How to Write Academic Interview Questions for Professors

Academic interview questions are an essential part of the hiring process for any college or university.

They help assess candidates’ qualifications, communication ability, and teaching style. While there is no exact way to write academic questions, some general guidelines can be followed to ensure they are effective.

Read on for tips on writing academic interview questions that will aid you in finding suitable candidates for the job!

Photo by Maranda Vandergriff on Unsplash

Steps to Writing Academic Interview Questions

1. Start With the Basics.

When writing the interview questions, ask about a candidate’s educational background, teaching experience, and research interests. This will give you a good sense of their qualifications and whether they fit the position.

2. Make Sure the Questions Are Relevant to the Job.

While you want to get to know the candidate, the interview questions should focus on the job they will be doing. Ask about their teaching methods, what courses they would be interested in teaching, and how they would handle a student struggling in class.

3. Avoid Personal Questions.

While you may be interested in the candidate’s hobbies or personal life, these questions are best saved after the job offer. Stick to questions that will help you assess their job ability.

4. Be Prepared to Follow Up.

If a candidate gives a vague answer to one of your interview questions, be ready to ask a follow-up question. This will help you get more specific information from the candidate and ensure they give thoughtful responses.

5. Keep an Open Mind.

It’s important to remember that only some candidates will be a perfect fit for the job. Be open to the possibility that someone who is not your first choice may still be a great professor.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Professors work by performing academic research, teaching, and serving on various committees. In addition to spending less time in the classroom, they may devote their energy to conducting fieldwork and publishing articles. These people can serve as supervisors, provide curriculum and recruitment advice, and develop policies.

Look for passionate, hard-working, and humorous candidates when interviewing professors. Beware of those who have become too rigid and lack interpersonal skills.

Types OfAcademic Interview Questions

These interview questions are in several categories, each focusing on the candidate’s qualifications. These categories include:

Teaching Style

What methods do you use to engage your students in learning? Please provide an example of a time when you successfully used a particular teaching method.

Classroom Management

How do you handle disruptive students in your class? What strategies do you use to ensure all students are actually learning?

Course Content

What textbooks and other resources do you use in your course? How do you determine which topics to cover in your class?

Assessment Methods

How do you assess student learning in your course? Please provide an example of an assessment method you have used that was particularly effective.

Student Interaction

How do you interact with students outside of class? Do you hold office hours? What other methods do you use to encourage student interaction?

Examples of Interview Questions

  • Please provide us with a five-minute presentation about your research plan.
  • What are your plans for the funding?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses, and what do you plan to achieve?
  • What equipment would you need to get things going?
  • Do you have a general teaching philosophy?
  • How will you distinguish yourself from your current Professors?
  • What attracted you to our institution and department?
  • What courses do you feel qualified and capable of teaching?
  • How would you describe yourself?


As you can see, you can ask various academic interview questions to get to know a candidate. By following these steps above, you can rest assured that your questions can assess a candidate’s ability to do the job. Good luck!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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