Panel games – Times Higher Education
Much of the Ivy League eschews interviews when filling posts, says Amanda Goodall, and UK universities keen to hire the best should follow suit. Academics pride themselves on being objective. Yet when it comes to job interviews, objectivity frequently goes out the window. The interview process fosters prejudice and irrational assessments of candidates that can lead to the best not being hired. Institutions in the UK often lose sight of the fact that it is they who need the candidate, not the other way round. Interview panels behave as if they are doing the candidate a big favour. Should we now be following the trend in the US, particularly in the Ivy League and at many research-intensive universities, and getting rid of interviews for academic hiring? I think so. Even with the most fair-minded interview panel, choosing the right people is difficult. Academics are hired to do research, to teach and to administer; these are skills that are arguably impossible to assess in an interview.