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Your CV This Week: Attend a job talk

March 2, 2012

This semester, the Arts & Humanities department is hosting a large number of job candidates for various positions her at UT Dallas. Each of the candidates is giving a candidate lecture, or job talk.

If you plan to be on the academic job market someday, you will have to give a job talk of your own when you are invited for a campus visit interview. Attending candidate lectures while you are still a grad student is a great way to learn about job talks: how they work, what to expect, how to answer questions and present yourself.

When you attend a job talk, be polite and respectful to the candidate. Listen carefully and take notes. If you ask a question, wait to be called upon, and make sure your question is on topic (and has not already been answered by the lecture).

If there is an opportunity to meet the candidate after the lecture, be brief—do not monopolize the candidate’s time. He or she will be interested in meeting as many of the attendees as possible, especially the faculty members. Remember: for the candidate, this is a job interview.

The interview process in academia can be intimidating, and the more you know about the job talk, the more comfortable you’ll be giving one.

Candidate lectures are also, of course, a great way to meet potential new professors and colleagues. You can always click on the “candidate lectures” category in the sidebar to see times and info for upcoming job talks, or just  click here.

If you want to learn more about campus interview visits, the blog The Professor is In has some straight talk without any fluff.

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