Preparing for an academic interview

How to prepare for an academic interview.

Primary page content

General interview advice is also relevant for academic interviews and you can find useful information on our job hunting pages.


Take the chance to talk informally to someone in the department if it is offered and ask your networks for any insights.

Review your application and be prepared to talk about areas for improvement as well as your selling points. No publications? Talk about your publishing strategy for the next 12 months.


You can book a double PhD coaching appointment through CareerSPACE if you have an interview coming up.  

The panel

An academic interview will normally be a panel of 3-6 people including the Head of Department or another senior academic.

There will often be a panel member from outside of the discipline so it helps to be able to discuss your research in an accessible way.

Other activities

You are likely to be asked to give a presentation on your current research, research plans or deliver a mini lecture - often to an audience of other academics within the department.

The questions

Key areas to be prepared to talk about:

  • Your current/previous research. Why you chose it, the challenges, what methodologies you used and impact
  • Your plans for future research and publishing strategy
  • Track record in, or plans for, securing funding
  • Teaching experience:  including pedagogical approaches, feedback from students, challenges, adapting your style, innovation, e-learning, assessment
  • Collaboration with other researchers - in the UK and sometimes internationally
  • Fit with the department
  • Bigger picture issues: TEF, growth in student numbers. Keep up to date with the Times Higher and Wonkhe

More advice on types of questions from