Reasonable Words: Interview Advice

From Brian Leiter’s Philosophy Blog, Leiter Reports, nice advice about what to do in an interview. This is for people applying for academic jobs in philosophy, but the underlying idea is more generally applicable to other kinds of interviews.

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Potential source of interview questions for would-be philosophy faculty?


One of my colleagues has a lovely phrase to describe a key virtue in a candidate:  “She accepted the question I offered.” What this means is that, if an interviewer poses a question to you, don’t dismiss it, ignore it, or try to shut the dialogue down.

At one level, this would seem pretty elementary, who would do an end-run in an interview for a desirable job? But actually listening to the question and answering it (even if it’s to say you don’t know or you don’t understand it) as opposed to bending it to what you were prepared to say can be pretty challenging. (I might add, uncharitably, that it’s perhaps especially hard for philosophy types, of which I am one.)

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