Sooner or later we'll have all the questions and all the answers so the interview will becomes even less informative. Yay!
-- Second Suitor
Dear [Mr. Zero],(Not that I expected to be welcomed into the Cathedral of Learning, or anything.)
I am sorry to inform you that the Junior Appointments Committee has decided not to pursue your candidacy further at this point. We received nearly two hundred responses to our advertisement, including a great many from highly talented and accomplished applicants. Obviously there are many different considerations on which our decisions are based, and I hope you will appreciate that I cannot go into specifics about individual cases. We will keep your dossier on file until next year, when we shall probably be advertising a junior position again.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your credentials, and let me wish you the best of luck in your job search.
Where and when is the smoker? Do I just go in the hotel and say "Where is the smoker?" What time does it start? Jeez.Seeing as how I was unsuccessful in obtaining any interviews, due entirely to lack of trying, i.e., not being on the market this year (a confluence of events), I decided not to spend/waste my winter vacation in sunny Philadelphia, but instead went home, tail between the legs, to convalesce, grade papers and write a chapter. So, not only did that dash my hopes of an APA live blog (next year!), I can't answer the question. Will someone help her out in the comments, please?
Learn about and discuss research on biases and assumptions and consciously strive to minimize their influence on your evaluation. Experimental studies show that greater awareness of discrepancies between the ideals of impartiality and actual performance, together with strong internal motivations to respond without prejudice, effectively reduces prejudicial behavior.Great advice! And advice that shouldn't only be heeded when considering women (and minority) candidates as Jender rightly emphasizes, but when considering all candidates. Search committees need to be cognizant of those biases that make the already noisy information they're getting about candidates at the APA less noisy and do something about it.
What strategies are you all using for phone interviews?[...]For example, do you write SC names out and arrange them around a table so that you can pretend like they're there and that you're talking to people and not to a phone? Has anyone tried this? (My hunch is that it might in fact be helpful.) Or any other strategies?Again, let's start with my uninformed opinion. My (vacuous) hunch is that figuring out what you can do to make yourself feel comfortable during a phone interview (including putting name tags, cardboard cutouts of Star Wars characters, or your old Magic guarding Bird poster at a table) can only be helpful. Though perhaps you shouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out these sorts of comfortability issues peculiar to phone interviews. Your energy might be better spent on coming up with a pitch for your work in a way that's tailored to the search committee interviewing you, figuring out how to use interviewer's questions as hooks to talk about what you want to, etc. In other words, just on general interviewing strategies.
Can I register for the conference on-site on the 27th? Will I still be able to interview?Though probably more than a few of the interviewless Smokers out here are tempted to blow him off, let's fight these temptations. My uninformed thoughts on this matter are that, despite the seeming clusterfuck that the APA is (an unconsidered impression), it just doesn't make sense that one couldn't register on-site and still attend their gaggle of interviews.
With the Eastern APA just a couple of weeks away, I've been inundated with reports of DOOM from job-seekers and search committee members alike. Searches are being canceled without warning, the number of interview slots is being shrunk, people are having to suddenly rearrange their travel itinerary, and so on. A seemingly large number of new Ph.D.'s who managed to land 4 or more interviews last year (as ABD) have zero interviews this year. It's rough out there.Hope this gets your Monday off to the right start! If not, look on the bright side of things. If you're one of the few lucky bastards to get an interview this week (anytime now), and buck this disheartening trend, you know that you probably earned it. Probably.
1. What kind of intro do you teach and why? As Anon. 1:58 puts it, "What do you cover in Intro and why? Do you give a historical or problems course? Do you emphasize methods or content? Primary sources or textbook?"
2. Inside the Philosophy Factory's got a broader take on the same idea. She asks, what's your "vision for 'normal' philosophy courses and your methods for teaching logic? Here you'll want to explain the kinds of exercises you'll do to keep students engaged. You'll also want to explain your assessment methods for those courses."
Interdisciplinary and cross-department teaching
3. What would you teach if you got to design your own course integrating material from other disciplines?
4. From Sisyphus, "How would you teach our cross-listed courses with gen ed./the Core Curriculum/some other department/the writing program?"
5. How would you engage students that are required to take philosophy courses but who otherwise would not have?
6. Here's a variation from Anon. 1:58: "How would you get students at our school interested in your class X? Why would our students want to take it?"
7. John Turri's talking engagement too, but he's going a different direction: "What techniques would you use to engage students, in the same class, of very different levels of ability and interest?"
8. Back to Sisyphus: "How would you work with our students as opposed to the ones at your current institution" (i.e., differences in diversity, age, college prep, money, types of feeder schools, a religious mission, they are all huge b-ball fans, etc.)"
9. Here's Inside the Philosophy Factory: What are "your methods for adjusting to different preparation levels in the classroom? Here is where you'll have to explain how you'll deal with the kid who can't read and the kid who had to come home from Princeton sitting next to one another in your freshman Ethics course."
10. How does your research inform your teaching?
11. From Anon. 1:58: "What is your strength/weakness as a teacher? What is special about your classes? What do you feel you need to work on?"
12. John T again: "What incentives do you build into the course to encourage your students to actually do the reading?"
13. What technology do you use in teaching? Besides chalk, I guess.
14. From Inside the Philosophy Factory: How would you "deal with a few students who are doing badly in the class -- and how you would deal with a significant portion of the class that is doing badly? She recommends, "The key with the student is to offer more help and to understand what resources are available to help students who need more assistance. With the class who is doing badly, discuss how you'd do some review to reinforce some important concepts AND to do classroom assessment techniques like asking about the 'muddiest point' etc."
15. From Sisyphus, "what sorts of limitations do you see yourself working around in your research here (i.e., how will you deal with our heavy teaching load and research requirements at the same time?)?"
16. And Michael Cholbi underlines the point: "Be ready to talk about how you'd teach large courses (50+) on your own."
Michael C. also recommends having a handful of memorable points to make about your teaching. Now, nothing makes a talking point go down smooth like a charming little anecdote. . . .
17. From Anon. 1:58: "What was your worst/best moment as a philosophy teacher and why? How did you react/respond?"
18. Sisyphus again: "Describe a time you had to deal with a problem student."
19. And back to Inside the Philosophy Factory: Describe "your most challenging teaching situation and your most rewarding experience. Here is where you tell the story about little Jimmy who was sure he couldn't do logic -- who had talked himself out of being able to pass the class and who finally ended up passing the class"
20. Anon. 1:58: "From a religious school: How would you get along with our students?"
21. Inside the Philosophy Factory Again: Talk about "your professional development. Here is where you'll want to talk about the teaching seminars you're attending via your grad university, how you are a member of APT etc... This is not where you give details about conference papers, publications etc -- unless there is a research element to your position. Then you make it about 50/50."
22. "Suppose someone (perhaps a community member, and not necessarily a student) came to you and asked how to resolve moral problem X. What would you tell them to do?"
23. Finally, "Which do you see as you primary focus--teaching or research?"
"Email received that search (and interview) have indeed been cancelled" (emphasis added).
I don't like a) have to have a new account to leave comments and b) holding my fucking tongue on the internet. Graduate students in philosophy are a profane, petty bunch, and it has been nice to have a place to exhibit this without having to have some silly account to do so.Rest assured that we want discussion, rants, and engagement in the comments, whether civil or profane, gracious or petty. Four points.
- Second Suitor and I will be moderating comments. We'll try to approve/reject them as often as our schedules (remember: similar to yours!) allow so that we can get some actual, lively discussion going.
- In service of this goal, we're also asking anyone who wants to comment to register an username through OpenID and to post comments under that name. You can do so here (and you can find info on this process here). Despite such registration, picking an username to protect your precious anonymity, if you feel such a need, should be easy.
Your quickest way to comment approval is to not be an asshole, to say constructive things related to the post (more or less; threadjacking, though frowned upon when there's a discussion already going, will be allowed within reason), and to make me laugh.
Use your anonymous perch to slander others under their real live names (unless, they are asking for it; asking for it doesn't include getting the interview you wanted, the fly-out you wanted, the job you wanted, et cetera). Are a troll.