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Assistant Associate Professor Interview Questions

Interview questions for education jobs

When you’re ready to interview for a job as an Assistant Associate Professor, these are the interview questions you can expect to be asked, so be prepared with solid answers! We recommend searching and reading articles on reputable websites so you are prepared to answer the questions that you don’t already feel comfortable with.


So how should you prepare for an interview as an Assistant Associate Professor? Take a look at these Assistant Associate Professor interview questions that you’ll want to find out how to answer OR ask!


  • What is the long term plan for this school/institution?
  • What is the outside perception of this department? Strong? Unified? Interactive?
  • What sorts of programs are available for new faculty members?
  • What resources are available to initiate student research?
  • What are the indirect costs of grants?
  • What are the expectations for the summer? On campus? Or is field work OK?
  • What is the schedule and mechanism of faculty review?
  • What are current plans for future hires?
  • What sorts of programs are available for new faculty members?
  • What kind of graduate students do you attract?
  • What is available as ‘set up’ money?
  • Is there department research support available? Of what kinds?
  • What secretarial help is available for working with courses? With grants/papers?
  • What is the teaching expectation through time? How many courses?
  • What would this person teach over the next 3 years?
  • How much flexibility in what an individual teaches?
  • Are TAs available? For what courses?
  • What are the teaching labs like?
  • What non-teaching expectations are there?
  • What are the ‘standing’ department committees?
  • On what criteria are decisions made?
  • What are the unwritten criteria?
  • What percent succeed?
  • What are the criteria for promotion to full professor?
  • What do you like best about this place?
  • What do you like least about this place?
  • What are hiring priorities for the future?
  • What else does a newcomer need to know?
  • How about the students? Are they motivated? What do they do after graduation?
  • What support is available for graduate student research? Enough computers?
  • What support is available for undergrad research?
  • What support is available for research?
  • What do you teach?
  • How much flexibility in what an individual teaches?
  • How much funding is there for courses, particularly new ones? Can you buy what you need?
  • Is this a Mac based or PC based department? What are the student computer labs like?
  • What percent of your time is spent on teaching, research and service?
  • What is the average class size?
  • What is the average lab size?
  • What is your overall work load?
  • What is the policy on sabbaticals? Do they have them? When? Are they automatic?
  • What are the criteria for promotion to full professor?
  • What’s it like to live here? Where do most people live? In town? Elsewhere?
  • What are the fringe benefits like?
  • Health insurance. Who pays? What %? How does copay work?
  • What are the typical ranges?
  • On what criteria are raises granted? Who decides?
  • What’s the best thing about this department?
  • What could be improved?
  • What’s the best thing about this institution?
  • What do you want from the new person?
  • What skills/courses/seminars could I offer that would be especially helpful to you?
  • Education: Given our curriculum needs within the X group, how will you contribute to the undergraduate and graduate curricula? In particular, what graduate course(s) what you like to teach, and what will be your basic teaching model (e.g. lecture, lecture + lab, discussion, etc)?
  • Graduate and undergraduate research: How will you engage graduate and undergraduate students in your research program? That is, what style of advising/mentoring will you use?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • What is your concept of teaching in a 4-year college as opposed to a research university?
  • What specific research will you pursue if you are selected? How do you anticipate funding it?
  • What other courses might you teach?
  • What strengths would you bring to the department?
  • What would you expect from this department and administration?
  • What kind of start-up funds, facilities, and equipment would you need?
  • What experiences or interests do you have in college-wide activities and service?
  • What research will you be doing when you show up here?
  • What projects will you start next?
  • What teaching would you like to do?
  • What is your philosophy of grad student training? How will you support students? What types of projects do you expect them to work on?
  • What do you contribution to the department that is not already well covered by the faculty?
  • What makes you think you could ever get any outside funding?
  • What is the best idea you ever had?
  • What kinds of tools would be available in your lab for grad student use?
  • In what areas do you think your work would uniquely contribute to this department?
  • What meetings do you attend? What societies do you belong to?
  • What do you envision as your ideal lab: # grads, undergrads, postdocs, techs, participation of grads who are not your own students?
  • To what degree do you see integrating grad students into your research program?
  • What’s your perspective on grad student funding?
  • What types of mentoring have you experienced — and what would you do similarly or differently?
  • What do you see as the major challenges of teaching at a large (small) university?

Have answers to any of the above to offer your fellow job seekers? Share them in the comments here!

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