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Interviews Work Both Ways

Posted on March 30, 2009

Gathering information from various perspectives is an essential part of an interview, states Keith A. Trujillo (bio).


Before you're hired, when you're being interviewed, you want to talk to as many people as possible. Talk to the early faculty there, talk to the advanced faculty there, talk to the students, talk to the administrators, and try and find out as much as you possibly can to get as complete a sense of the institution as you can.

And of course seek advice from others who have been at that institution and find out what their perspectives are. It's so important to land where you're going to be able to build a successful career, and so it needs to be a very important match between you and the institution.

In the best of interview situations, they'll have thought of that before, and the institution will set up interviews with everybody in the pipeline ranging from students all the way up to administrators. But if they don't, it's very important for the faculty member to seek that out themselves and to request that through the interview process or perhaps request a second interview where they can come in and learn more about the institution.

What I've found is sometimes asking can be very important. For example, if you see in the itinerary as you come in that there aren't students on the list of interviews that you have, you might request that and say that, "I would like to meet with students as well as all of these others." And that will really help you in getting a better sense of the entire institution and how that everybody works together or perhaps doesn't.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2008 National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse Conference in Bethesda, MD.


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