Unusual Interview Questions




By Trevor Hedberg

Later this week, I will be helping with a workshop designed to help ABD grad students prepare for job interviews. There are some questions that are asked in almost every job interview, but almost all the ones I’ve done have also featured at least one rather unusual or idiosyncratic question. Here are a few such questions that struck me as odd when I was asked them:

What does “social justice” mean to you?
Wouldn’t you agree that the way you described [a specific study mentioned in my writing sample] was inaccurate? (I reread the study after the interview and discovered that, as I suspected, I had not described it inaccurately, but I didn’t feel comfortable saying that so straightforwardly in the interview.)
When I teach [subject in the job ad], I teach it through [modality A], [modality B], and [modality C]. What different modalities do you use to teach that subject? (Given how the faculty member described them, the “modalities” were sort of like different disciplinary perspectives, but the course under discussion was common philosophy course.)

These are relatively mild compared to some of the stories I’ve been told, however. I was hoping that some of you might have particularly rare or unusual interview questions that you are willing to share so that I could give workshop attendees some examples. If you have an example of an unusual interview question that you were once asked, please post it as a comment.

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More