Questions to ask the college

Job Candidates: Questions to Ask

I especially liked the questions for teaching support, research support, service activities, and mentoring. There are also questions about tenure, retirement, and health insurance.

Chronicle Careers says:

Ask what the students are like, what kinds of courses the department hopes to offer in the future, and how the department is viewed by the administration. Ask the department head about the opportunities for research support and about the path to tenure. Ask what would be expected of you in terms of teaching and service. You can also ask the professors what they feel their department does well and what they want to improve.


At a small college, you might interview with the provost or even the president — a person directly involved in defining the institution’s vision. Ask about that vision. How is the college changing? What challenges is it facing? Ask about the relationship between the institution and the community that surrounds it. Try to turn the intimidating moment of meeting the president into an opportunity to gain a wider perspective on the institution.

Jenny: Students can be the most intimidating audience for many job candidates. Students might have varying degrees of influence as to whether you get hired, but you absolutely want to engage them as much as possible. When you’re talking to undergraduates, ask which classes have been their favorite, why they chose to attend the college, what they like least about the institution, what teaching styles they find most effective, and what they would hope a new faculty member would bring to the department.

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