Congratulations!! You’re at the stage where you’re being interviewed remotely (e.g. skype, zoom, phone) or in-person. Here is some info on preparing.

Interview Format

First, note that many places do interviews differently, so it helps to read up a bit on the format/structure of the interview process. Below are some resources relevant to academic interviews:

Responding to Questions

The format of the interview can make it challenging to give the best impression of yourself. Usually, a group of people will ask you questions, and give you time/space to give a freeform response without a back-and-forth that would usually occur in a conversation designed to reach a consensus on a topic. (One supposes this helps to keep the process fair to each applicant, and enable responses to be comparable.)

This means that many questions are of some form of “Tell us about your qualifications in X”. While it is natural to respond by describing your qualifications in X (and you should certainly do so!), you can turn a good response into a great response by further offering your opinion/thoughts about your experience in X. This helps demonstrate that you have thought about what worked and what didn’t, with potential for growing in the new position. (Instead of only being able to give a correct/expected answer of “Yes, I do have experience in X.”)

For example, for “tell us about your qualifications in teaching”:

  • do talk about your experience in teaching
  • do talk about your training in pedagogy
  • do talk about specific things you do in teaching and why (e.g. using formative assessments, because XYZ); perhaps also things you don’t do, and why not

This can be a challenging mindset to get into!

It can help to practice, on your own or with colleagues. The above links have some sample questions you can work from.

Asking questions of your own

In many cases, you’ll have some time to ask questions of your own. You can demonstrate interest by asking about aspects of the position that are unclear, or about the interview process (e.g. “when will I hear back about the next step”).