I seem to have spent quite a bit of time recently giving practice interviews for academic jobs. The interviews were for research staff working at this University who were applying for lecturing roles at universities across the UK.
For many PhD students, the next step after the PhD – if you want to stay in academia – is probably a research role (research assistant; research fellow) or a teaching role (teaching assistant; teaching fellow) with the lecturing job coming after you’ve built more experience. But I thought it would still be useful to share with you a few of the questions that were asked at the interviews as something to ponder on for the future.
- How would you create collaborations with people at this university?
- How would your teaching fit into our program? What would you bring?
- In five years, what should we use to evaluate your success? How will you have made a difference?
- What research accomplishment are you most proud of and why? What impact did it have (academic and other)?
- Do you have any anecdotes or feedback about how your research has positively impacted students’ lives?
- If you had unlimited funds, what project would you work on?
- What would be your first grant?
- How would you make a contribution to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)?
Hopefully this will give you some insight into the experience you should be building for the future (some of it during your PhD but also in positions you’ll hold after your PhD).
Look at the Careers Service website for further information on what to expect at academic interviews and for examples of other types of question that may be asked.