Faculty of Humanities

Guidelines for trial lectures and interviews prior to appointments to academic positions

Guidelines for trial lectures and interviews prior to appointments to academic positions at the Faculty of Humanities. Adopted by the Faculty Board on 16 December 2008. Revised 9 January 2015.

As a rule, a trial lecture and interview shall be carried out in connection with appointments to permanent academic positions and normally also for appointments to advertised temporary positions of more than one year’s duration. Reasons must be stated if a trial lecture or interview are not held.

Reference is made to central guidelines relating to the procedure for appointments to academic positions: Regulations for appointments to academic positions and academic/administrative management positions.

As a rule, the applicants whom the expert evaluation committee deems to be best qualified for the position (normally up to three candidates) will give a trial lecture and be interviewed.

The head of the department calls in candidates for trial lectures and interviews. The trial lectures are normally held before the interviews.

The objective of the trial lecture is to demonstrate the applicant’s communication skills in a lecture situation, and the objective of the interview is, among other things, to gain insight into the applicant's thoughts on his/her future work at the institution. The result shall not form the basis for reassessment of the applicant’s academic qualifications, as this has been done by the expert evaluation committee.

It is important that, in cases where the committee emphasises a particular quality in one applicant, this must also be considered in relation to the other applicants. The same applies to the head of department’s recommendation.

Trial lectures
The head of department and/or deputy head, head of administration, at least one representative from the field in which the position is advertised, one representative of the teaching committee and at least one student representative must be present at the trial lecture. These form the trial lecture committee.

The ranked applicants will give a 45-minute lecture. The subject of the lecture will be decided by the head of department in collaboration with the applicants and representative(s) of the relevant field or period. The topic may either be exclusive to each applicant and within his or her field of expertise, or common to all ranked applicants. The lectures should be given at Bachelor level, and the level may be specified in more detail when ranked applicants are informed about the topic.

The trial lecture committee prepares a separate statement in which it provides a brief overall evaluation of the applicants on the basis of the trial lectures. The statement will accompany the appointment documents.

The trial lectures are also open to all department staff, students and other interested parties.

The head of department and/or deputy head, head of administration and normally one but up to two representatives of the relevant field will be present at the interviews. The head of administration acts as secretary. The interview should not normally exceed one hour.

During the interview, applicants are given brief information about the department and academic and administrative duties associated with the position. This oral briefing is intended to supplement the advertisement text and job description. The applicants are given an opportunity to comment on this information and are asked to set out their ideas and plans, if their application is successful, for their future research, teaching and academic activities at the department. If the interview committee deem it expedient to
obtain references, this must be carried out in the same manner for all ranked applicants.

The interview committee prepares a separate statement giving a brief overall evaluation of applicants on the basis of the interviews. The statement will accompany the appointment documents.

The guidelines are advisory. The head of department may appoint a joint committee for the evaluation of trial lectures and interviews, if this is found to be most expedient. In this case, the student representative(s) must be present and prepare a statement in connection with trial lectures, but do not attend interviews.