10 questions you should ask during a faculty interview

Faculty interviews can be so stressful. There is so much pre-work that goes into getting prepared and it can be hard to know what questions you should or should not ask. In my opinion these questions can help you get the answers to questions that really influence your experience as an Assistant Professor. As a constant reminder, I am an engineer so some of the questions are more targeted towards folks in STEM.

  • What initiative is the Department/College undertaking in regard to teaching, research, and diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • Are new professors provided laboratory space in their first year? Shared space? Private space?
  • What does the tenure process entail? Number of evaluations? Types of documentation? Number of years?
  • What percentage of Assistant Professors achieve tenure within the Department and College? Women vs. URMS vs. Men? 
  • How is teaching quality evaluated? (very important for women and URM’s)
  • What is the teaching requirement for non-tenured professors? Number of semesters/classes? Graduate vs. Undergraduate?
  • Are there faculty development programs focused on teaching, grant writing, or lab management?
  • Do new faculty members receive official mentors? Is there an official mentoring program for new professors? Can you change mentors if it is not working out?
  • Are there existing cross-unit collaborations in my research area? How easy is it to get involved?
  • How are professional and outreach activities encouraged or supported in the Department? Funding? Evaluated during tenure/promotion?

From Aeriel, With Love

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