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First ever academic job interview - help?

User: Eimeo - 09 November 2012 13:09

Hi everyone! I was really excited to be invited to interview for an academic job opening - I've been applying for 2 years and this is the first time I've been shortlisted! There's not a whole lot of time to prepare, though, and, though I've plenty of interviews under my belt, this is my first for an academic position. I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of the types of questions I could prepare for? I know that could be a bit like asking "how long is a piece of string?", but even a very general idea would be useful. Do they focus generally on research interests? Teaching philosophy (whatever that might be! I've seen it requested in job applications in the past but I have no clue what it means...)? Experience? Why you want to work for them? I can't even remember my interview for the PhD so I can't extrapolate from that! Any information gratefully received! (It's a lecturing role in Arts/Humanities in a UK institution if that helps?)

User: bewildered - 09 November 2012 20:42

Is it a permanent post? If so these are things I've been asked about: On research - REF submission, plans for generating grant income and impact, next research project Teaching - teaching areas, potentially specifics on modules if something is specified (show you have ideas about content but also teaching and assessment strategies), pastoral care (current obsession is the first year experience & transition from school), the university's 2012 agenda (see what they're promising new students), possibly learning technologies depending on the university, internationalisation & challenges General - why here (talk about the fit - possible collaboration with existing staff etc), current issues in HE If you do a general research talk rather than present a specific paper (i've been asked for both), don't just describe your PhD, try to show that you have a feasible future research plan.

User: eimeo - 09 November 2012 22:23

Thank you so much - that's incredibly helpful! Plenty of food for thought. It's not a permanent post (18 month fixed term contract to cover a secondment) but I could certainly see how much of that would come up, thinking about the spec and the interview format. They've asked me to give a 15 minute presentation on my current research and outline how I'd turn an aspect of it into a module, which I feel like I can do easily enough, but the other stuff? Yikes. Oh well, if nothing else it will give me experience of interviewing at this level, which can only come in useful in the future!

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