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K (past candidate)

One advice I got which 1) I wouldn't have thought of it and 2) was super helpful was to bring some energy bars.
Also, bring a water bottle obviously. My suggestion is to bring a small one, because it's easy to refill and you don't want something too heavy, since you'll probably be walking around.


Take bathroom breaks whenever you're between meetings. Even if you don't have to go, just having a moment to yourself to breathe (or covertly eat your energy bar) is really helpful.


Agree about the energy bars and bathroom breaks.

I made a cheat sheet of information about all the current faculty (research areas, PhD program, anything unusual about them we could talk about, like a special program they run). I also tried to at least skim one article they'd written while I was on the flight over. This especially helped me feel prepared for flyouts at research schools, but I wouldn't skip it for teaching schools either--everyone who does research wants to feel like their research counts.

Don't wear anything for the first time--break in shoes etc. Stress-test your outfit as much as you can. I still remember the job candidate whose talk I couldn't follow because they kept jangling a pocketful of coins.

Practice your job talk a million times. That's probably obvious, but practice your teaching demo too, or at least talk it over with someone whose teaching instincts you trust. Make sure your teaching demo includes some kind of activity, not just lecture. Group activities always worked pretty well for me, because you don't have preexisting rapport with students you've just met, but they may know each other. Set your ambitions low, both in terms of the complexity of what you want them to do and the amount you want them to do. Things take a little more time when you're in a new place, and (especially if you're coming straight out of a PhD program) the students may be less proficient than you're used to.

Good luck!!!


I had limited experience as a candidate. I did way better when I tried to be myself. My current colleagues told me that I was the only person who did not wear formal suits for the campus visit, and they initially felt a bit odd. But during the visit, they found that this person was so genuine, just like an ordinary colleague in those two days. For some earlier campus visits, I tried to remember all the tips from other people, and reminded myself that the interview started when they picked you up from the airport, etc. I did not do well. I constantly felt that I was not myself and worried about possible mistakes.

Also, try to remember some conversations you had with people during your online interview. Sometimes, people referred back to those conversations and wanted to hear more from you. So, it might be helpful to think of the online interview and the campus visit as two integral parts of your interview.

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