Interview Week FAQ

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 2021 will be held February 8-11th online using Zoom Conferencing. Interviews will be scheduled according to your time zone.

What are the important dates?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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

Monday, January 25, 2021

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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

Friday, January 29, 2021

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

Monday, February 1, 2021

Students and institutions notified of final schedules.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Interviews begin at 9 AM ET.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Interviews end by 1 PM ET.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Institutions may begin to offer invitations to graduating rabbis for virtual "visits" at 7 PM ET.

February 15 - March 21, 2021

Virtual "visits" to institutions on weekdays or Shabbat.

Monday, March 22, 2021

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. The RA will schedule interviews based on your time zone.

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?

While we understand that it is easier for more people to attend the first interview because it will be online, we ask you to be selective on who sits in on the interview. We suggest no more than four people so that you can use your time productively. It may make sense to pre-assign questions or assign a point-person to ask all questions so the candidate can properly address each congregational representative. You should limit your delegation and carefully choose the members of the search committee who are to represent the congregation. For assistantships, the senior rabbi should attend along with one or more laypeople.

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 14th, 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 14th 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 14th, 2021 at 7 PM (ET).

When is the call-back offer date?

Starting Sunday, February 14th 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 22nd, 2021 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? Parking? How do I get there?

Since the event is all online this year, you do not need to worry about any of these details. Just be sure you have a reliable internet connection.

Who do I contact with questions?

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