The Professor Is In: Hacking the Academic Interview

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The Professor is In: Karen Kelsky, PhD, continued to explain how to hack the academic job search and focused on the art of acing the interview.

Prof is In

The Foundations of Interviewing

  • time management
    • anticipate the timing and number of questions
    • in a conference interview, anticipate 5 questions and 3-4 minute responses
    • practice them ahead of time!
    • use bullet points
  • image management
    • lose your graduate student mentality
    • own your expertise!
  • imposter syndrome
    • confront it
    • women suffer from it the most
    • everyone experiences it
    • you were picked for an interview- you are good enough
    • the question is how effectively can you prepare to clearly articulate your research?

How to prepare:

  • Learn the names of the interviews and research their work
  • Check course listing
  • Make a cheat sheet of the department
  • Deliver what the department needs, not what your dream research is

Describe your dissertation and postdoc:

  • Prepare to be clear and concise
  • You should be able to describe each in five sentences

Describe your tenure publication goals:

  • Be brief

Approaching Diversity:

  • Address how you would deal with a diverse range of students
  • How would you incorporate diversity in your teaching materials
  • Delve into your personal background
  • How can you administratively support diversity
  • Demonstrate awareness of inequities and¬†¬†challenges of underrepresented minorities and the negative consequences of this
  • How can you personally and administratively address this

Discussing fit:

  • Avoid being a supplicant
  • Start from a position of psychic parity
    • “look at how well we match”
      • this department’s interests and my own match so well
      • I can contribute to the interests of Dr. X and Y by doing courses on QQ

“Questions for us”:

  • Be sure to know your environment
    • At an R1, ask about research
    • At a teaching college, ask about teaching

Biggest mistakes:

  • rambling
    • be concise and prepare your thoughts ahead of time!
  • lack of focus
  • inappropriate speech patterns
    • don’t use hedging language
      • I think, I hope, I want (hesitation)
      • It seems like (insecurity)
      • I really love, I’m passionate (hyper-emotionalism)
      • I’m sorry (lack of authority)
      • Uptalk (lack of authority)
  • Being caught unprepared
    • elevator speck of your dissertation
    • contribution to field
    • how do you mentor undergrads and grads
    • handling diversity
    • teaching philosophy
  • Odd body language
    • Your interview is a performance
    • Make a visual impression the moment you enter the room
    • control your visual impression:
      • your eyes, hands, shoulders