The Search Committee In-Person Interview: Part 2: What to Ask

Category: Search Process

A great resume (or CV) and cover letter will get you through the door, but the final step in the process – the in-person interview – is what ultimately secures you the job position. Whether it should or not, the interview is what leaves the biggest (and final) impression on the search committee, and is your best opportunity to cement your candidacy.

In Spelman Johnson’s Four Part Blog Series on the Search Committee In-Person Interview we talk about how to effectively prepare for your interview, how to handle interview curveballs, what to ask and what to avoid, along with other tips and tricks to keep in your interview arsenal. Have comments, additions, or suggestions? Please leave them in our comments section!

What to Ask at Your In-Person Interview

Every candidate going into an interview should have a list of questions prepared to ask the search committee. Remember that you are interviewing the institution as much as they are interviewing you. Asking questions will help you assess whether the position and institution are right for you, and will also demonstrate to the committee that you are sincerely interested in whether your candidacy is a good fit with the position.

Some professional points to consider for the interview:

  • What are the institutional expectations of immediate change?
  • What resources will be available to effect needed change?
  • How will success be evaluated or measured?
  • How would you define the culture of the institution?
  • Is this position and institution a match based on your personal experiences and professional beliefs?

Some personal points to consider:

  • Benefit packages – including retirement plans
  • The real estate market and cost of living – is this community/region more or less expensive than your present area? Could you maintain a suitable quality of life for you and your family?
  • Community school system
  • Professional development and support
  • Opportunities for spouse/partner/family – is relocation a realistic or suitable option for your family?
  • Relocation package/temporary housing
  • Tuition remission policies
  • Contract for service

Read Part 3 of our “Search Committee In-Person Interview” series on Curveballs and How to Handle Them.

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Mark Hall

Vice President - Spelman Johnson

Mark Hall earned his BA from Wake Forest University, his MEd from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and his MBA from the University of Central Florida. Most recently, Mark served as president of Campus Entertainment, LLC, a subsidiary company of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). During a career that spans over 20 years in higher education, Mark has served as assistant executive director at NACA, vice president for finance and administration at Columbia College, and director of the university centers at both Wake Forest University and the University of Central Florida. He served two terms as vice-chair of the NACA board of directors and was president of the Southern Region of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services.