What to expect
Selection processes for postdoctoral positions, fellowships (teaching or research) and lectureship positions usually include an interview stage.
Academic interviews may include some or all of the following:
- Formal panel interview
- Individual discussions with academics in the department
- Job talk and/or presentation
- Informal networking perhaps including a lunch or dinner
Usually in the UK a lectureship interview includes all of the above.
How to prepare
Prepare for your interview by:
- Reviewing your application materials
- Finding out who will be on the interview panel and their research interests and departmental responsibilities. It is fine to ring up to ask about this.
- Doing some background research on the research project, department and university. Find out who works there and what their research interests are. Tip: Search their website as if you were a prospective student to find out what courses are available and how they teach.
- Thinking about how your research and teaching experience fits with them and what you can bring to the department and project
- Anticipating questions the interviewers may ask and practising your answers (Tip: Use our list of typical interview questions [pdf])
- Having a practice interview with the LSE PhD/research staff careers consultant (Book an appointment with the PhD Careers Consultant on CareerHub)
Typical interview questions
View or download a list of typical academic interview questions [pdf] collected from feedback from real-life interviews.
Job talks and presentations at interviews
Here are some tips for preparing and delivering your job talk/interview presentation:
- Check if they give you a topic or brief
- Think about your audience – how close are they to your field? Adapt your content to them
- Stick exactly to the timings they give you
- If you are talking about your research make sure you talk about why it is worth doing – it's probably less obvious than you think!
Practice interview appointments
PhD students can book a 30 minute one to one appointment with the PhD Careers Consultant to practice for an interview or discuss any aspect of careers. Book an appointment on CareerHub.