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How to Prepare for a Lecturer Interview

Many colleges and universities employ lecturers, who may work part or full time. In rank, they may be equal to instructors or adjunct professors but below the rank of assistant, associate and full professors. Lecturers often do exactly what their title implies — they lecture on their area of expertise, their research or a professional experience that will enhance students’ understanding of a topic. The classroom dynamic is usually one-way, although students almost always are afforded time to ask questions. Preparation is vital to a lecturer — both for classroom lectures and for a job interview.

Step 1

Provide an overview of the topics you plan to cover in your lectures. A bulleted list should suffice, but it should be comprehensive. Be prepared to flesh out the bullet points in detail and with illustrations during the interview.

Step 2

Explain your methods of presenting the material covered in your lectures. Most college and university classrooms are equipped with overheads, whiteboards and computers so that students can easily follow along with PowerPoint presentations and other online tools.

Step 3

Outline the means by which you intend to gauge students’ understanding of the information contained in your lectures. Be prepared to explain your rationale during the interview. For example, some lecturers prefer frequent quizzes and two major tests throughout a semester while others opt for no quizzes but require several tests and papers. Couch your rationale in terms of your previous experiences and, specifically, your successes.

Related: Teaching Faculty Job Notifications across India

Step 4

Present a “critical outcomes” sheet, especially if the material you plan to cover in your lectures fall outside the regular curriculum of the college or university. This may be especially important if you are lecturing on an overseas experience, a government assignment or even a new book that you wrote — in other words, information that is largely unknown to the interviewer. The outcome sheet should include positive comments about your lecture from students and evaluators.

Step 5

Many academic interviews require you to give a presentation to members of the department where the interview is held. This could be on any subject, your research or teaching. Instructions will be sent on what you are required to do when you are invited to interview. This is an extremely important part of the day and so make sure you give you best presentation possible. Do dummy runs on members of your current department and friends and family. The most important piece of advice: stick rigidly to time! This is a skill that will stick in the minds of those interviewing.

Step 6

Do your homework on the college or university so that you can be prepared to answer the question: “How exactly will your lectures benefit the students here?” Although some commonalities among college students exist, campus climates can be very different. Think about the differences between community colleges and four-year colleges; public schools vs. private schools; and smaller schools vs. those with large student populations. Be sure that you understand the demographics of the college or university so that you can explain how your lectures would be of value to the students there.

Tip

Bring an extra copy of your syllabus and references as a courtesy to the interviewer.

What Are Common Lecturer Interview Questions?

Common lecturer interview questions concern candidates’ reasons for applying to teach at a certain institution, their approaches to running a higher education class, and their future plans for research. Many potential university lecturers are also questioned about how they will contribute to the school outside of their regular teaching duties. Hiring managers at colleges and universities usually prefer lecturer candidates who are dedicated to their fields of study and who have clear ideas for how they will teach their subject matter to students. Questions are often designed to measure both teaching qualifications and how well a given candidate may fit in as part of the faculty.

One of the first lecturer interview questions that many candidates hear is about why they selected the college in question to apply for an open lecturer position. An interviewer will often ask this question to gauge how familiar prospective lecturers are with the school’s background, philosophies, past achievements, and future plans for improvement. Candidates who are able to give compelling and detailed answers are those who have researched the institution and who believe they have similar approaches and ideas concerning higher education. These kinds of interview answers indicate genuine interest in a particular school rather than a willingness to accept a position just anywhere.

Also See: PhD/M.Phil Notifications Across India

Course loads and classroom management styles are additional topics of discussion. An interviewer may ask candidates if they would be willing to teach courses that are outside their specific discipline but still in the same general academic category. This kind of question gauges whether candidates are flexible and willing to take on new challenges. It also measures willingness to work as part of a team with the rest of the faculty. Many candidates are also asked about their curriculum plans, including the kinds of exams and projects they would assign to their students. Other related questions concern methods of accommodating different learning styles and of dealing with possibly difficult students.

Research and publishing are important components of an academic career, and good candidates for further education lecturer positions have consistent dedication to this area. Common interview questions may concern the details of past research publications. Candidates may be asked why they chose a certain topic and how they overcame any challenges in completing their research. Prospective college lecturers with future research project plans are often given priority, and those who plan to include students as research assistants are also good lecturer candidates.

Wish you all good luck for your Interview and great future…


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