Interview Heighten your preparation – Learn about your institution – Search for information about the position and the hiring institution – Learn about members of the search committee and faculty you are scheduled to meet (particularly in your area)

9 Campus Interview Preparation – Anticipate and think carefully about the “inevitable” questions—Google “academic position interview” U of Minnesota—Teaching and Learning Center (tutorials) Darmouth College—Kathryn Cottingham (questions) U of Maryland—Mary Corbin (advice) Cornell—John Cawley “A Guide (and Advice) for Economists on the US Junior Job Market”

10 Campus Interview Preparation – Realize that your response to similar questions may vary depending on the situation and/or individual – Tailor and ask more detailed questions on the position, department, college, and university – Don’t forget that Land Grant Institutions have a responsibility for service and outreach

11 Campus Interview Develop carefully and practice the research seminar – An opportunity to show your “stuff” – Motivate and emphasize the importance of the research question – Clearly and quickly identify the value of the work and your contribution

12 Campus Interview Research Seminar – Get the story straight (link problem, theory, procedures and data, and institutions) – Don’t lose your audience with tedious derivations or endless tables and figures – Anticipate questions (general and specific)

13 Campus Interview Research Seminar – Anticipate how you will handle unexpected questions and problematic questioners – When possible, at the end link your research to the position – Allocate your time well – Remember academics want you to tell them something they didn’t know so they can better understand a problem

14 Campus Interview Teaching Opportunity – Identify your audience and preparation – Explore alternative topics — find “comfort zone” – Identify clearly what you are going to discuss – Present students with information (e.g. outline, figures) – Use concrete examples (e.g. “put numbers on it”)

15 Campus Interview Teaching – Keep the presentation short and focused – Use different procedures (ask questions, ppt presentation, blackboard) to communicate your message, but be selective – Summarize, answering the “so what?” question

16 Campus Interview Present yourself as a potential colleague – Academics look for good colleagues Engaged and enthusiastic about their work Contribute to the growth of knowledge and development of the department – Resolve relevant problems – Communicate knowledge to audiences and decision makers – Use the knowledge to inform and enhance the quality of their instructional and outreach activities

17 Campus Interview Potential colleague – The campus interview is an opportunity to show you can be a good colleague Be engaged in your work Demonstrate your are connected with the literature and your faculty Be informed and interested in the faculty and their work at the hiring institution – In addition, it doesn’t hurt to be affable, initiate conversations, and to follow “accepted” behavioral norms (you are a candidate) during and after the interview

18 Some Concluding Thoughts Start early – Learn about your institution – Interact with your professors and study how they interact with others – Find and involve yourself with research – Explore teaching opportunities and instructional centers on campus Be prepared “Remember the Maine”

19 Other Slides Inevitable questions Questions for you to ask

20 Some “Inevitable” Questions Research – Generic: Tell me about your research (and/or your specific papers in CV) and the contribution you are making? How did you get the idea for your work? – Specific: In light of Sanders and Manfredo (2006), I question your assumption that markets are efficient? Is the procedure you used appropriate for the data? Is their independent evidence to support your claims? Why should we care about your findings?

21 Some “inevitable” Questions Research – The Future: Where do you plan to publish your work? Where do you plan to take this line of research? Are you going to look for research funding? How do you see your current research direction fitting into the position?

22 Some “inevitable” Questions Teaching – General: What is your teaching experience and how do you think it qualifies you for the position? What is your teaching philosophy? – Specific: What courses would like to teach and what books would you use? How have you used technology in the class? How would you handle a situation where 50% of your class simply fails?

23 Some “inevitable” Questions Other – How do you see yourself in this position in 5 or 10 years? What are your professional goals? Is there a match? – What form of service or outreach do you see yourself providing to the university and/or outside community? – In what ways do you see your research interests providing information to private and/or public decision makers?

24 Some “Inevitable” Questions Other – Why this position? In this department? At this university? – How do you think your research, teaching, and other experiences uniquely prepare you for this position?

25 Interviewer Questions Position – How does the position fit into the department’s activities and direction? – What are T/R/O responsibilities and expectations? (teaching load?) – Are there other faculty working on related issues? Is there much professional interaction?

26 Interviewer Questions Position – What criteria will be used to assess performance? – How does the tenure process work? What is the importance of T/R/O in promotion? What is the recent “track record” of the department in promoting junior faculty? What role does the college play in this process?

27 Interviewer Questions Position – In which journals are faculty expected to publish? – What resources are available? Are there “start up” funds or instructional centers on campus to assist junior faculty? Are there funds to support research assistants for junior faculty? – What are the grant writing expectations for junior faculty? – Is there much mentoring of junior faculty?

28 Interviewer Questions Department, College, and University – How is the D/C/U organized? – How are decisions made and resources allocated? – What are the plans for growth or hiring? – Is this a good place to work and develop a career?

29 Interviewer Questions Department, College, and University – Tell me about the research environment? – Is there much professional interaction among faculty, departments and/or colleges? – Tell me about the quality of the undergraduate and graduate students? Where do they find jobs? – Tell me about the department’s seminar series? Recent presenters? Attendance?

30 Interviewer Questions Department, College, and University – What contacts and programs do the department and faculty maintain with agriculture, industry, and/or relevant public and private institutions and decision makers? – In what direction is the college/university moving? How does the department fit into this picture? – Is this a good place to live?

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