Interviewing Tips


Questions to ask:

1. Find out the specifics of the appointment:

  • How is the position funded and how long is the appointment?

  • What is the salary and are there any benefits (e.g., health insurance)?

  • Is there a repayment agreement?

2. Inquire about your expected duties:

  • How much of your time will be spent writing vs. running subjects?

  • What is the structure of the lab or the research environment (e.g., RA’s, other postdocs)

  • Will you be supervising anyone?

  • Can you engage in other activities “on the side” (e.g., teaching, seeing clients)

  • What kind of equipment and subject populations will you have access to?

  • How much grant writing experience will you get?

  • How much leeway/support will you have for developing your own project?

3. Inquire about your potential mentor’s management style:

  • How closely will he/she be working with you on projects and preparing manuscripts?

  • Find out about former postdocs (where they went, what they’re doing now, how many publications they acquired during the postdoc). See if you can contact former postdocs.

  • What are the goals the mentor would like to see accomplished by the person that fills the position?

Questions to expect

  1. How does your academic training lead you to seek this particular postdoctoral opportunity?

  2. What job would you like to have when your postdoc is finished?

  3. What do you think you need to be competitive for that job?

  4. What goals would you like to accomplish during this position?

  5. What type of duties do you expect to have as a postdoc (e.g., writing vs. running subjects)?

  6. For clinical students, do you plan on seeking licensure?  If so, are you hoping that clinical hours can be a part of this postdoc?