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Monday, December 5, 2011

A New Trend in Hiring

A new trend I've noticed is that you write a recommendation for a PhD student, and then the school calls you with a list of question to answer. They go down the list of questions mechanically and you just answer them out loud. Presumably the nice faculty member on the other side of the phone takes notes on what you say, probably including the most significant phrases.

Never mind that you spent time and effort to craft a very careful letter of recommendation that includes all the information, but conveyed with more nuance and art. I noticed this last year or the year before. It never happened to me before.


Clarissa said...

When I was interviewing for jobs, prospective employers would phone people from my department and ask questions as to what my personality is like and whether I'm a nice person.

That was a big department and they called a couple of people I'd had no interactions with. Those kind colleagues did all they could to sell me to the prospective employers pretty much sight unseen.

It was very weird to be approached by strangers who'd say, "I'm sorry are you OB? I was interviewed about you today. I said you had a great personality. I don't know you but I'm guessing your personality is good."

Then, I'd start trying to prove to the kind stranger that I did, in fact, have a great personality.

Spanish prof said...

I just spent an hour writing a letter of recommendation, feeling that I was writing my own job application. I hope they actually read it!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally unclear to me how that kind of call would work to get new info. It sounds like some new bureaucratic thing.

Jonathan said...

I guess it's a standardization process imposed by some HR people. They ask the exact same questions of each recommender for each candidate. No possbile unfairness there!