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I have my first ever interview for a university lecturing post. Have questions.

(32 Posts)
LecturingLife Fri 20-Oct-17 19:56:29

have an interview for a lecturer post coming up. Never really expected to be short listed to be honest.

Never worked in academia before. I currently work in industry directly related to the degree concerned. Job advert said it would be ideal for someone in this field to take up their first lecturing post. As well as working in this field I also teach people already qualified to ensure their skills, etc are up to date. So I have a lot of teaching experience, just not in a university setting.

I'm slightly clueless how to prepare for the interview. I have to do a micro teaching session which is fine. It's the actual interview I'm more concerned about. Obviously I would expect normal questions along the lines of why do you want to go into lecturering, why would I be good at the job, what challenges would I expect to come up against.

Would they expect me to know anything about the politics of higher education, combatting attrition rates, funding issues, etc??

I have no experience of marking assignments but I'm guessing I would be given guidance in this area.

How much time do lecturers spend teaching and how much time marking and preparing for lectures. They did say something about some days been able to work from home.

I know I would be expected to complete a teaching qualification but would there be pressure on me to finish my masters, do a PhD, do research, write articles? It's not a Russell group or even a red brick uni.

LecturingLife Fri 20-Oct-17 20:24:34

Oh and I've never done any research, I have no idea what REF is either. I don't think I would bring them any money in. I don't even know how lecturers bring money in?

Just been looking at TEF stuff.

Ruthlessrooster Sat 21-Oct-17 00:41:04

What field? Science/Humanities/Arts/Management-technical?

At my gaff it's all about research. They say they care deeply about teaching and so on but in reality it's about research and cold hard cash. Basically, are you publishing in top journals/university presses and how much money can you bring in via grant capture?

It has resulted in some disastrous appointments.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 06:52:01


purplepandas Sat 21-Oct-17 07:10:55

REF and what your publications might be. Long term research plans in terms of possible grant apps. I would be looking at HEAD to show awareness of that if you don't have it. Back to REF. I would look at how the dept did previously etc.

Good luck.

Jakadaal Sat 21-Oct-17 07:11:58

I would say that most of the interviews would be about competencies and examples to back them up. Interviewers will be looking for your skills, how you can pass them on and how you can manage a roomful of 20 plus students.

In my uni there is a 'preparing to teach' course that all new academic staff go on and there will be something similar for assignments.

Are you a nurse is so are you a mentor? If you can sign off students as a mentor then assignments are similar.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 07:22:11

Thanks everyone. Yes I'm a sign off mentor.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 07:23:03

How do I find out about REF for the specific uni/dept?

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 07:24:39

And what's HEAD, I've googled and still can't work it out?

Snuper Sat 21-Oct-17 07:38:47

Our univ, and I’m sure others, have teaching lectureships where research not part of the role as well as the more usual doing both (idea is they won’t be reffable) - is this likely for your role? I’d say you should certainly have some idea about Ref and Tef and the NSS ( national students survey), and issues in HE. A really useful resource is the Wonkhe website - lots of articles about things like widening participation (WP) etc, and digestible. Just so you have at least shown an interest, as clearly it’s not your background. Also, you should look at the Uni’s strategy and be familiar with its key concepts.

PhD wise - you might want to do it, but I don’t think you’ll be pressurised to do it - we have a nunber of senior academics who don’t especially in fields like yours.

Bringing in money - researchers bid for grants/awards from various funding bodies, including the NHS, Medical Research Council, etc (if those still exist - terms change!). The grants pay for resources like staff, students, equipment, and carry some kudos and count to REF. Maybe look at Research Councils UK (I think) for some idea.

Impact is a big thing in Ref - being able to do work with impact and to recognise and demonstrate it - worth reading up on a bit - should think Wonkhe say something.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 08:08:57

That's great, thanks. Will get reading this weekend.

Mumteedum Sat 21-Oct-17 08:11:37

I work at a 'new' ish university. We're regarded much more as a teaching uni.

I think being aware of the ref and tef will be good but they won't expect you to be an expert. Use it for your questions at the end? Shows you've thought about it.

When I was interviewed a few years ago, I had background in industry plus some lecturing as an hourly paid member staff. The panel had about 5 people on it. The chair was from another academic area to the one I was being interviewed for. Then there was head of dept and course leader of the subject I would be working in. There will also be someone from HR.

There will be the obvious why do you want to work here question. Some subject specific questions. The ones from HR were general "tell us about a situation where you..." etc.

Just think about how you can apply your experience to the uni setting. Do a bit of research. Read some times higher education articles about current issues.

Good luck!

purplepandas Sat 21-Oct-17 10:28:30

HEA sorry. Higher Education Academy.

Snuper Sat 21-Oct-17 10:43:12

Someone who knows better than me might say, but we’re between REF cycles currently and everyone is second guessing how it will work, but more publications per head means a better score. So not sure how you’d see the last one, but wouldn’t expect you to find anything on next round yet, is all internal and trying to practise for the real thing to maximise outputs, if that makes sense? If you know someone in the School/Dept they’d be best placed to know, but I wouldn’t worry about that for your interview, Herat just to have an overview of what it is. It’s run by HEFCE.

titchy Sat 21-Oct-17 10:59:32

Check the NSS results for that course, drop out and employment outcomes. TEF metrics in other words. They'll probably be wanting to improve at least one of those so being aware of their results and the importance of them would be good. Maybe ask about recruitment and the effect of the NHS bursary no longer being available.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 11:58:55

Would it be odd to go totheir open day next weekend, the one for prospective students? I know one of the lecturers there and she will know I have an interview. I just thought it might good to get a feel for the place.

iveburntthetoast Sat 21-Oct-17 13:51:58

Personally, I would find that a bit odd.

LecturingLife Sat 21-Oct-17 14:06:56

That's what my friend said as well! Right, will resist that. Thanks everyone.

purplepandas Sat 21-Oct-17 16:08:19

Definitely don't do that!

user918273645 Sun 22-Oct-17 11:31:52

Someone who knows better than me might say, but we’re between REF cycles currently and everyone is second guessing how it will work, but more publications per head means a better score.

OP is not research active and the interview is not in a research intensive institution but what you write above is not correct: more publications per head does not mean a better score, and it never has done. Indeed under the new REF rules quality clearly matters more than quantity - variable outputs means that somebody with 2 4 star papers could well be more valuable than somebody with 3 3 star papers and 3 2 star papers.

LecturingLife Wed 01-Nov-17 18:39:34

Well I got offered the job which I'm really pleased about.

Only downside is even though it's a Band higher than my current grade it will technically be less money. Because of the band overlap the bottom of the next band is less than the top of my current band and I'm at the top of that band.

So NHS would normally start you halfway up the next band but the university have said that they can't.

I'd get annual increments so in 3 years time I'd be on more money than I am now and still with the potential to increase. But it's frustrating that I will be worse off for 3 years for a higher band post.

Snuper Wed 01-Nov-17 19:11:57

Well done! But perhaps you will have other trade offs like lots of annual leave and more flexible/sociable hours that would make it worth it?

LecturingLife Wed 01-Nov-17 19:41:09

I think annual leave is the same as I currently have, maybe a week more. Current job is quite flexible.

Can any lecturers tell me how much time they spend a week of their own time doing lesson preparation/marking, etc? I know I will get some allocated paid time for this but just wondering if this will be like teaching where you end up spending 12 hours a week of your own time also doing work stuff?

user918273645 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:02:15

I think only somebody in the same subject and a similar institution can answer your question. Or perhaps you could chat informally to people in the department you would be going to?

In my research area, at top research intensive universities, academics work very long hours on teaching and research (the idea of working "only" 40 hours per week is laughable) but the expectations (and balance between teaching/research/leadership) would be very different for nursing at a "new" institution.

Snuper Wed 15-Nov-17 16:59:20

@LecturingLife Did you take the job?

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