Career Development for Research Staff: Recruitment Interviews and Assessments

Title:Career Development for Research Staff: Recruitment Interviews and Assessments

Duration:0.5 days
The Graduate School

This course is delivered jointly by the Graduate School and the Careers and Employability Service

The Graduate School courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February.


Target Audience


Post-doctoral research staff – these courses are suitable for those at an early stage of their career ideally (although not exclusively) those who have been working in research associate and research fellow roles for between 1 and 5 years.


Career development and management activities can be difficult to fit in with the demands of a challenging work environment. Also research has shown that PhDs leave career decision making until the later stages of their research degree. They may therefore stay in academia as an “obvious” option but still be considering if the academic career pathway is for them, what they need to do in order to develop an academic career, or they may still wish to consider alternative career paths but be unsure of what options there could be? In addition making applications and going for interviews for either academia or other employment can be time consuming and daunting prospects.


The course forms part of a suite of three two hour seminars focussed upon Career Development for Research Staff. These courses aim to assist early stage research staff to take a proactive approach to managing and developing their career, to take informed decisions about remaining in academia, the key activities they may need to focus on to progress in academia and to be aware of the alternative career options. They will also focus on practical aspects of recruitment and selection. The three courses are:


1.    Career Management and Development

2.    Preparing and Making Effective Applications

3.    Developing Effective Techniques for Recruitment Interview and Assessment Situations


To book a place on the associated seminars please follow the links above.









The three seminars are delivered as separate sessions and researchers may opt to attend a specific session or they may choose to attend all three. In the latter case they should attend, whenever possible, in order beginning with Career Management and Development, followed by the applications seminar before moving on to the interview and assessment techniques session.


All three courses will include material relevant to academic and alternative career pathways.





Career Management and Development


This seminar will consider the key aspects of developing a sustainable academic career and will offer an opportunity for participants to begin to identify the strategies they may need to take forward. In addition time will be spent on considering alternative career options and the challenges of career change for research staff.


Preparing and Making Effective Applications


This seminar will concentrate on preparing and presenting effective application documents including CVs, application forms and other supporting documents including cover letters and supporting statements. It will review academic CV practice and making applications for the next level of post i.e. research fellow to lecturer. It will also focus on how to present experiences, skills and behaviours gained in academic work contexts for jobs outside academia.


Developing effective techniques for recruitment interview and assessment situations


This seminar will consider how to prepare effectively for recruitment and selection processes. The main focus will be on recruitment interviews including preparing for academic panel interviews especially questions related to moving to new academic roles with greater levels of responsibility. For interviews for employers outside academia the focus will be on translating academic employment experience to other contexts either directly or as transferable skills and experiences.


Throughout the session time will be given to identifying effective preparation strategies, managing the effects of nerves, dealing with challenging questions and question styles. Whilst there will be some practical exercises and discussions the seminar style will not include mock interviews.


Related Courses






The aim of these seminars individually and collectively is to provide opportunities for early career researchers to engage proactively in their own career management and development. The seminars also aim to develop confidence to take on the challenge of continuing in academia and/or making a career change.




By the end of these seminars, you will be able to:


·         Identify individual key career activities and strategies in order to continue to build towards an academic career

·         Begin to develop knowledge and awareness of alternative career options

·         Take action to move towards a career change where appropriate

·         Review previous approaches to recruitment and selection activities and identify actions to improve and strengthen them for the next career stage

Latecomer policy
Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Graduate School or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
When booking on to a Graduate School short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course or if at short notice by emailing This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.
It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Graduate School maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Graduate School courses and will affect considerations for Graduate School funded opportunities.


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