Planning the Visit

Since most interviews occur during the winter when Chicago weather can be unpredictable it may be prudent to ask the candidate to arrive the day before his or her interview begins.

When a candidate arrives by air or train, departments should either have a department member meet the candidate at the terminal or send a car for him or her. Only in extraordinary cases (e.g., travel delays due to inclement weather) should the candidate be asked to take a taxi to campus or to his or her hotel unescorted. Under no circumstances should the candidate be directed to take public transportation to campus.

As early as possible (and certainly in advance of the visit), the department should give a copy of the schedule for the visit both to the candidate and to the persons whom she or he will meet during the visit. Interviewers should adhere to the timetable. The candidate should be accompanied from place to place.

 In planning the visit, the department should

  • forward to the associate dean the files of candidates to be interviewed on campus.
  • schedule a meeting between the candidate and the associate dean in charge of the search as early as possible.
  • schedule the candidate’s job talk (including arranging in advance, if necessary, for technological support), and notify the Dean’s Office of the time and place of the talk.
  • announce the job talk widely across campus through email and posters addressed both to faculty and students. Job talks should not be restricted to department members, but should be viewed as an opportunity for intellectual engagement on the campus.
  • arrange interviews with members of other departments with whom the candidate might have mutual interests, and/or specifically and personally invite members of other departments to the candidate’s job talk.
  • arrange meetings with department members.
  • arrange meeting(s) with undergraduate and graduate students. Ideally, these meetings will occur with no faculty members present.

Departments should plan the logistics of the visit carefully in order to impress upon the candidate the University’s strengths, the attractiveness of the Chicago area, and the department’s attentiveness to the candidate’s concerns. Departments should take care to present UIC in ways that emphasize its many advantages.

Candidates benefit from a broad range of information. Departments should provide packets of materials about the University and the Chicago area.

It is important to offer to help the candidate with personal concerns. Prospective employers cannot ask about marital status, children, or other personal matters, but the unit head can and should ask whether any important issues have been overlooked. If the candidate voices interest in employment for a spouse or partner, the department should be in touch with the Dean’s Office as soon as possible for assistance. Visits to schools and introductions for the spouse can often be arranged.

Candidates might also appreciate learning about the resources and services available on campus as well as the UIC relocation guide.