First-Round Interviews
How to make the best impression on the hiring committee during your first-round interviews

  • The Purpose of First-Round Interviews
  • Your Overall Goal in a First-Round Interview
  • Possible Modes for First-Round Interviews
  • How to Prepare for Video Interviews
  • How to Dress for a First-Round Interview
  • Possible Formats of First-Round Interviews
  • Tips: Do Your Research & Prepare Your Interview Agenda
  • Common Questions About Research
  • Common Questions About Teaching
  • The “Why do you want to work here?” Question
  • Common Questions About DEI Work
  • The “Do you have any questions for us?” Question
  • Tips: Your Physical Presence
  • Sample Interview Responses

About this lesson

The academic job market is a long and winding road. After the application phase, which is all about you preparing and submitting documents, your next step is an interview. If you advance past that, then it’s on to the Campus Visit which involves a huge mix of meals and presentations and interviews. So, while the lessons in our apply module are about presenting yourself in writing, the lessons here in the demonstrate module help you present your best self.

Congrats! You’ve made it past the paperwork phase of the academic job market, and you’ve been invited to have a First-Round Interview with a search committee. But . . . what do you wear? How do you prep for an in-person interview vs. one that takes place on Zoom? What will you be asked? And how exactly should you respond to committee questions?

This lesson on First-Round Interviews will help you navigate an interview in any format, communicating effectively to a search committee by drawing upon your application documents and Cover Letter. Completing this lesson will also help you when you begin preparing for your Campus Visit.

Workbook Activities

This lesson covers pages 5-7 in the Demonstrate Stage Workbook. You can also use the Take Notes widget to complete these activities.  

  1. If you have a first-round interview that is going to take place via Zoom or some other video conferencing software, use the checklist provided in the workbook to make sure you are prepared properly for it.
  2. Brainstorm what outfit will strike the right balance between comfort and professionalism. Consider the outfit you picked. Do you have the pieces of that outfit already? Will you need to shop for, or borrow, certain pieces?
  3. Take a moment to reflect on your strengths: What are 3-5 strengths about yourself, as researcher/scholar, that you would want to convey to a search committee? What are 3-5 strengths about yourself, as a teacher, that you would want to convey to a search committee?
  4. Look over the list of sample first-round interview questions in your workbook. Pick one question from either the list of Research Questions or the list of Teaching Questions. Draft an answer to that question.

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First-Round Interviews

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Interview for a Faculty Job

The interview process for a faculty position is a long and often lengthy process. This course helps learners prepare for the interview process. Lessons help doctoral students and postdocs confidently demonstrate to hiring committees their readiness for a faculty position.

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