- CIRTL Café
- Course Guidebooks
- Diversity Resources
- TAR Projects
- CIRTL Forums
CIRTL Network Exchange to CU-Boulder
The academic job interview. Exciting? Grueling? Way different from industry interviews? Yes, yes, and yes. We are talking about an interview that spans a day and a half. Think of the interview as a conversation, or rather a series of conversations. You typically meet with faculty, the department chair, and the dean individually in 30 minute blocks. Déjà vu is felt multiple times and you must have the elevator speech plus the expanded detail flowing with impunity and ready for interruptions and clarifications. You also present a seminar on your research and maybe a seminar on your teaching. You will be treated to at least one meal, but don't think for a second that the interview stops. You are being evaluated constantly and the social setting of a meal provides important information to the hiring committee. Each institution has its own traditions, therefore each institution has its own style of interview so these generalizations are just that. Should you wear a suit? Definitely, however don't sacrifice comfort for fashion in the shoe department.
But you are interviewing them as well. Both parties need to know if they are compatible. You should do your homework before the interview. Know the research of each person you are scheduled to meet and don't be disappointed if they haven't done their homework on you. Read their papers and their bios. Think about how your research fits into the department's strengths and how your search diversifies their portfolio. Know the funding landscape for your research and be able to articulate a clear plan for funding.
The CIRTL Network Exchange provides a realistic simulation of this academic job interview. You likely won't meet with the dean or the chair and you aren't interviewing for a real job so you don't have the same pressures. Nevertheless, the experience is extremely valuable.
I had a wonderful journey in my exchange visit to the University of Colorado at Boulder. I identified the faculty I wanted to meet and my host coordinated my schedule. I met individually with six faculty and three graduate students, received a walking campus tour and a tour of the engineering labs, presented my disciplinary research and my teaching research, and was treated to three meals. I hope to foster the relationships forged during my visit into life-long friendships and collaborations.