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Presentation in the 2006 Rice University NSF Advance Conference entitled “How to Stand Out in a Campus Interview”. This presentation was authored by Rebecca Richards-Kortum (Rice) and Sherry Woods (UT Austin) with the purpose of conveying advice regarding maximizing your impact in a positive way in an interview for a faculty position.

Workshop Authors: Rebecca Richards-Kortum and Sherry Woods.

Slide 1: assumptions

  • “Interview” = entire campus visit
    • Formal presentations/seminars
    • One-on-one meetings
    • Informal gatherings and interactions
    • Sample schedule
  • “Standing Out” = Positive and Negative
    • You want to be remembered…for the right reasons
    • You are always “on”…

Slide 2: components of a hiring decision for a research 1 institution

  • Step One: Getting an interview
    • Recommendations from dissertation advisor and others
    • Publication record: quantity and journal quality
    • Match between institutional needs and applicant’s research focus
    • The “Hot” factor of research area
    • Formal application materials:
      • CV
      • Statement of research interests
      • Statement of teaching interests
      • Start-up needs
  • Step Two: Getting an offer
    • All of the previous (and more…)
    • Who Decides if an Offer Is Made?
      • Varies from campus to campus
      • Full professors
      • All faculty
    • The Dean has the "final"say

Slide 3: today’s focus

  • The formal presentation
    • Practice talks on Tuesday afternoon
  • One-on-one meetings and interactions with:
    • Faculty
    • Administrators
    • Students
  • Strategies for success and for avoiding common pitfalls
  • Meeting and Greeting Activity
  • General Hints for Success!

Slide 4: top rules numbers 1 and 2: continually ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who is my AUDIENCE?
  • What is the CONTEXT/SETTING?

Slide 5: before the campus visit…

  • Find out what you are doing and who your audiences will be…AND PREPARE ACCORDINGLY!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for 30 min of prep time before your seminar
  • Ask for meetings that will help YOU determine if position is a good fit
    • Assistant professors in the department
    • Potential collaborators in other departments
    • Graduate students in your area
    • Female faculty from other departments
  • Homework
    • Know who everyone on your schedule is and what their area is
    • Find out what research areas the department is emphasizing
    • Find out what courses the department needs you to teach
    • How to get this info?

Slide 6: things to ask everyone on your schedule

  • What are the P and T criteria?
  • What is the teaching load?
  • What are the strategic directions of the department?
  • If you could change anything about the department, what would it be?

Slide 7: during the campus visit…words of advice

  • Presenting oneself as confident and competent is a balancing act
  • The difference between: “I don’t know” and “I don’t know…”
  • “Knowing your stuff” is NOT the same as “Knowing how to talk about the stuff you know…”

Slide 8: elevator speech activity

  • You are visiting for a two-day faculty interview at your number one school. In the elevator on the way to a meeting, someone introduces you to Dr. Clark, the Associate Dean for Research. She is not in your area. After shaking hands, she asks, “So, what do you do?” Your assignment is to prepare a 1-minute elevator speech that:
    • Describes your research interest in a compelling way to someone outside your area
    • Ideally, you want her to walk back to her office and call the chair of the search committee to say how impressed she is with you as a potential colleague.
  • Round One
    • Take one minute to prepare
    • Find one other person (to practice with)
    • At signal, begin (and end…)
    • Start with the handshake…
    • Remember…it’s not a very tall building…
  • Round One - Review. As Associate Dean, give feedback:
    • Name 2 – 3 key things you heard
      • Could you explain to some else her area of research?
    • Rate confidence level
    • Rate enthusiasm level
    • Rate hand shake
      • The art of confident handshakes…
    • Rating scale
      • Needs work
      • Okay, could be better
      • Great!
  • Round Two
    • Jot down 2 – 3 key messages you want to communicate
    • Repeat process with a new person
    • Still not a very tall building…
  • Round Two - Review. As Associate Dean, give feedback:
    • Name 2 – 3 key things you heard
      • Could you explain to some else her area of research?
    • Rate confidence level
    • Rate enthusiasm level
    • Rate hand shake
      • The art of confident handshakes…
    • Rating scale
      • Needs work
      • Okay, could be better
      • Great!

Slide 9: during the campus visit…more words of advice

  • When gender matters and when it doesn’t…
  • What to wear and how to wear it!
  • When to ask questions and what questions to ask…
  • Giving a technical presentation vs. teaching a class

Slide 10: anatomy of a good technical presentation

  • Introduction - 10 minutes
    • Get them excited
    • Why is your work important?
    • Background to understand it
  • The MEAT – 25 minutes
    • What you did (OK to sacrifice detail for clarity, not too simplistic)
    • What it means
    • Summarize as you go
    • Only the experts should follow the last 10 minutes of this part of the talk
  • The Implications – 10 minutes
    • What does this mean for the future of your field?
    • What direction will you take the work?
    • Leave everyone with a feeling of excitement about the future

Slide 11: important details

  • Clean slides, No typos, Large font
  • Outline easy to follow – help people stay with your talk
  • Rehearse for knowledgeable audience
  • Not too long or too short
  • Reference work of others in the field, especially if they will be in the audience
  • Practice answering questions
  • Don't get defensive
  • Check out the room and projector ahead of time
  • Have a backup of your presentation!!
  • Begin by saying, “Good Morning! It’s such a pleasure to be here.”
  • At the end, say, “Thank You, I’d be happy to take any questions.”

Slide 12: questioning activity

  • Expect the Unexpected: “Hard” Questions
    • I don't think you've accounted for the research of Barnes and Bailey. Aren't you familiar with their model? I think it invalidates your main hypothesis.
    • Unpublished research in my lab shows exactly the opposite effect. You must not have done the proper controls.
    • I believe a simple non linear equation explains all your data. Why have you wasted your time on such a complex model?
    • (To the candidate) Well you didn't even account for phenomena x. (Aside to the audience) How can all this research be valid if she didn't account for x?
    • How does this differ from the basic model that we teach in sophomore transport?
    • It looks like you've done some interesting modeling. Is there an application of this work?
    • What a wonderful little application. Is there any theoretical support?
    • Those results are clearly unattainable. You must have falsified your data.
    • You've done some interesting work, but I don't see how it could be considered engineering. Why do you think you are qualified to teach engineering?
    • Your work appears to be a complete replication of Fujimoto's work. Just what is really new here?
  • Good Responses to Hard Questions
    • “That’s a really good question...thank you for asking it.”
    • “You make a very good point…I have a couple responses…”
    • “We’ve discussed this question a lot in our research group and here’s what I think…”

Slide 13: final thoughts…strategies for avoiding interviewing pitfalls

  • Being too collaborative
  • Being too “easy” (“Rice is my first choice!”)
  • Failing to ask questions about the work of your host
  • Focusing too much on social aspects of department/city

Slide 14: preparing tuesday’s talk (for the workshop)

  • Who’s your audience?
  • How long?
  • What’s the setting? (AV needs?)
  • What kind of feedback will be given
  • What if you “bomb”?

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 2006 nsf advance workshop: negotiating the ideal faculty position. OpenStax CNX. Jul 31, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10442/1.7
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