Careers Service Academic interviews

Preparing for an Academic Interview

Whatever job you have applied for, the purpose of the interview is the same. The interview allows the recruiter to find out more about what you can offer, assess your ability to do the job, and to see whether there is a good "fit" between you and the organisation. Interviews are a two-way process – they allow you to find out more about the job and the employer. Prepare as you would for any other interview – when you research the institution, you should pay particular attention to their research profile and how you and your research/teaching interests ‘fit’.

What to expect

Academic interview practices vary greatly but you should be aware that panel interviews are widely used. Although the same principles apply to these as to any other face to face interview, you need to direct your answers to the individual panel member who asked the question but include other panel members by glancing to them as you speak. Try to address individuals on the panel by name – but only if you do so correctly!

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Giving a presentation as part of the interview

You may be asked to give a presentation (perhaps of your research) or a lecture in front of a panel, especially if the presentations of your findings or lecturing skills will be an important part of the job. This exercise is about structure and delivery as well as content, and so equal attention should be paid to all three.

Use these resources: