• October 31, 2014
October 31, 2014, 4:10:32 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: For all you tweeters, follow The Chronicle on Twitter.
 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Preparing for the Administrative Campus Interview  (Read 11768 times)
drsmarty
Junior member
**
Posts: 56


« on: November 21, 2012, 10:50:10 AM »

I am hoping to hear something next week about the campus interview. I want to solicit some tips in advance in case I receive the invitation. I posted in earlier that I think my telephone interview was somewhat mediocre, but if the committee deems it acceptable and moves forward with the campus interview, I want to be more prepared.

I usually do pretty well in face-to-face interviews, but this will be the first time that I interview for a strictly administrative position.  While I have held administrative positions in the past, they have been the result of internal promotions.

Is there any sort of presentation expected for an administrative interview? The position will be in a faculty development center on campus. Are they typically multi-day interviews like they are for faculty positions? Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!
Logged
losemygrip
Not Very
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,783


« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 12:17:11 PM »

Study the university's Fact Book and have some data ready to comment on and ask questions about at appropriate times.  Impress them by the depth of your research. 

Do not ask, "When do I have time for my own research?"  Do not ask, "Can I work from home some days?"

Make yourself seem as though you can fill in all their gaps.
Logged
michigander
Senior member
****
Posts: 712


« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 12:54:38 PM »

In my entire administrative career of almost thirty years during which I interviewed for many jobs, I was only asked to make presentations twice.  Both times, I was given fairly detailed instructions on what was desired.  When I participated on search committees, requested presentations for administrative positions were equally rare.  YMMV.
Logged
madhatter
We proudly present the fora's Least
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 8,100

Just killing time


« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 10:42:37 AM »

Presentations are pretty common these days (but not universal). You should be told (or can ask) what the topic and format is.

Depending on the seniority of the post, the interview could be two or more days, but for mid-level positions, one day or one and a half days is typical.
Logged

"I may be an evil scientist, but it doesn't take a degree purchased from the Internet with your ex-wife's money to know how special and important you are to me." -- Dr. Doofenschmirtz
alleyoxenfree
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,749

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 11:13:22 AM »

I've never been asked to make a presentation but two out of three involved large committee-type interviews.  One position was a series of individual interviews plus this large group, over a single day, and another was a large-group interview, followed by small-group, followed by dean.  Two others were either a single interview with the hiring party, or a string of single phone interviews.  In other words, all your prior interview skills will serve you well.  You're probably best off condensing your presentation thoughts into specific examples you could give in an interview - "success stories" of problems you addressed and how you addressed them. 
Logged
crgilvr
New member
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 5:15:01 PM »

I'm on the market this year for admin positions.  I have been asked for a presentation at two of four on-campus interviews that I have accepted (a few positions it was clear that it wasn't a fit after the phone interview, a few I wasn't asked back, and one tragic search wanted a public information session and on-campus interview after a phone interview where I had not been given any opportunity to ask questions about the unusual job description).

I go in with reams of my own questions, based on a review of their operation in my field, and tailored to the person I'm interviewing with and their typical interaction with this position's area of responsibility.  I rank them most important/strategic to least important/personal preference based (or style based).

I am apparently a bit intimidating, which is hilarious to me.
Logged
drsmarty
Junior member
**
Posts: 56


« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 5:55:12 PM »

Thanks for all of the feedback!
Logged
tinyzombie
She of the Badass Abs, and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 15,137

elevate from this point on - chuck d


« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 5:57:32 PM »

OP, can you share the (approximate) level of the position? That might help with advice-tailoring.
Logged

Quote from: usukprof
I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
Quote from: dolljepopp
Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
Quote from: systeme_d_
You are all my people, and I love you.
drsmarty
Junior member
**
Posts: 56


« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 6:43:01 PM »

Associate Director in a faculty development center.
Logged
drsmarty
Junior member
**
Posts: 56


« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 11:09:24 AM »

Hey All, I was invited for a campus interview.  I will use your feedback to prepare. Send more when you can.
Logged
alleyoxenfree
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,749

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 1:10:06 PM »

Good for you!

Questions you might ask - or expect - might be about how to be a No. 2 when you've always had the autonomy of controlling a classroom, especially since these positions can be tricky that way.  They often say something like "In the Director's absence, must run the place."  So you have to be capable of stepping up and you have to be capable of realizing that you don't get to make the ultimate decisions.

I would think good questions to ASK would run along those lines.  If the answers are very scattered, or the person in charge shows that they've never thought about it, you'll know that at best, the relationship is going to be a work in progress and could be a hair-pulling nightmare, or a management task of your boss, as well as of staff.  Of course, you'll want to get clear on how many staff you'll have to help you, how much you'll supervise them, and whether you'll have hire/fire responsibility.  Supervising people you don't have the ability to actually hire/fire and direct can be very stressful.
Logged
jumbojagdog
New member
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 12:14:02 PM »

I am a lurker on the Forums.  Although I have six years of adjunct experience, my full-time employment has always been outside academia.  I have applied for a number of administrative positions over the past six years (VP of Communications-type jobs), and I have had campus interviews for a half-dozen or so, and I thought I would share my observations.

In my first-ever campus interview, I was amazed that I interviewed with the guy for whom I would work, the folks with whom I would work, and the people who would work for me.  However, the interview that tripped me up was the wife of the guy for whom I would work.  First of all, I hadn't figured out who she was.  In my defense, she had a different last name, was a faculty member, and I don't recall her bio mentioning she was the spouse of the CEO.  The meeting with her started badly and only got worse.  She really dwelt on asking me how I would have handled an incident that had happened several months prior to the interview.  She specifically wanted to know how I would have handled it differently than the interim VP, who was also a candidate.  Since I didn't have in-depth knowledge of the incident and how it was handled AND good manners generally dictate that you don't criticize others in public, I didn't answer her question directly.  In the end, the interim VP became the permanent VP.  I concluded the following:  1.  If the boss's spouse doesn't like you, you probably aren't going to be successful.  2.  The candidate who is performing the job in the interim doesn't always get selected, but that is the safe way to bet.

Prior to another interview, the selecting official and I spoke by phone to arrange the visit.  He told me that while there was a screening committee, he was the selecting official and the most important thing was his assessment of if I could do the job.  Although grueling, the campus interview went pretty well.  The college was in a remote location and I was from a major US city at the time, so many of the questions focused on whether I thought I could be happy in the small town.  I assured them I could.  Since I come from outside academia, I tried to use each meeting to highlight how my experience outside academia applied in the higher ed setting.  When the selecting official called me to tell me they were pursuing other candidates, he told me that some of the folks with whom I met were put off by the fact that I talked a lot and didn't ask enough questions of them (so much for the selecting official being the only one I needed to impress).  I concluded the following:  No matter if it is the eighth hour-long interview of your campus visit and you asked all of your questions by the fourth hour-long interview, still ask questions in every meeting.

In my last campus interview, I tried to apply all of the lessons I had learned.  I was positively charming.  I asked questions in each meeting.  I had exhaustively researched the university and the folks with whom I was meeting.  In the end, they hired someone who was both an alumnus and the mayor of a nearby city.  I concluded the following:  Even if you're one of three or four finalists, you still have a 66% chance or better of not getting selected.  Some things are just not meant to be.

Every on-campus interview is a new ballgame.  Each screening committee is different, and the committees develop their own corporate culture or collective personality.  What may have impressed the last committee may have no bearing on the next committee, or even worse, may be viewed as a liability.  Granted, if I had 100 on-campus interviews, I might be better able to ascertain trends, but I doubt it.

Good Luck!
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.