It's high time for job applicants to begin hearing from interviewing schools about scheduling an APA interview. So here are a few tips for those being interviewed at the APA.
1. Be yourself. Your task is not simply to get the job you’re interviewing for, it’s to find a suitable place to begin your career. So give the search committee an accurate sense of who they’d be hiring (or declining to hire). Attempts to chisel yourself into what you think the committee wants almost always backfire. Why would you want to be hired by a department that thinks you're something you're not?
2. If you haven’t read it, don’t say you have. The surest way to undermine your chances at getting an on campus is to be caught in a lie about scholarship. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times: A colleague asks a candidate if he or she has read some new book or article that’s loosely (not centrally) on the topic of the candidate’s dissertation. The candidate says that he/she has. The colleague asks a pointed question about the book or article. The candidate backtracks, saying that he or she hadn’t read it “carefully” or “only quickly” read the piece. The colleague then asks a more general question about the book or article. The candidate backtracks again. And so it goes…
3. Do your homework. You’ll almost certainly be asked whether you have any questions about the institution or department with which you’re interviewing. Have some. The internet makes it unbelievably easy to find out about the department or institution. Do it. But, more importantly, knowing about the department you’re interviewing with can help you to give better answers to other questions you’re asked. For example, knowing that the department offers three different Ethics courses at the undergrad level can be beneficial when you're asked a question about how you'd teach Ethics.
4. Don’t gossip. As amazing as it sounds, I’ve seen lots of candidates include in their answer to some philosophical question some off handed comment or other about the personal lives of well-know people in the profession, or the prevailing rumors about someone or other’s relationship with the other people in his or her home department, and so on. Perhaps candidates think that this kind of thing makes them look like they're in the know or some such. But it really just makes them look unprofessional and petty. Don’t do it.
5. No matter what, DO NOT get drunk at the Smoker. Even if you have no intention of visiting the interviewing department's table, even if the interviewing department has no table to visit, even if all the members of the interviewing department have told you they're all leaving the conference directly after your interview, DO NOT be at the Smoker under any kind of impairment.