Survival skills-How to prepare for job talk
p: Sometimes campus visit can be great but exhausting experience.These are often 2 day events(2 dinners) with faculty and can be extremely exhausting.On top of that these are often back to back from different schools making it even more tough.The main idea of the job talk is to collect and consolidate perspectives from all people(all faculty in the department) ,not only from the dean etc.the whole department needs to give their opinion. That’s the reason for full day interviews.Department also shows that we really are a great group and care for future candidate thus building reputation of the school.
S: How is the decision on the job candidate made,is it a single person’s decision or a consolidated effort.
P:In many cases there are a committee who decide about the candidate who to interview and who to invite,its a collective decision.In some cases all people decide and in some cases only senior people decide.One of the important criteria is whether candidate can survive the high pressure environment.
S:Its often a big decision on the part of school since we are adding another permanent member.Apart from that credentials for tenure/productivity also play an important role.
P:There are two kinds of hires one who join fresh out of school and the second are the tenured Professors.The decision on tenured cases are even more important sometimes,because they will become a permanent part of the department,so the school doesn’t want to hire jackasses ie candidates who are very productive but tough to get along with.It is tough to do research and collaborate with these people often and so the school has to be extra careful while hiring.
P:Its often important to impress and make a great impression,if you make a bad impression you are screwed.Even if most of the committee agrees,one strong “no” is often sufficient to be rejected,so everyone’s opinion matters.Its also important to acknowledge shortcomings and answer critical questions asked in the best way possible.For a person who is a jackass he will stress under such pressure and might challenge them back which often leads to rejection .You don’t want to be offensive but also not cave in,its a really balance,its acknowledge that your research has issues.We often want to see how the person can teach top MBA students/exec -MBAs. Its often like a date,to make the date work you have to show commitment and interest in each other,same for the interviews.
S:We School wants to hire people who are committed to the program,who is not going to leave in 2/3 years , as its a huge investment loss,expensive to hire tenure track person.
P:You have to show interest in the city who are going to.You have to take every interview seriously.Lack of interest can be a rejection even for strong profiles.too much movement is often a bad signal.
P: Job talks can often be research collaboration opportunities with faculty members from that school.Candidates can also talk about other interesting questions and miscellaneous stuff though the focus remains on the job market paper.Candidates should also prepare 5 min intro,10 min intro,30 min intros respectively.Its often important to have a strong research portfolio along with various teaching interests to diversify your chances further.