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APA Good Practices Guide Public Discussion Series, Part 4: Interviewing

by Amy Ferrer

This post is part of a series of posts soliciting public comment on the APA’s new Good Practices Guide. In the first post in this series, I provided some background on how the APA Good Practices Guide came about and presented its preface and first section. For more on the guide and this series, go back and read that post.

In this fourth post of the series, I’m covering section 4 of the Good Practices Guide, which addresses interviewing practices. As noted at the beginning of the section, it was primarily drafted by the Subcommittee on Interviewing Best Practices, and thus much of the content it contains has been available since that committee’s document was released in 2015. However, it has been updated and new appendices have been added.

The main part of this section “is intended to outline documented techniques or practices that tend to result in better outcomes in recruitment.” It begins by going over the interviewing process, outlining how the hiring process in academic philosophy has traditionally operated and how it has been changing. In particular, it focuses on the move away from in-person interviews at the APA Eastern Division meeting and the ways that hiring departments are now approaching the interview process in light of that change. It covers pros and cons of three common types of first-round interviews and provides recommendations to hiring departments about how to make those interviews and second-round campus visits as useful and fair as possible. The main part of this section of the GPG concludes with information on offers of employment—their timing and the professional expectations of both hiring departments and job candidates.

Section 4 of the GPG also includes four appendices, two of which were included in the earlier Guidelines on Interviewing Best Practices and two of which are new in the GPG. First is a set of detailed guidelines for interviews conducted by phone or video conference, including recommendations for interviewing institutions and individual interviewers, job candidates, and placement directors. Appendix B discusses research on interviewing, laying out how interviews can foster bias and how to minimize that bias and its impact on the hiring process. Appendix C gives detailed guidance on acceptable (and prohibited) interview questions, and Appendix D provides a sample candidate evaluation sheet that can help hiring committees ensure all candidates are being evaluated fairly and on the same standards.

This section of the GPG is especially important because, as explained in the very first sentence of the section, “The search and recruitment process for hiring new faculty and staff plays a critical role in shaping not only departments but the profession as a whole.” Given that, feedback from members of the profession is crucial. I look forward to your thoughts on the following questions and any other topics related to this section.

  • If you have recently participated in a hiring committee for an academic position in philosophy, did your committee make use of the Guidelines for Interviewing Best Practices? How helpful were they? Were there topics not included that should be considered for future updates?
  • If you have recently been a job candidate, did you find the Guidelines for Interviewing Best Practices useful? Did hiring committees with which you interacted follow this guidance? Based on your experience, do you have suggestions for hiring committees or other job candidates that should be added to this section of the GPG?
  • Are there parts of the interviewing and hiring process that aren’t adequately addressed here?
  • One of the appendices to this section of the GPG is a sample candidate evaluation sheet. Are there other sample materials you’d like to see included?

Amy Ferrer has been Executive Director of the APA since 2012.

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GPG Public Comment Series: / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

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