Guide To Teaching and Learning

Inclusion and Anti-Bias Awareness: The Interview

While it may seem as though many of these suggestions should go without saying, sometimes it pays to say them.

Things to do:

Treat candidates with professionalism: you’re recruiting them and want them to want to work with you.

You’ve already decided they are interesting, because you’re interviewing them. Treat them as wanted additions to the department/program and university.

Make eye contact. Smile. Be welcoming.

Things to avoid:

Interrupting. It’s never polite and especially not with a job candidate. Allow them–and your colleagues–to finish speaking. If the committee has adopted community agreements, remember: One mic.

Hostile or antagonist questions. In some fields, it has been a common practice for faculty to aggressively challenge and sometimes antagonize candidates (and their colleagues), but these days, it’s just not a good idea, especially not if you really wish to recruit the candidate. And even if you’ve changed your mind about them: they will report their experiences to their colleagues.

Lack of decorum and respect. Put your cell phone away (unless you’re expecting an urgent call/text, in which case, that should be noted–with apologies–to the candidate and the committee). Avoid ‘insider’ conversations with colleagues that render the candidate invisible.

Making inappropriate comments, including race- and gender-focused asides. Remember that what you may think ‘a joke’ might not be received that way.

Be mindful of body language: how are you presenting to the candidate with how you’re holding yourself? Are you demonstrating respect?

Finally, demonstrate your intentions by saying that you, the program, the university care about equity, inclusion and social justice. Enumerate some actions that have been taken in that regard and ask the candidate for examples of what they’ve done.

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