Academic Interview Cheat Sheet

Congratulations on beating the bots, making it through the first stages of selection and securing your interview for a new academic job.

In between planning your presentation and brushing up on body language no-nos, it’s time to think through the questions you’re likely to be asked.

Preparation is key. Time spent on practice in advance will significantly improve the quality and fluency of your responses on the day.

The simplest questions sometimes need the most careful rehearsal. ‘Can you tell us a little about yourself?’, for example, is not simply an invitation to summarise your CV. The panel have already seen it. It’s your opportunity to deliver a punchy pitch, setting out the two or three crucial points you want the interviewers to know and remember about you.

To save you time and effort, we have put together a cheat sheet with 80 sample interview questions. Read through and select several from each category to prepare for – remember it is unlikely you will be asked all of these questions during one interview!

This resource may also prove useful, of course, for those on the other side of the table. If you are a recruiter, you will find rich material here for future interview question planning.

It’s not just about answers. Don’t forget to plan your own questions, too – here are 10 useful suggestions.

Finally, when it’s over, remember to check out these seven tips for following up successfully after interview.

More in the Global Academy Jobs Cheat Sheet series

Transferable skills for your next application

Dynamic verbs for your academic CV

Further Reading

How to increase the reach of your published work

Five steps to greater impact reach

Understanding ‘desk-rejection’ — an Editor-in-Chief’s inside look

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Jo Mitchell is an experienced writer and editor. After studying Modern Languages at the University of Oxford she worked in fundraising at Oxfam GB and Viva, where she specialised in writing communications for major donors. She now provides freelance editing and copywriting services at Nightingale Ink in the firm belief that sometimes words can sing.

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