Preface: I apologize if this is a duplicate question; I've searched for it and I believe my situation is distinct, since the answers I found were for post-doc or tenure-track interviews.

I'm preparing for an interview with the Dean of Instruction for an adjunct lecturer position. I've already had an informal interview with the co-chair of the department and that went really well. I prepared and asked a lot of questions in that meeting (about the student population, class size, departmental teaching philosophy, etc.) but now that they've been answered I'm not sure how to best use this formal interview. What information is useful to know about the institution, that the Dean of instruction might be able to answer? Right now my ideas are:

  • What skills and qualities make an adjunct successful at [institution]?
  • What common challenges do new adjuncts face?
  • What do you enjoy about working at [institution]?

Are these appropriate questions? Are there other things that it would be good for me to know/ask about, that I might be missing?

1 Answer 1


Some other things you may want to ask, but unfortunately will probably be able to guess the answers to by yourself:

  • What is the compensation per period/credit? (I waited to ask this until after the whole interview, and it turned out to be so far below minimum wage I almost laughed when he said it. Thank goodness I caught myself.)
  • What is a typical class size? (To know how much grading you'll have.)
  • Do you have any materials from previous lecturers that I can use? (Save prep time)
  • Will I have access to a TA/student grader?
  • Are these traditional or non-traditional students? (You may be able to infer the student commitment to your classes with this answer)

It would also be a good time to ask about resources, parking, if you get an office or anything, and other administrivia.

  • Hi! Thanks for your answer, sorry I wasn't clear enough in my question. I already had an informal interview with the department co-chair, where I asked these questions, so I know these answers. I'm wondering if there's anything else I might be missing.
    – NMJD
    Dec 21, 2016 at 1:52
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    Why "Thank goodness I caught myself."? If they are offering below minimum wage then why worry about what they think?
    – emory
    Dec 21, 2016 at 2:07
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    You could start the discussion by mentioning some of the questions you discussed with the co-chair and giving the Dean a chance to elaborate on some of the points, then lead in with one or two of the questions you mentioned in your post. The Dean may also have a few questions for you, such as what your expectations are, what is your favourite part about teaching, etc.
    – Inde
    Dec 21, 2016 at 2:25
  • @emory - I dunno, it's bad form to laugh in someone's face? I may need the job later? That's what I did, you can feel free to laugh at potential employers all you like. 'Tis a free country.
    – eykanal
    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:07
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    @NMJD - NP, just posting some other stuff that I didn't see you mention. If you already went over all this then awesome, you're probably asking the right things.
    – eykanal
    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:08

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