Virtual Interview Instructions
Before job talk selections are made, candidates may be asked to conduct a virtual meeting via Skype.
Like most schools, GSU College of Law requires each faculty candidate during the interview process to present a "job talk" to members of our faculty. The job talk is an important opportunity for you to demonstrate both your teaching ability and your scholarly interests to your colleagues.
You should anticipate that your job talk will last one hour. Candidates are expected to speak for approximately 20-30 minutes on the topic of their choice and to leave another 30 minutes for questions from the faculty. Although we characteristically allow candidates to have at least 10 uninterrupted minutes in which to develop their talk, it is not unheard of for a candidate to immediately receive questions from the audience. You should be prepared for either scenario.
During the job talk, you should discuss an issue of law which is relevant to your research or work history. Most candidates choose to discuss an issue that they have written about or would like to explore in their scholarship in the future.
In choosing your topic, we recommend that you give careful thought to whether you can develop your thesis clearly within a 20-30 minute time frame. Understand that most of your audience will not be experts in your field and will need to be educated on the basic legal premises underlying your position.
If you choose a topic that is highly technical or esoteric, you may want to be particularly sensitive to the challenges associated with developing your thesis clearly and engaging the faculty in your discussion. In this regard, you are welcome to submit a short description of your thesis in advance of the presentation if you believe this would be helpful.
Likewise, you have the option of using PowerPoint or other technology during your presentation. Because we have seen slides both add to and detract from discussions, we recommend that you carefully consider whether such technology meaningfully adds to the clarity of your presentation.
In our experience, the best presentations identify a current problem in the law, briefly explain how the underlying problem developed, and propose a solution in a way that acknowledges both the strengths and weaknesses of the position. Presentations that are balanced and fair are preferred to advocacy discussions.
Because time is limited, candidates who clearly convey one or two central ideas during their presentations generally do much better than candidates who try to convey too much information or assume too much foundational knowledge.
You can expect a wide range of questions during the interactive portion of your presentation, both relating to your topic specifically and its connection to law and policy more generally. We encourage you to view these questions positively because they reflect faculty interest in your premise. It is almost always best to answer questions directly, even if an answer seemingly undermines your thesis. You should know that we do not expect you to have a definitive answer to every question posed. Ideally, however, you will have identified the key strengths and weaknesses of your thesis in advance and have thoughtful responses ready for the more obvious questions about your position.
Your job talk relates to our hiring process in two important ways. First, it gives evidence of your promise as a teacher. We do not expect junior faculty candidates to be polished presenters, but we will look to see whether you have communicated your thesis in a clear, logical way that can easily be followed. Second, we will be looking for your promise as a scholar. In particular, we will consider how effectively you were able to develop your legal position, answer questions on your feet, and see connections to broader legal issues. Once again, we are mindful that we are seeking a junior candidate and do not expect perfection in this regard - only indicators of future promise in the field.
Overall, we hope that you will find your job talk at GSU to be an energizing and welcome opportunity to discuss your ideas with our engaged faculty. If you have any additional questions relating to this process, we encourage you to contact a member of the Recruiting Committee.