Spanish professors enjoy the opportunity to teach Spanish to college students and conduct research in the field, with the added incentive of potential travel to Spanish-language countries for research projects and study abroad opportunities. But before you’re able to lecture to a classroom of eager Spanish-language students, you’ll need to undergo a rigorous interview and screening process for hiring. Prepare for academic interviews by reviewing common interview questions for Spanish professors.
A common question for Spanish professors requests that you describe your background as an introduction to the interview. Take the opportunity to sum up your academic and personal experience in studying, speaking and teaching Spanish. This might include international teaching positions in Spain or Chile, studying abroad in Colombia as a college student, speaking Spanish to your children so they’ve grown up bilingual or helping to establish Spanish-culture appreciation programs at local elementary schools. Including information that helps differentiate you from competitors is helpful early in the interview; something you say may spark interest among members of the interview panel.
Spanish professors may be asked what they’ll be able to contribute to the foreign language department at the college or university. This is another chance to highlight assets that differentiate you from competing Spanish professors; perhaps your interest in modern Argentine poetry will add a contemporary element to a department where professors specialize in medieval Spanish literature, linguistics-focused Spanish studies or mestizo language development in Mexico.
Interview panels will want to better understand how a potential Spanish professor will handle instructing college and university students in the Spanish language. You may be asked to explain how you would help first-year Spanish students differentiate between the informal tu and formal usted second-person address. In addition to addressing pedagogy questions, interview panels may also expect prospective Spanish professors to instruct a sample lesson.
Spanish professors may be expected to demonstrate Spanish proficiency, even if Spanish is a first language. Interview panels may conduct portions of the interview in Spanish, require you to take a written Spanish-language exam or translate a selection from classic Spanish literature into English. Additionally, interviewers may assume the role of a college student and request that you role-play an interaction, such as answering questions about the lesson or homework assignments in Spanish.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.