Academic job interview: Any tips?


Hi everyone,

I have a job interview next week for a research-only position in a specialist research institute for a major project. This is for a social sciences role.

I've just been given the time and the panel (5 panel members!) and as a result feel a bit more terrified that I had been when I thought it would be 3. However, I know 5 can be a common number. I do feel lucky that I received an early morning time.

There are no instructions to prepare a presentation as some interviews require, though I will be double checking with the recruiter tomorrow when my voice stops cracking (sick with bronchitis atm!).

I'm preparing:

-answers to each position description task
-major points to remember for the research institute and what it does/its major funding
-major points for the university it's housed with/strategic goals of the uni
-major points for each panel member (4 of them as the last one is the HR manager), in particular their recent work, achievements etc
-Summary of my research area including methodology etc (as points)
-answers to commonly asked questions (i.e. where do you see yourself in x years, etc?)
-how I think the project could go <--I have some details about the project due to 1) being forwarded the email from my mentors/supervisors about the role from one of the panel members and 2) by having called the contact person to inquire about the role and the project


Copies of my CV, journal articles, works under review, etc

Does anyone have any tips for Academic interviews?


In my first couple of interviews (research positions in medical sciences) I got caught out by the structure.

Each person on the panel had set questions to ask which were equivalent for all candidates to make it fair

The issue I had was that there was no follow up or reply (just a thank you!) once I had answered a question. I was expecting more of a discussion/conversation type of interview, but I don't think this format is commonly used in research type positions anymore as the process has to be standardised.

This meant that as I naturally don't tend to elaborate my interviews were over very quickly and therefore the panel didn't get the best impression of my previous work/skills etc

I am naturally very chatty, I just found this format very jarring!