I am scheduled for an interview for a Lecturer position at a leading Irish university in a couple of weeks. I am trained, and have a job in the North American academic system. Thus, I am well versed with the N. American protocols, but do not know much about the UK/Ireland context. I have looked up resources such as the ones highlighted below, but I still have some questions.

  1. In an American context, an interview can be scheduled for 3 days with several rounds of discussion with members in the faculty. In Ireland, is it considered appropriate to reach out to individual faculty members for discussion regarding the position, department, and the university?
  2. What is the standard dress-code for the interview? Is it just a jacket and tie or a full suit?
  3. Are start-up funds part of the offer package, and worth discussing in the interview?

The resources I have looked up are as follows:

Interviewing for a lecturer position in the UK

My UK academic job interview experiences

For North Americans: the-peculiar British interview process

Dressing etiquette for interviews in academia

  • 15
    The article "For North Americans: the-peculiar British interview process" is an interesting reading because speaking with some colleagues of mine around Europe it turns out that most of us, on the contrary, consider the US interviewing process quite peculiar and uselessly long, and no one is really interested in speaking with so many people from the hiring department. Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 11:02
  • 7
    I did my PhD in Ireland and am the person who asked the first question you linked. I think 1 will be useless if those faculty members are not part of the interviewing committee, if they are, it may seem inappropriate (like you're trying to precondition them). For 2, I would go for a suit. For 3, in the UK, for the position I applied for, the department's "default" was one PhD student and that position had an extra PhD student attached to it because it was part of an externally funded project; this is definitely something worth discussing with the panel.
    – Miguel
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 7:15
  • 2
    I'm also in Ireland and I agree with Miguel especially for question 1, be really careful: I've seen academic job offers which explicitly forbid "canvassing".
    – Erwan
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 23:58
  • 1
    I'm in the UK (England). My impressions are 1) if you're concerned, do this after the interview. 2) full suit, but depends on field. 3) You should say up front what resources you need to meet the expectations of the position. If you want to bring up start-up and they don't, mention it then or perhaps later during the offer phase. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


I am a USA academic, raised in the UK, who interviewed unsuccessfully in Ireland. I was partially unsuccessful as I realized a few hours in that I did not want to work there but as they had flown me over I did not want to be unpolite and leave the interview.

  1. It is not, you may contact the head of the search but not anyone else.
  2. Yes, both male candidates wore suits and ties and both female candidates wore skirts/pants with a shirt and jacket but neither wore a tie.
  3. The most difficult, you could bring this up if you get to ask questions. I would not make it your first question and I would be brief. Does the university offer startup packages?

What was most different than in the US was.

  1. I got to meet all the other applicants. We were in the same room and called one-by-one to do our presentations. I ended up really wanting another candidate to get the job.
  2. Only one or two of the people on the panel was a faculty member in the department.
  3. No dinner with faculty, not a tour of the town, no real contact with the department at all aside from the odd quick hello as we passed their offices.
  • Do you mean that you ended up not wanting to work there just because you got to meet the other candidates? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 3:59
  • @MassimoOrtolano No, so I arrived a day early and walked the campus, ate lunch, wandered the department etc., and I decided it was probably not a fit for me. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • 2
    The meeting the other applicants thing is famously awkward and the main thing I know about the process in the UK. I'm honestly a bit confused about how the candidates are supposed to choose between multiple offers when they have no opportunity to learn anything about the department, the school, or what it's like to live in the city. Commented May 22, 2021 at 21:41
  • 2
    @NoahSnyder If you apply to the industry, you don’t get to know the whole department and the city: why academic interviews should be any different? Commented May 23, 2021 at 12:53
  • @NoahSnyder maybe it should not be different but that is not the question asked. The question asked is how are the two national academic interview situations different. That is what we are trying to answer. Commented May 23, 2021 at 13:28

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