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Job interview - questions from interviewee

(34 Posts)
CityDweller Thu 09-Jun-16 15:18:16

I've been shortlisted for a job (hurrah) and I always struggle to come up with questions for the interview panel. Usually they've answered them all during the process of the interview (I say 'usually', I've been in my current post for ages, and have only been up for one other thing in the last 7 years). I'm wary of coming across ill-informed about the programme/dept/uni by asking obvious questions.

Any tips?

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jun-16 15:20:12

Think of questions. Write them down and take them on a pad. If you get to the end and they've all been answered make a point of checking then say "no all my questions have been addressed thank you"

albazavi Thu 09-Jun-16 15:21:18

I always go for something about progression or cpd. Ie. Could you tell me what the organisation has in place for personal development, I'd really like to focus on developing this area of my expertise?

Shows you are ambitious and willing to out extra time in, and also reflective.

Might come up in questions though...

Sunnsoo Thu 09-Jun-16 15:25:12

Have a look on the website for future research and conferences, and ask about them. It will show that you're keen to get involved in the future of the department.

Good luck!

BorisIsBack Thu 09-Jun-16 15:30:38

You don't have to ask questions! I like it when interview candidates don't ask questions. Gives me longer to pee in peace between candidates

Questions about development opportunities can be good.

I also always like to ask what they expect to see delivered in the first 3 months / a year or what would sucess look like in the first year.

lljkk Thu 09-Jun-16 18:37:37

Working hours, any flexibility, usual lunch, is milk provided for tea, where would you sit (how many office mates). Prospects for ongoing contract.

Twatting Thu 09-Jun-16 19:08:23

I ask how they find working for the company.

notagiraffe Thu 09-Jun-16 19:10:48

I'd ask about course structuring and what input staff have to shape the course. I'd also ask about the link between library staff and academic staff operates, having recently taught on an MA at a uni where there were NO books on the MA subject available in the library!

clarrrp Thu 09-Jun-16 19:12:01

Always ask about long term plans for the role and the company and future training and development - ask about the potential development of the post and what direction they see that job and role going in the future.

notagiraffe Thu 09-Jun-16 19:12:33

Oh and ask about conferences they hold/your chance to be involved in running one, and ask about what in-house publishing opportunities exist for dissemination of papers.

esornep Thu 09-Jun-16 19:13:13

It depends on the type of job.

If I was interviewing for a senior academic, I'd be pretty surprised if they asked about milk for tea/lunch. I would be fairly surprised to be asked about working hours and flexibility, since the main constraints on working hours tend to be teaching. (I would understand though if somebody said they wanted a specific kind of flexible working e.g. 4 long days and one day off, and wanted to know if they could be guaranteed a day with no teaching.) I would expect questions about office arrangements, career progression, funding for PhD students, plus questions specific to the research/teaching profile of the department etc etc.

Acopyofacopy Thu 09-Jun-16 19:13:44

Read up and ask about a recent event and if you could get involved in the future?
Ask how xyz / Brexit / whatever will affect the department.

BorisIsBack Thu 09-Jun-16 19:15:05

Definitely do not ask about lunch breaks or milk!!!

CityDweller Thu 09-Jun-16 19:20:52

Er, yes, don't worry - I won't be asking about breaks and milk!

The qs about conferences and events is a good one. I plan questions about the extent of the role, plans for the programme, etc, but they tend to get covered anyway in the interview main.

SecretLimonadeDrinker Thu 09-Jun-16 19:22:32

I always write the questions down, and take them in with me.

Just got my perfect job, I asked:

- what do the first three months in this role look like
- how do they define success
- question related to recent relevant industry news

Good Luck smile

HedgeSchool Thu 09-Jun-16 19:24:08

Lunchbreaks and milk! grin

Mind you, I've known interdepartmental warfare over weeks' old milk in a communal fridge... History are perennial offenders...

HedgeSchool Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:28

Research group affiliations and events, institutional support for conference organisation, postgraduate recruitment, possible Brexit implications for collaborative research between European partner institutions.

clarrrp Thu 09-Jun-16 20:55:46

Mind you, I've known interdepartmental warfare over weeks' old milk in a communal fridge...

In our old office someone didn't close the door properly one evening - everything spolied and the office stank for days. I swear I thought the admins were going to come to blows.

FoggyBottom Thu 09-Jun-16 21:01:22

Working hours, any flexibility, usual lunch, is milk provided for tea, where would you sit (how many office mates). Prospects for ongoing contract.

Umm, very bad questions if you're interviewing for an academic post. I hope you were joking lljkk ! grin

lljkk Thu 09-Jun-16 21:16:32

they are the sort of questions someone more junior has to ask.
I have learnt my lesson.

FoggyBottom Fri 10-Jun-16 05:21:22

They're definitely not questions someone interviewing for an academic post should ever ask, even at a junior level (such as a Teaching Fellow). But the OP knows this!

saffynool Fri 10-Jun-16 07:38:38

Lunchbreaks and milk, love it! (Remind me what lunch breaks are again??)

I would ask about CPD etc, as others have said. I might also ask about governance responsibilities - ie: what sort of things are coming up that I might be asked/expected/have the opportunity to put in EOIs for (depending on the type of job). Shows willing!

In my area I would also ask about opportunities for maintaining/developing my professional/hands-on skills but appreciate that may not be relevant for you.

CityDweller Fri 10-Jun-16 09:25:38

The fact that I had to look up what the acronym 'cpd' stands for is an indication of how invested in this my current institution is...

FoggyBottom Fri 10-Jun-16 09:29:13

Well, in my field, it's not a term we'd ever use. Although we have an annual review & there is training in stuff if we want it. But continuous professional development? well, that's researching, publishing, developing new courses, going to conferences - it's what we do as part of our jobs as academics, I always think. We are lifelong learners as a profession.

notagiraffe Fri 10-Jun-16 10:06:57

You could ask what from their perspective would constitute ideal progress within one year and five years within this role. E.g. a friend gave me a tip recently that his uni were developing a new department in my field and if I got an article published in a particular magazine, that was their idea of a dream academic in this field and would be a way in.

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