In the process of applying for a particular faculty position in computer science in Finnland, I got stuck when answering the question

Experience as a superior

The choices from the dropdown menu are

  • No experience
  • Less than 1 year
  • 1-2 years
  • 2-5 years
  • 5-10 years
  • over 10 years

What could they mean exactly by "a superior"? (Before you cane me: yes, I asked my contact but have not recieved an answer yet.)


As a Finn, and without further context, I read that as leadership experience. I would translate "superior" as "esimies". Esimies is Finnish for superior (of someone at work, in the sense that they are responsible and have power over other people; not in the sense that they are superior as human beings or scientists or anything like that). Have you lead a research group or supervised PhD students? Have you been the principal investigator of some project?

I don't think there is any precise definition available.

If the recruitment system is also available in Finnish or Swedish, you might also look at the equivalent term there and check what it means.

  • 2
    Got to be "leadership experience" IMHO
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 6 '18 at 8:41
  • Thanks! Unfortunately, the site version in Finnish is not available.
    – user85505
    Jan 6 '18 at 13:28
  • @SolarMike Esimies is a common word in Finnish, and "superior" is the first translation that springs to mind. It has slightly different connotation than leadership, though I doubt it is relevant.
    – Tommi
    Jan 6 '18 at 14:31
  • @Abra You can try sending feedback to the HR/recruitment people, possibly after the job search has concluded, about how difficult the term was to you. They might even do something about it.
    – Tommi
    Jan 6 '18 at 14:32

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