As noted in my previous post, it is interview season in academia.  There is a metric shit-ton of advice out there for candidates.  It ranges from helpful (Women: have a non-angry answer to the “What does your husband do?” question, even though it will make you angry.) to obvious (Practice your job talk beforehand!) to ‘come over here so I can hit you on the head because that is so stupid’ (Don’t get drunk during your dinner with the chair!).

However, I feel that we are lacking in terms of advice for the people giving the interview.  Now, I’ll admit I haven’t been through many searches from ‘the other side’ yet, but I think there are some basic ground rules that some departments need to wake up to.  Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Know the name of the candidate you are introducing right before their job talk.  It’s pretty insulting and demoralizing to hear your name badly mangled when it’s right up there on the slide.  (Some mispronunciation is fine – happens to me constantly.  I’m talking about really having no idea what the name is supposed to be.)
  • Your candidates are probably coming from and/or going to small college towns.  Do not ask them to arrive at “around noon” and fail to offer a hotel room for the night before their arrival.  They will either have to pay for that night themselves or get up at 3am for the interview or both (I did that once).
  • There is really no need (at all) to make the candidate meet you for breakfast at 7:30am.  If you really need to fit a bunch of meetings in during the day, make them 20 minutes long.  You won’t notice a differences except for the lack of awkward pauses.
  • Give the candidate a close to final schedule 3-4 days before their interview so that they can prepare.  Yes, everyone is busy, but people need to commit to talking to their future colleague.  (Note to candidates: If your schedule has a lot of empty slots, this may indicate a problem department.)
  • Finally, and these are so obvious that I SHOULDN’T have to write them down (and the people who would say them are probably not reading blogs written by young female professors) – do not: 1) ask about the candidates marital status, 2) make fun of their dietary preferences, or 3) make a comment about how things are easier with the administration if you are a white male.

Did I miss anything?

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