Academic Administrator interview tips

Posted By Kalpesh Banker On Saturday, February 12th, 2011 With 0 Comments

Academic administrator / leadership is senior management staff of the college or university who maintains and supervises the operations one or multiple functions of the institution. Most of the academic administrators are academicians once worked in academic positions and typically have advanced understanding about education sector. These former academics often move into administration after leaving teaching and research. Interviewing for an academic administrator job takes skill.

Know Your Management Style

A major transition for faculty and academics who move into administration is taking on more supervisory management. For some, this is a seamless transition because they have taken the steps to move into administration, including additional education, leadership training and other leadership roles like program head or department head. As per our interaction with interview panels a common question you might hear is something like “Describe your administrative experience, focusing on examples that also identify your management style/philosophy.”

Maintain a Vision

As an academic administrator, a major part of your job is to move the institution forward as it looks to grow. Communicating a well-thought out vision and a road map that outlines your planned initiatives is important in the interview. There is a likelihood of a question targeting your experience in putting together and implementing a strategic plan. Prior to the interview, review goals that you have helped develop and strategies you have applied or led others in applying.

Demonstrate Accountability and Stress Management

As an academic administrator at a college or university, you will face significant expectations. We have observed that while most administrators find helping students rewarding, they face major stress from the academic environment and increasing management / promoter expectations. Colleges are seeing higher standards for reporting and assessment similar to elementary and secondary schools. In response to a likely question about your ability to multi-task and manage stress, share examples of situations where you have had to work with people who had varying interests and how you manage stress and problem solve in those situations.

As the Indian education sector is booming and most of the promoters of Institutes / Universities are expecting exponential growth in a short time span. Our advise is to maintain good balance between being modest and flamboyant.