Monday, July 03, 2006


Well, today was the big interview for the Lincoln job. I actually know that not everyone who (I heard) applied was interviewed, so I suppose I did well just to get to the shortlist. I did see the list in the lodge, however, and know at least two had doctorates and all more experience than me. (Including my friend Miriam, who was just before me, and wished me luck in that slightly awkward ‘I want you to come 2nd’ way that happens in these instances)

The panel consisted of the senior tutor, plus a Philosophy and Economics tutor from Lincoln and – as I expected – Roger Crisp. I was a bit nervous about talking about Mill in front of him, since he wrote the standard textbook on him, but I’d prepared myself for it. I’m not used to standing up and giving lectures, even of just ten minutes, so there was some ‘erm-ing’ and glances at my notes to refresh my memory. Nonetheless, I think I got through it ok – I survived at least – and was able to handle the questions, though perhaps I could have been more convincing.

After the presentation, there were some general questions about my research – how long I thought I had left to go, how much of a hindrance teaching would be. I did say that actually consolidating my general grasp of moral and political philosophy would be useful for my research. I forgot one, perhaps crucial, part of my prepared answer though – I meant to point out that since I’d have to take a year out I’d be able to dedicate myself fully to teaching, and not worry about balancing that with the research anyway. Too late now.

The other thing I forgot to ask was whether there’d be a replacement for their departing Politics tutor – Dr Daniel Keleman (who wasn’t present). I did, however, ask their Philosophy tutor a question about how they teach first years (they do Mill, General Philosophy and Logic, unlike some colleges, which only teach two of these), which may have been a good question to ask since he hadn’t said much.

It was all over in 20 minutes – considerably less than the advertised 40, which probably isn’t a good sign. Unfortunately the other thing I didn’t ask was when I’m likely to hear. Probably quite soon, if there weren’t many people to interview. At least, whatever the outcome, I survived, and hopefully the experience will stand me in good stead for next time.

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