Is it appropriate to give a tenure track faculty job talk in an interactive way, like posing some questions, asking for audience opinions?

  • 2
    What would the point be? – Tobias Kildetoft Mar 30 '19 at 15:10
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    I expect that different members of the audience would have different reactions to interactivity in a job talk. My own reaction would be negative. – Andreas Blass Mar 30 '19 at 16:33
  • Engineering background here. Wouldn’t recommend this! – The Guy Mar 30 '19 at 17:33
  • the point is to show an interactive way of teaching in the future – feynman Apr 1 '19 at 1:57
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    @feynman But I don't think the goal of job talks is to demonstrate your pedagogical technique/skill - to my understanding, the goal is to demonstrate your research achievements and potential. Granted, I'm on the younger side of things (= postdoc) so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but everything I've heard makes it hard for me to imagine a situation where this would be a good idea, at least in my field (mathematics). – Noah Schweber Apr 1 '19 at 22:29

In the right circumstances you can. For example, if you are studying color vision and have worked on the dress it might make sense to poll what color people see as a way to highlight the ambiguity. I job talk I saw on the psychology of magic, involved magic tricks and breaking them down. It was useful. If you are going to interact, it really needs to be critical to the talk.

  • for scientific context, would posing questions to the audience look nicer than just giving a monologue – feynman Apr 1 '19 at 1:58

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