10+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2008
I am going for my first interview for an academic faculty position. Does anyone have any advice?
Also, I have a few interviews lined up, but I've gotten them all by emailing the chairs of the department. None of my ASTRO job board applications have had any replies, has anyone had a different experience?


And to think . . . I hesitated
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2004
SF Bay Area
Attending Physician
Reposted from the FAQ:

Academic: In my experience, the best people to talk to are very junior faculty (e.g. those who are one year ahead of you, who have yet to take oral boards). They can give you their recent, first-hand experiences between the faculty recruitment hype and reality. Also, they can tell you a lot about other academic programs and their interview experiences with them. Specific questions to ask chairs are:

1. Exactly how many days per week do I get for research? Are those days really free of clinical responsibilities?
2. Which subsites will I be focusing on? Can I get an assurance that my subsites won't change after two years?
3. What are the requirements for promotion from Asst --> Assoc? How many publications? How many first-author?
4. What is faculty mentorship like? Is it formalized?
5. Does your institution have strong leadership in clinical trial groups? If so, can those faculty facilitate my involvement as a co-PI?
6. Which faculty are planning to retire soon? How you will manage their clinical case load once they leave?

Private Practice: The best person to talk to is the one making all the decisions. Usually big issues (e.g. your potential employment) are put up to a vote among the partners, but the managing partner runs the show and is usually the best to talk to.

1. Establish exactly how partnership works, (a) how many years does it take, (b) is there a buy-in, and how much, (c) what is the median income of the partners, (d) if a multi-specialty group, how do you reconcile the fact that Rad Onc reimubursement > Med Onc reimubursement?
2. Was anyone on a partnership track and denied when their time came? How many people? Why? Can I have their phone numbers so I may talk with them?
3. What are you looking for in a potential partner?
4. Do you feel obligated to r/c XRT in borderline cases because of $$$? Do you feel compelled to add fractions because of $$$?
5. Who's your main competition? How is your relationship with them?
6. What are you plans for preparing for the future of Rad Onc in terms of new hardware purchases?

Hospital-Employee You will interview with several business types, often the CEO of the Hospital. This may seem weird to many as these are not the types of interviews we are used to having. In other cases, the hospital administration may cede all the power to the department head and so the interview process will be more like private practice.

1. Instead of paying me a flat salary, would you consider instead giving me professional plus some % of technical fees. The answer will almost always be no, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
2. What incentives do I get? How do they work? What additional income do the current physicians get with the incentive plans?
3. Is there a pension plan? How does it work?
4. How receptive is the administration to buying new equipment? How receptive are they to recommendations to changes in staff?
5. Have you laid off any Rad Oncs in the last 10 years? Why?
6. How much say will I have in molding the Rad Onc department?

The following info (if they are willing to give it) was important to me:

1. Specific questions they were asked
2. Timeline for making a decision on a candidate
3. Any negative vibes

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