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Beth Lew-Williams @BethLewWilliams
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For those headed to #AHA2019 for job interviews. Some common questions to help you prep (based on a workshop I attended years ago). Add your own!
The classic: How did you develop your dissertation topic? How did you become interested in it? Tell us about your diss. Explain to us how your writing sample fits into the rest of your diss.
What can scholars not in your field learn from your dissertation? Or explain your work as you would to an undergraduate. In other words: So what? What's the significance?
How did _____’s book help you? Doesn’t ________ say something about that? I just don’t see what you have to say about _______ that’s different from ______.
What book in your field do you most wish you had written? Outside your field?
What is your research philosophy? What do you believe in as a scholar? What are you passionate about? How did you arrive at this conviction?
Explain your work in the form of an op-ed. How is your work relevant to the present?
Place your diss. in a wider global/transnational framework. Or place your diss. within a longer history.
Why don’t you use ____ in your research? [Naming a particular archive, language, theory, or method]
What did you mean by this sentence? [From your cover letter, abstract, teaching statement, or writing sample]
Do you actually think you’ll finish by summer? (for ABDs)
Describe a dream undergrad course you would like to design and teach in your field. Ditto re: grad courses.
What is the largest problem you encounter in your teaching at your current institution? How do you deal with it? Describe your worst teaching experience and what you did about it.
How do you deal with different levels of preparation in the classroom? What is your philosophy on diversity in the classroom? How do you incorporate diversity on your syllabus? How do you promote diversity through your teaching/research/service?
How do you get your students interested in texts that seem historically and culturally foreign to them?
We have a course in __________. How would you teach it? What texts would you use?
How does your dissertation research influence your teaching?
What is your teaching pedagogy/philosophy? What is your pedagogy for teaching writing?
What are your strengths as a teacher? Weaknesses? If we were to sit in on a class, tell us what we might see you doing.
What do you think makes a good undergraduate advisor? Graduate advisor? Do you have any experience advising?
How would you balance research and teaching with a teaching load of ________?
What’s your favorite class/book/play to teach? What do you think is the hardest topic/book that you teach? How do you teach it?
Another classic: Tell us a little bit about your interest in our department. What attracted you to our job in particular?
What do you think would be the biggest challenge you would face in coming to our school from your institution? How would you teach *our* students?
Always: Do you have any questions for us?
Make that #AHA19 . Oops.
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