Letter: Interview hell

January 25, 2002

Peter Hartley ("Interview success is virtually guaranteed", THES , January 18) offers an interesting training for candidates facing an interview. But it assumes a rationality that is not always present. Hartley's interviewers behave properly.

Imagine this: the most senior member of the panel sits with his back to the candidate, silently looking out of the window for 15 minutes. He then swings around and picks a verbal fight on a silly question. Having asserted his power he asks who won, and when the candidate suggests a draw he spits "Bollocks!" A fanciful scenario? No, an accurate account of my interview with a major academic institution. I got the job and was foolish enough to accept it but left after 18 months. Does Hartley do software for interviewers too? Some might need it more than the candidates.

Malcolm Miles
Exeter

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