Monthly Archives: April 2012

Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars

The aim of the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) is to actively support the needs of Canadian postdoctoral fellows at national, regional and institutional levels.  These include establishing proper training and work environments, publishing up-to-date and pertinent news regarding Canadian postdocs, supporting current institutional postdoctoral associations, helping to establish new institutional postdoctoral associations, and advocating on the behalf of the rights and interests of postdocs nationally.  For a list of postdoctoral associations across Canada, please click here.

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Academic Interviews: Research Questions (Part 3 of 3)

This is the last post of a three part series focusing on questions that are often asked in academic interviews.  Previously, teaching and classic interview questions were discussed.  This week common questions related to research is considered. These questions are from the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo.  To find the complete list, click here.

  • Describe your current research.
  • What audiences are you addressing with your research?
  • What is the cutting edge in your field and how does your work compare to it and extend it?
  • How is your work different from the work of your PhD and/or Postdoctoral supervisor?
  • What is the broader significance of your research? How does it expand our historic understanding, literary knowledge, humanistic horizons?
  • Tell us how your research has influenced your teaching. In what ways have you been able to bring the insights of your research to your courses at the undergraduate level?
  • How would you balance your teaching duties and your own research plans?
  • Would you be able to take on a graduate student immediately?
  • Tell us briefly what theoretical framework you used in developing your research.
  • What facilities do you need to carry out your research?
  • What are your plans for applying for research funding?
  • What is the most significant piece of research that you have read in the last year?
  • What do you envision for creating a research program here? Moreover, what are your long-term research goals?

If you have an upcoming interview, practice your answers with someone who has interviewing experience and who will also be completely honest with you.

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Academic Interviews: Teaching Questions (Part 2 of 3)

This is a three part series focusing on questions that are often asked during academic interviews. Last week’s set was standard interview questions. This week the questions are related to teaching. They are from a larger set taken from the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo. To see the full set of questions click here.

  • What is your philosophy of teaching?
  • Could you tell us about your teaching experiences?
  • What do you consider to be your teaching strengths/weaknesses?
  • What classes could you teach in our program?
  • How would you evaluate student learning?
  • How do you bring diversity into your day to day teaching?
  • How have you used technology in the classroom?
  • How would you teach a major work in your field? (The hiring committee may name one)
  • What experience have you had teaching at the community college level? How, if at all, do you think teaching at a community college differs from teaching at a four year college or university?
  • What is your favorite lecture and why?
  • If you have no industry experience, how do you expect to be able to teach students about the field if you have never worked in it?
  • How do you motivate your students?

If you have an upcoming interview, practice your answers with someone who has interviewing experience and who will also be completely honest with you.

Next week is the last part of the academic interview questions series and will be about research questions.

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Academic Interviews: Standard Questions (Part 1 of 3)

This is a three part series focusing on common questions that are often asked in academic interviews. In the first week, we will focus on standard interview questions. These are classic questions that can arise in academic or non-academic interviews.  They are from a larger set of questions compiled by the Centre for Career Action at the University of Waterloo. Further information can be found here.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you feel you will be successful in this work?
  • For you, what are some advantages and disadvantages of working in a team environment?
  • What motivates you to do a good job?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • How do you reduce stress and achieve balance in your life?
  • How did you handle a request to do something contrary to your moral code or business ethics?
  • Why did you apply to our organization and what do you know about us?
  • What is the most important thing you are looking for in an employer?
  • How do you spend your spare time?
  • If I asked your friends to describe you, what would they say?
  • When did you last have a disagreement with someone at work, and what was the outcome?
  • Why haven’t you found a job yet?
  • How will you be successful in the job, given your lack of experience in ______ (e.g., sales, fundraising, bookkeeping)?
  • Why should I hire you?

If you have an upcoming interview, practice your answers with someone who has interviewing experience and who will also be completely honest with you.

Stay tuned for next week’s post which will focus on teaching related interview questions.

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The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is a not-for-profit research organization. They are experts on organizing conferences, publishing research and networking. Their research focuses on economic trends, organizational performance and public policy. Their website offers webinars, economic data, research reports and career opportunities. Some of their services have a fee.

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