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Senior Lecturehsip Interview questions

(53 Posts)
Jaagojaago Fri 03-Feb-17 12:33:09

Does anyone here have ideas on what sort of questions to expect at the SL level interview? Some info below -

Field is social sciences-humanities mix - I am more social science-y.

job talk has the brief of presenting a module outline, a sample lecture snippet and of course the research talk which is about current research and future plans.

My research talk includes my research narrative, sketches projects within it, a research consortium I direct, my current grants, grant bids in the pipeline (under review, to be submitted next month etc) - and I draw out questions of fit with specifics - as in my work dovetails with X and Y in cliuster Z very well - and I am bringing A and B to potentially clusters Z and M in your department type stuff.

For the main interview - I've got HoD, deputy HoD, 2 SLs, and 1 L.

Till now questions I've thought of include -

why do you want to work here?
Why seeking a move?
What are your research plans?
What kind of teaching do you see yourself contributing?
What kind of admin roles would you be thinking of?
What outputs do you think you can bring to the REF 2020?

In terms of questions to ask them I have two nice ones.

Can anyone at SL level or higher, add to my list in terms of other questions i need to anticipate?

Thanks much smile

anonymice Fri 03-Feb-17 12:54:09

how do you see yourself fitting into our research groups?

Jaagojaago Fri 03-Feb-17 13:10:00

Ah fab done that in the job talk very clearly smile

anonymice Fri 03-Feb-17 14:52:12

also I was asked silly (sexist) questions like whether I would be prepared to be a Welfare Officer. Cause women are good at listening to problems innit. They did not ask male staff that. My department asks them if they would like to teach abroad for a semester instead. I did become the Welfare Officer....

Jaagojaago Fri 03-Feb-17 17:09:48


kalidasa Fri 03-Feb-17 20:44:44

Questions about impact for REF - would you bring a possible impact case study.

Also, what new modules would you design and teach, perhaps especially at 3rd year/MA level.

How many PhD students have you had/do you have? Will your research attract/fund new PhD students and/or post-docs.

Am SL now also with a faculty leadership role.

user1481838270 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:54:32

For an SL role, I would expect questions outlining where the strategic vision for research within the department or faculty lies in an international and national context and what unique contribution I would bring to the university. The most important question will be to quantify how much research funding you will attract to the universitry.

Jaagojaago Fri 03-Feb-17 22:00:38

Fab I've got that all covered thanks very much smile

NewYearNewLife53 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:09:50

In what ways do you think you could generate income for the department?

You may be asked to work unsocial
hours (weekends, evenings). Do you welcome that?

What student feedback have you received to date? What are your strengths and areas of challenge?

How would you deal with a mixed ability cohort?/dominant student/silent seminar group?

How do you engage with international students on your module? What cultural differences might arise and how might you approach these to ensure effective learning by such students?

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Sat 04-Feb-17 11:31:37

Our department cares about a) grants b) four star publications (or at least looking decent in the REF) and c) impact case studies. New posts would be found if they interviewed two candidates with all of those and they wanted to get them.

All else is decoration!

MarasmeAbsolu Sat 04-Feb-17 11:37:11

questions about
1) the strength of your network in term of the internationalisation agenda
2) evidence for leadership outside your current institution
3) evidence for engagement activities / public or KT

user7214743615 Sat 04-Feb-17 14:50:41

New posts would be found if they interviewed two candidates with all of those and they wanted to get them.

I wish that were the case for us. Pretty much all interview candidates in my area could offer all of these but we wouldn't get extra posts :-(.

Agree though that everything else but grants, REF and impact is decoration. They will ask about teaching, TEF etc but this won't be the deciding factor.

Jaagojaago Sat 04-Feb-17 14:52:06

Thanks all - my research talk includes most of these elements and I've prepared the rest for the interview anyway.

My talk contains -

1. Research narrative
2. Individual projects - each with impact, KE dimension embedded
3. The trans-European consortium that I direct
4. 2 cases of impact - including one KE case from Point 3 above
5. My ongoing sabbatical (Jan - Sep 2017 yay!!) - speaking here on the grants in the pipeline and REF2020 pubs
6. My fit with the department mentioning spec research groups and individuals
7. My fit with the University's 2015-2025 research strategy document mapping my own 5 year plans on to 3 key aspects of it
8. Concluding with one key argument that runs through my work and my contributions to the field.

The teaching talk is separate but I cover lots of specifics there too.

All set I think !

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Sat 04-Feb-17 16:24:26

This all sounds great!

I don't mean every single time they take more candidates, but in general, if a post is advertised, and an academic with great REF/grants for many years comes along, they often squeeze them in. I think it's because they under-employ though, we have high teacher-pupil ratios compared with other similar unis. Plus not all candidates accept the offer, most but not all if they have family/other considerations.

MarasmeAbsolu Sat 04-Feb-17 17:23:19

Plans sound great - are you applying as an external candidate?
Is it an institution which is more research active? or will teaching be the main focus?

We once had a candidate who outlined a fantastic research plan - however, my institution was in the midst of a major "reorganisation" - the candidate was applying to a unit where the focus was changing in term of administrative (and teaching) support. The HoD asked them question about how "agile" they could be, and how they would manage to operate at the same level in an environment where everyone had to do teaching and admin (no buyouts!).

[if they don't ask you .... ask them! anyone coming from a very supportive institution into mine would have a big shock. Sabbaticals are unheard of, for example]

Jaagojaago Sat 04-Feb-17 18:02:58

Yeah have a whole list of questions for them if offered the job!! Will update here!

Jaagojaago Sat 04-Feb-17 18:03:24

And yeah research active university. External candidate.

VirgilsStaff Sun 05-Feb-17 19:33:15

For SL, I'd be asking questions about stepping up to certain leadership roles (but I was an HOD when SL), and generally probing how you would step outside your own research & teaching responsibilities to become a leader and mentor for more junior colleagues. But then I'm sick of colleagues who won't think past their noses about their own research.

Jaagojaago Sun 05-Feb-17 21:29:11

Thanks I've had some strong admin roles and have worked on answering what further roles this point forward I could pick up in the department if asked. Hope they do ask!

geekaMaxima Sun 05-Feb-17 21:40:40

What are your long-term / 10-year research goals?

Asked to push candidates out of their rehearsed comfort zone of immediate plans to see if they have "vision". Professorship, running own research group, world domination, etc. all good to hear.

Jaagojaago Sat 11-Feb-17 04:37:32

If anyone wants an update---

Did the interview. Job talk was good. Brief was to do a research talk + teaching demo.

In research talk covered - research narrative, 4 of my projects along with their outputs and policy relevance, an RCUK funded international consortium I direct, my current sabbatical plans divided up into my REF 2020 subs which is a Palgrave and Routledge book each going in next month and June (eep!) and the 8 good articles under review at the mo in high to very good journals, the new network with NHS and charities currently under review from new grant A, new rcuk grant under review for £££, and my current rcuk network's developing EU bid for March 2018. Then covered fit with their department with links to their research clusters, then mapped on my five year plan on to their 2015-2025 research strategy statement for the whole university with a cool infographic and concluded with a last slide summarising my core message/argument as an academic in X. Spoke on impact and knowledge exchange cases throughout including a large 14 country knowledge exchange I am directing right now with my rcuk grant.

Teaching demo was teaching demo.. Got two teaching questions and one research question on impact.

I was the last to be interviewed, last to do job talk ending at 6 pm on a bloody Friday. Questions were amazing and I aced it I thought. They covered REF, grant bids and amounts under outsiders tigons, my ongoing sabbatical plans, my instances of teaching leadership (I direct our oldest and largest programme and am developing it into a signature prog now) admin roles, I asked them about potentials for a new masters which greatly enthused them and they spoke of the value of my EU networks post Brexit and in all I nailed the interview I thought.

Now - I Knew both other candidates in my stream one of whom wasn't applying for a SL but an L. Bumped into both.

The other one though is 15 years my senior! He's applying for SL too and we bumped into each other. He's currently a colleague, and while I know about the absence of grants/transnational consortia etc, 20 years my senior means he's been teaching as L from since when I was in high school. I couldn't have shown that kind of seniority in my CV so I probably am out. I simply do not have the longstanding expertise on my CV - he completed his Masters when I was in Year 6 at school and he's been a lecturer for since 1998 or so.

So that's me probably out. They finished with me at 6 pm yesterday so not sure if/when I will hear back.

Thanks for all your help everyone!

Jaagojaago Sat 11-Feb-17 04:39:06

Outsider tigons ??? Bids under review it was meant to read

Jaagojaago Sat 11-Feb-17 04:40:38

Okay he is precisely 16 years ahead!

geekaMaxima Sat 11-Feb-17 10:42:54

Sounds like you did a fab interview, OP!

I wouldn't rule yourself out because of your colleague, though. It's not about how long a candidate has spent in L role while clocking up various experience points along the way, and more about what a candidate has been doing in the last few (<5) years and whether they're on an upward trajectory. It could actually be a disadvantage for someone to be 20 years at lecturer level as the panel will wonder why they haven't progressed already - depends what was said in interview. Grants and international consortia will outweigh 15 years teaching experience in most research-intensive institutions.

Good luck! smile

Jaagojaago Sat 11-Feb-17 11:35:40

Ah thank you! Wonder when I will hear considering they finished with me at 6 pm on a Friday yesterday.

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