Interview Week FAQ

Posted on: Thursday November 7, 2019

Who is eligible to participate in Interview Week?

A-size kehillot (250 member units or less), congregations of any size looking to fill assistant pulpit positions, and institutions (non-pulpit positions) are eligible to attend.

When does it take place?

Interview Week 2020 will be held February 10-13th at the Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. The event will take place regardless of weather conditions.

What are the important dates?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Questionnaires and job descriptions must be uploaded, and Interview Week event registration must be completed by 5 PM ET.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Interview Week Sign-Up Opens for Students – candidate begin to forward resumes to those congregations and institutions coming to New York.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Interview Week sign-up Closes for Students: Congregations should have received resumes from all interested candidates by 5 PM ET.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Students and congregations/institutions are notified of their preliminary schedules after 12 Noon ET.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Adjustments to students' and visiting institutions' schedules based on feedback to RA office.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Students and institutions notified of final schedules.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Interviews begin at 9 AM ET.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Interviews end by 1 PM ET.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Institutions may begin to offer invitations to graduating rabbis for an on-site visit at 7 PM ET.

February 16 - March 22, 2020

Visits to institutions on weekdays or Shabbat.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Institutions may begin to offer positions to graduating rabbis at 7 PM ET.

How long are interviews?

Interview slots are 50 minutes long, and may run back to back, with 10-minute breaks between candidates and a 1-hour break for lunch.

Where are the candidates from?

Interview Week candidates are upcoming graduates from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Do we attend all four days?

No. When you register for the event, you will pick two of the four days. These are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and the days will close once capacity is reached. The Career Center will try to consolidate your interviews, and you may only need to attend one day.

When do interviews begin?

The first interview time slot begins at 9:00 am ET. The final interview slot ends at 6:20 pm. There are 8 possible interview slots per day. You may have open periods, depending on your own schedule. However, you should plan to be available for the entire day on both days for which you register.

Do we interview every applicant?

Yes. In fairness to your congregation or organization, and in fairness to the members of the class, search committees are expected to interview all candidates who sign up. Not all members of the graduating class may apply, but for those who do, you must interview them.

Who/how many people should attend?

2-3 members of the search committee. An entire search committee should not attend the event. You should limit your delegation and carefully choose the members of the search committee who are to represent the congregation. If the committee delegation is too large, your time will be less productive. For assistantships, the senior rabbi should attend along with one or more laypeople.

Can we Skype in?

No. Interview Week is solely an in-person event to allow for more meaningful interaction and face time. If you are in attendance for Interview Week, then follow-up interviews may be conducted by Skype between the time of your in-person interview, and the call-back invitation date, Sunday, February 16th at 7 pm ET. Skype interviews may also take place after the initial call-back date.

Is it mandatory to attend if we are in search?

No, it is not mandatory. However, if you do not attend, you will be subject to blackout periods. For congregations not attending Interview Week, you may not reach out to students regarding an interview invitation until the close of Interview Week, on Sunday, February 16th, at 7 PM ET. The students are aware of this blackout period, and will not be expecting further communication or an invitation until that date. Feel free to confirm receipt of their resumes and say, “Thank you for your interest in our congregation. In accordance with the RA Career Center Rules, we will reach out with next steps on Sunday, February 16th after 7 pm.”

Can I contact students before Interview Week?

No. Institutions are not permitted to contact candidates directly prior to Interview Week. Please do not phone, write, email or add candidates on social media prior to the event.

What are the “blackout” periods?

There are two “blackout” periods when employers cannot talk to candidates. The first one takes place prior to Interview Week (see above). The second blackout period extends from after the initial meetings during Interview Week until Sunday, February 16th, 2020 at 7 PM (ET).

When is the call-back offer date?

Starting Sunday, February 16th at 7 pm ET, congregations and institutions may begin to offer invitations to graduating rabbis for an on-site visit to the congregation.

When is the job offer date?

Starting on Monday, March 23rd, 2020 at 7 PM ET, congregations and institutions may begin to offer positions to graduating rabbis.

How do I present an offer?

An offer should be made simultaneously by phone and by email. More information can be found here.

What questions should we ask in the interview?

Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg’s book, Aliyah, has a list of possible interview questions for different stages of the interview process. You can find them starting on page 33.

Is there a hotel block?

No. You are responsible for arranging your own accommodations. We recommend staying on the west side, near Broadway for easiest transportation.

Is there parking?

There is a parking garage across the street from JTS, GMC Parking at 532 W 122nd St, New York, NY 10027. Please arrive early, as it does reach capacity at times.

I’m not driving. How do I get there?

The closest subway is the 1 train at 116th Street. You can also take the M4 or M104 bus to 122nd Street and Broadway. The fare for a single ride is $2.75, and there is a $1 fee for a new card.

Who do I contact with questions?

If your questions were not answered above, please email Emily Hendel, Director of Career Services.