Suppose a dept. moves entirely to video conference interviews or forgoes interviews altogether. Some candidates for the job will likely be at the APA anyhow, and some members of the search cmte. might be too. A candidate might go to a dept.'s table at the Smoker and talk to a member of the search cmte. and get a leg up that way. How could this worry be alleviated? Options:
1. No one from the search cmte goes to the APA. (This might not be possible, and it's an odd result.)
2. No one from the search cmte talk to job candidates at the APA. (This can end up creating some really awkward situations.)
3. All the interviews and the decisions about whom to bring to campus be made before the APA. This is perhaps the best solution, but it might not always be so easy to do, depending on a lot of scheduling factors.
He's saying that we should do interviews at the APA so as to eliminate the possibility of a candidate gaining an unfair advantage over her competitors by going to the APA meeting and chatting with someone from the search committee who also happened to be there. I mean, there are problems, and then there are problems.