Thursday, March 8, 2012

Faculty interview and visit -- 1

Those of you who have been following the blog know that I have been invited for a on-site visit and interview at New University (NW). I will share few of the details of the visit below.

So the interview went something like this. I arrived in the city at night around 8pm and was picked up by the head of the department (HOD) and his wife. On the way to the restaurant, HOD kept on talking to me about my research and his wife kept on telling me how good the city is. I also had a rapid tour of the campus during this time. Thereafter, we all went to a pleasant restaurant; ate, talked about research, life, family etc. I also was asked if I am married ( I know it is illegal) but I kept my cool and went on with the conversation. It was a pleasant evening.

My next day was scheduled to start at 830 in the morning. Faculty member was there to pick me up from the hotel lobby and we went to have breakfast. The next step was to go to the department where I had back to back meetings till late evening. I also had to give a seminar at mid-day.

The meeting were pleasant and the faculty had a lot of interesting questions. Most of the question were basic, since almost no one in the department works on the kind of problems that I do. However, I had practiced a lot to explain my research to a non-scientific person (practiced on my wife) so I think I was doing good at that end.

The seminar also went fine. I had formulated the talk in a manner that would allow people not working in my area, to understand the research and know how important (read: fundable) it is. I had one hour to speak. My practice runs on the talks finished some where from 35 to 50 minutes. I was able to finish mine in 45 minutes, which was optimal. Had a question session for the next 15 minutes with some very interesting questions. There was one guy however, who kept on interrupting during the talk, telling me that this work has already been done ( read: research is useless). I was most polite most of the time, and answered all of his questions very professionally.

After this I went for lunch with another official; after lunch met two deans, few more faculty members till it was around 530. Thereafter, the HOD and I sat and he answered few of the questions that I had all day. He was then kind enough to take me to the airport and I came back to my place ( there was a glitch in the flight, but you guys wouldn't want to hear that:).

This was my first faculty interview ever and I throughly enjoyed it !. I already feel that I have matured enough to the point that I can be a faculty member. Lets hope they make me an offer. By the way, I also learnt that there were more than 200 applicants for the position, and I was the second one on their list..yaay !

In the coming days, as time permit, I will be doing a post on advice on what I did before and during the visit. This would be my way of thanking the blogosphere for helping me out.

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