Talking about Teaching during the Academic Interview

On November 17, the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning hosted the workshop, “Talking about Teaching during the Academic Interview” as part of the University Professional Development series. The event was full of great insight for graduate students of all disciplines as well as all types of academic positions.  The panel highlighted differences and similarities between discipline and institutional expectations during the interview. There were three overarching topics during the panel, and unsurprisingly, all three of the concepts apply to any type of job search.

  1. Communication: You may not be explicitly asked to teach a class during the interview, but that doesn’t mean your ability to teach and communicate to others isn’t being judged. The ability to convey your research, answer questions and share opinions to others during the interview is easily correlated to your ability to teach students.
  2. Know yourself: Be honest about who you are and your needs as an educator. It is important to include your personality and views into a teaching philosophy/portfolio as well as your interactions during the interview process. If you have to be someone else and/or make significant compromises to get the job, is this the right job for you?
  3. Do your homework: Know the institution you’re interviewing at. Part of this fits with the point above about knowing yourself and picking an institution to match. Just as important is the ability to demonstrate during the interview that you know about the institution, the individuals you meet with, and their expectations when it comes to teaching.

Overall, the workshop was filled with great observations from the four faculty panelists and excellent questions from the attendees.  Two suggested resources from the workshop are below:

  1. Tim Wei, “100 Teacher Interview Questions that are asked all the time,”
  2.  Mary Corbin Sies, Dept. of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, “Questions one should be prepared to answer for (academic) job interviews,”

The final fall workshop hosted by the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning is “Meaningful Teaching Experiences:  Partnering with the Community” and will be held on Wednesday November 30 in the Geddes Hall Coffee House. Information and registration can be found at

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