Checklist for Academic Jobs

Want to work at a community college? Here's a checklist I created for applying to academic jobs. These tips are mine, and based on my own experience, as well as my experience serving on hiring committees for community college instructor positions.  


  • Members of the department of the school to which you’re applying.  
  • The school’s Mission Statement
  • Census information/demographics of student body, faculty and staff, as well as the geographic region where the college is located. 
  • Recent press releases, social media presence to gain insight into reputation and current events. 
  • Visit beforehand and walk around, talk to department members if possible. 
  • Prepare at least 3 questions about the position, department, and student body



Ask the department about the set-up of this room you’ll be interviewing:

  • Is it a lecture or lab format?
  • Computer, projector, etc?
  • Will there be internet access? 
  • Get there early, or if possible make a test run drive.

Have a very good answer to any questions relating to diversity and inclusivity. 
Think of 1-2 specific examples or stories (the STAR method of answering questions can be helpful: situation, task, action, and result of the situation).


  • A notepad and writing utensils to jot down answers to the questions, which are often given to you 20 minutes before your actual interview. 
  • Extra copies of your resume, letter of interest, and work samples or a leave behindthat can be passed around and kept by the hiring committee
  • Copies of any handouts from your teaching demonstration
  • *Proofread ALL of these documents, and have a friend proofread them as well.
  • Your presentation materials in at least 3 formats: (Powerpoint, PDF, Keynote, High-res JPEG)
  • on a Flash drive.
  • Computer, power cord, equipment as needed
  • HDMI/VGA/DVI adapter as needed


  • Shake everyone’s hand, individually. 
  • Address each person of the hiring committee as your answer each question - try not to speak to just one person or a couple people.
  • Make a point to look everyone in the eye. 


I cannot stress this enough: Keep in mind that often, your audience of “students”, aka your hiring committee, has been sitting in the same room for hours, hearing various iterations of the same demo and powerpoint.  Engage them!  Have an activity planned, a handout, a game, or something to get people up and talking. Demonstrate empathy. Social interaction, and some humor, is memorable, and shows more of your personality as an instructor than a perfectly formatted presentation. 

Bring your phone to time yourself if allowed; otherwise, ask the committee to give you a 5 minute warning before you’re done.



First interview:

Personal thank you email immediately after the interview

Second Interview:

Personal Thank you Letter addressed and mailed to each committee member.  Call HR to find out names if necessary.