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What Are Common Lecturer Interview Questions?

By Angela Farrer
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Common lecturer interview questions concern candidates' reasons for applying to teach at a certain institution, their approaches to running a higher education class, and their future plans for research. Many potential university lecturers are also questioned about how they will contribute to the school outside of their regular teaching duties. Hiring managers at colleges and universities usually prefer lecturer candidates who are dedicated to their fields of study and who have clear ideas for how they will teach their subject matter to students. Questions are often designed to measure both teaching qualifications and how well a given candidate may fit in as part of the faculty.

One of the first lecturer interview questions that many candidates hear is about why they selected the college in question to apply for an open lecturer position. An interviewer will often ask this question to gauge how familiar prospective lecturers are with the school's background, philosophies, past achievements, and future plans for improvement. Candidates who are able to give compelling and detailed answers are those who have researched the institution and who believe they have similar approaches and ideas concerning higher education. These kinds of interview answers indicate genuine interest in a particular school rather than a willingness to accept a position just anywhere.

Course loads and classroom management styles are additional topics of discussion. An interviewer may ask candidates if they would be willing to teach courses that are outside their specific discipline but still in the same general academic category. This kind of question gauges whether candidates are flexible and willing to take on new challenges. It also measures willingness to work as part of a team with the rest of the faculty. Many candidates are also asked about their curriculum plans, including the kinds of exams and projects they would assign to their students. Other related questions concern methods of accommodating different learning styles and of dealing with possibly difficult students.

Research and publishing are important components of an academic career, and good candidates for further education lecturer positions have consistent dedication to this area. Common interview questions may concern the details of past research publications. Candidates may be asked why they chose a certain topic and how they overcame any challenges in completing their research. Prospective college lecturers with future research project plans are often given priority, and those who plan to include students as research assistants are also good lecturer candidates.

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Discussion Comments

By anon336015 — On May 25, 2013

I am on the short list for an interview for the post of lecturer in geography. Please tell me how to prepare and the kind of questions that might be asked in an interview.

By Pharoah — On Jul 23, 2012

I always think it's interesting when interviewers ask questions to try to gauge your flexibility or some other personality trait. I almost think it's kind of like a trick. And most interviewees don't exactly give true answers either.

If you're interviewing for a job as a lecturer at a college you really want to work at, and they ask you if you would be flexible about teaching other classes in the general subject area, you're probably going to say yes. Even if you don't really want to!

By strawCake — On Jul 22, 2012

@Monika - I think I've been asked something like that at almost every interview I've had. Or if they don't ask why you specifically want to work there, they work some questions in to make sure you've read up on the company.

Anyway, I actually have a friend who is a lecturer at a university, and she said her interview was fairly stressful. They asked a lot of questions about what she could bring to the table to the university versus and why they should hire her versus another candidate.

The interview was so touch she actually thought she bombed it, but they ended up hiring her.

By Monika — On Jul 21, 2012

It sounds like lecturer interview questions are pretty much just variations on the standard interview questions. Most interviewers want to make sure you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in the company, for example. That's one of the things they recommend everyone do before you go to a job interview so you can answer those questions.

Even if you are just desperate for a job, you don't want your interviewer to know that. As the article said, a college is more likely to hire a lecturer who is actually interested in teaching at that specific school.

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