Hey folks! So here are three thoughts on the on campus interview.
I’ve gone on a few between this search & my last few job searches. I’ve also been a member of several search committees here and at my previous institutions. I’m no expert, but here are three thoughts.
1) DO your homework! I’m sure you’ve heard this.
- Look at the job description. Figure out what the job is really going to ask you to do.
- Figure out what the school is all about. You don’t need to memorize their core values, but it is worth it to know some key phrases/ideas/terms that are unique to the position.
- Learn the area. Expect them to ask you “why do you want to live in x town.”
2) Ask Questions! I know everyone says that. But it’s true! Ask questions!
- Be sure, however, to ask the correct type of question to the correct person. For a medium-large department, the director may or may not know the exact duty schedule for the student staff. However, the director should know some stuff about the strategic planning!
- Feel free to ask the same question to multiple people. Also, if you know the answer to a question, it is ok to ask it again to a new person!
- When in doubt, ask about the area/region. “What’s your favorite part” “What was the biggest surprise for you when you moved here?” (+ or -)
3) Observe! Take a good long look around.
- Look at what folks are wearing.
- Look at the offices.
- Watch the non-verbals. You will see lots of communication this way. Keep an eye on it.
I think above all else: take notes, do that reflective piece afterwards, and try to decide if this is the best place for you. Only you can answer that question.