8.5 Preparing for a job interview

We have all been in this situation: you are invited for an academic job interview and you want to be well-prepared. As part of your search you want to find out what academics in the university you applied for are working on. You might even want to do this before applying for the job to decide whether this is the place for you or simply to tailor your application.

Remember that most applicants for the job are well qualified and will do a good job in their research presentation and teaching demonstration. What matters most is that you create a connection with the people on your interview or shortlist panel. They should be able to picture you as a person they could, and would want to, work with.

As far as I know, personal chemistry is impossible to engineer. However, there is a lot you can do to increase the chances of building a connection by being well prepared. There are several ways you could approach this, discussed in more detail below. Please note that I am absolutely not suggesting you should misrepresent your academic record or compromise your own personal values. However, you can easily emphasize different aspects of your academic record depending on who is on your panel.