Interviewing for a Job in Higher Ed? How to Prepare

by Feb 28, 2018

Congratulations – after all your hard work applying for jobs, you finally landed an interview at a college in Boston! Once you’ve spent sufficient time celebrating, it’s time to get down to business. Use these tips to prepare for your next interview in higher education.

Conduct Research on the Institution

Once the interview is scheduled, make time to conduct in-depth research on the institution. Learn about the department you’re interviewing with, and the students who attend the school. Learn about the college’s history, and if you are interviewing with an academic department, learn about the areas of research in which that department excels.

Pack and Plan Accordingly

Plan your attire well ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling the day of your interview. Always dress professionally and choose neutral colors. Limit accessories that could be distracting to the interviewer and avoid perfume or cologne.

The day of your interview, pack a bag that includes pens, a notepad and anything else you may need like identification to sign into the building. It is also a good idea to print out directions in case your GPS should fail. Write down any special instructions like where to park, which building you will be visiting and which doors to use. You don’t want to be stuck wandering campus or calling your interviewer for help.

Practice Answering Behavioral Questions

The first question you’ll likely be asked is, “tell me about yourself.” Practice answering this question because, believe it or not, many people stumble over it. You want to prepare a very concise, yet informative answer that talks about who you are as a professional and the value you bring to the table.

You should also be prepared to answer behavioral questions. These questions start with phrases like, “tell me about a time when.” Interviewers use behavioral questions to determine how you might behave on the job. They typically center around concepts like overcoming obstacles, problem solving, dealing with difficult co-workers, balancing priorities and handling conflict.

Prepare Thoughtful Questions

During the interview, you will be given the floor to ask your own questions. Use this time wisely. Lots of people ask standard questions like, “tell me about a typical day”; however, you can stand out by asking questions that show you’ve really thought about the position, such as:

  • How will my potential supervisor measure success?
  • What are the goals for this position for the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
  • When thinking about your ideal candidate, is there anything about my experience or skills that would make you hesitate to offer me the job?

Are You Looking for Higher-Ed Jobs in Boston?

If you are ready to get your career started in higher education, work with a true expert. Contemporaries, Inc. has relationships with many colleges in the Boston area. Contact a recruiter today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals in higher education.

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