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Author Topic: Talking about your vision without sounding critical of their vision  (Read 1534 times)
drsmarty
Junior member
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Posts: 56


« on: December 11, 2012, 11:21:26 AM »

I have an interview next week and I expect to be asked about my vision for the department. How does one artfully discuss one's vision without appearing inappropriately critical of the department? Any thoughts?
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ellareese
New member
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Posts: 29


« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 12:38:59 PM »

This is a hard one that I recently faced too!

(It's also somewhat hard to answer b/c it's really case-specific, which I imagine is why no one has replied here...)

How I approached it was, I tempered any statements that I might have made in a more absolute way in another context. For example, rather than saying "I would never..." I said things like "I would think it would be preferable to...". I also began any statements about what I would do in the dep't by saying that of course I would begin by researching the culture of the institution, getting to know faculty, etc.

In addition to that, I'd also say that at some point I figured that they want someone with ideas, and if they aren't the kind of dep't that can tolerate ideas that differ from their own, that it wouldn't bode well for working there. So, that gave me the confidence to say what I thought and then discuss points of disagreement that came up -- respectfully, of course. But I wanted them to see that I wouldn't be afraid to take a stand even if there were differing opinions in the room.

Anyway, I guess that worked okay because I made the next round!! I hope you do too. Good luck and I'd love to hear how it goes.



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drsmarty
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Posts: 56


« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 12:49:26 PM »

Thanks for your reply!  Essentially, I was planning to take the very approach you took. Was yours an in-person interview ?
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professor_pat
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 2,532


« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 6:39:13 PM »

"Building on the excellent past work of the department in Area Y, and enhancing the new direction that Esteemed SC Chair launched two years ago in Area Z, my vision is to ...."

(Whether or not your vision has anything whatsoever to do with Y and Z.)
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To me, forums are more of a relaxing period in which the poster can allow himself or himself to be lost in a sea of wonder.
ellareese
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Posts: 29


« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 12:48:47 PM »

drsmarty: Yes, 1/2 day in person interview. Next round is a full day with a public presentation and some social events (dinner w/committee, and I'm told "cocktails with the board").

You?
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drsmarty
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Posts: 56


« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 4:13:12 PM »

The interview will be face to face (full day), with presentations and meals with a variety of groups. A telephone interview preceded this.
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