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Careers in Academia II: The Interviewing Process December 9, 2013 Associate Provost Brian Mitchell Graduate Career Advisor Rachel Burk.

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Presentation on theme: "Careers in Academia II: The Interviewing Process December 9, 2013 Associate Provost Brian Mitchell Graduate Career Advisor Rachel Burk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Careers in Academia II: The Interviewing Process December 9, 2013 Associate Provost Brian Mitchell Graduate Career Advisor Rachel Burk

2 Introduction --An institutional perspective on hiring --What a committee evaluates in interviews --Overview of workshop

3 Institutional Perspective (B) Adjunct Faculty – Short-term contract (1 semester at time) – “Part-time” teaching load (1-2 courses) – Hired by CV, short interview with Dean/Dept. Chair – Local search Contract Faculty – “PoP” – 3-5 year contracts, full teaching load – Screening by CV, on-campus interviews – Local, regional search Tenure-Track Faculty – Hired as Assistant Professor – 3 rd year review, 6 th year tenure review – Screening by CV, initial telephone/conference interview with department head, on-campus interview with faculty – National, international search

4 Institutional Perspective – Tenure Track Faculty Considerations (B) Disciplinary “Fit” Diversity Collegiality Tenurability “Return on Investment”

5 Overview of Workshop (R) Presentation on the second half of the hiring process, from screening interview through campus interview to job offer Mock interview workshop in smaller groups

6 Screening Interviews (R) --Most institutions interview at least 12 and as many as 30 candidates for a single position. --Selection for a screening interview means that the Search Committee thinks your credentials as presented in your application materials are a good match for their requirements. In the current job market, this means you ranked in the top +/-15% of a very capable applicant pool. --Interviews last 30 to 60 minutes and are normally conducted by a committee of at least two faculty members. --Many take place at annual professional conferences, others by phone or Skype. --Afterwards, two to four candidates are invited to campus to continue the interview process.

7 Screening Interview: Preparation (R) Logistics – Schedule strategically. Be polite and make friends with staff. – Half the battle is showing up on time, to the right place, looking the part. Practice – Be able to answer three to four basic questions fluently. Avoid rapid-fire delivery: treat your explanations as if you were teaching. – Practice often and with different partners. Get advice from faculty in what they look for in candidates. – Plan in advance what you’ll say if you draw a blank. – Research each institution. Prepare a tailored, innocuous question to ask them at the end.

8 The Screening Interview Itself (R) Walk purposefully, look interviewers in the eye when you meet, shake hands firmly. First impressions matter. Stand out and present your qualifications succinctly and interestingly. Come off as a potential colleague, a friendly engaging expert on your field. Aim for less typical interview and more erudite conversation between peers. Don’t let answers trail off. If you are momentarily stumped, ask for clarification, so you can give them the answer they want quickly. Conference vs. phone or Skype Illegal questions and hostile interviewers Issues for non-native speakers of English (Robert Connor, Director of English as a Second Language)

9 Elevator Speech (B) Answer to “Tell me about your research.” “Three Minute Thesis,” a quick synopsis of your major research Prepare at least two versions: one for departmental colleagues, another for administrators Avoid jargon, but don’t dumb it down Remember to situate your work in relation to disciplinary currents, clarify its importance for your field. Business cards are still nice touches

10 On-Campus Interviews (B&R) Logistics Job talk – Present your best research. – Keep to time limit. – Practice before audience, particularly Q & A. Teaching demonstration – Do what they ask. – Contact professor whose class you will take over for syllabus, tips. – Plan a quick ice-breaker to start. Meals, meetings, receptions – Always be on. – Meetings with faculty are about fit more than qualifications. – Nurse a drink if you must. – Show students you are interested in them. Ask what they want. Tell them about classes you’d be excited to teach.

11 Negotiating Job Offers (B) Salary Benefits – Retirement (vesting) – Health/Dental/Eye Care – Benefits for Dependents (Tuition waiver) Start-up costs, graduate students, teaching release Moving Expenses Start date Consider the entire package Spouse/partner considerations Get it in writing!

12 Conclusion and Resources (B) The Academic Job Search Handbook by Jennifer Furlong and Julie Vick (4 th ed., 2008) From Student to Scholar: A Candid Handbook to Becoming a Professor by Stephen Cahn (2008) CHE and Inside Higher Ed For individual career planning advice, contact: Rachel L. Burk, Ph.D. Graduate Career Advisor Tulane Career Center (504) or

13 Workshop: Peer-to-Peer Mock Interviews (R) --Purpose and format --Explanation of critique rubric --Break up into assigned groups

14 Mock Interview Questions Tell us about your research/scholarship (as discipline appropriate). How do you see it evolving over the next five years? Describe yourself as a teacher. What teaching experiences have you had and which ones have you most enjoyed? Do you have a question for us about the position?


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