There is a common misconception among graduate students regarding the purpose of the job interview. Many seem to treat the interview as if it were designed to identify and hire outstanding graduate students. Indeed, over the course of their brief interaction with a prospective hire, faculty strive to reassure themselves of the candidate's intelligence, training, and scholarly potential. But underlying all these, I would like to argue, is a persistent concern: Will this candidate make for a good colleague? This is the primary purpose of the interview: Identifying and hiring prospective peers.
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