Reader query: interview advice?

Not sure if this really needs a post, but thought I’d shoot all the fantastic feminists here to see if they had time for some advice.

I’m an adjunct at a community college and love teaching there. I’ve been interviews for adjunct positions at other community colleges and all have gone well (i.e. I’ve gotten hired to teach a class for each academic interview I’ve completed). Now I’m up for a tenure track position at a community college and I’m not sure what to expect. The process seems pretty formal (3 interview questions that I’ll get to look at 20 minutes prior to the interview and a teaching demonstration). Does anyone have any advice on what kinds of questions to expect? What I ought to wear? Whether I should take out my (small and unobtrusive) nose ring? (I gender identify as female and typically wear simple a-line skirts. I’m rather tall, but don’t shy away from wearing heels.)

Any advice is appreciated – especially on what kinds of questions I might expect. (I imagine that the clothing will just have to sort itself out!).

Request for help: Data on hiring?

I remember a couple of years ago seeing some data related to demographics and hiring in philosophy (i.e., the number of jobs that went to men versus the number of jobs that went to women, as well as data on the demographics of the candidate pool) but now I can’t seem to find it, or anything more recent.

Does anyone have information on this?

Etsy’s Recipe For Recruiting and Retaining Women Engineers

As if these awesome dinosaur leggings weren’t reason enough to love Etsy, First Bond Capital reports on its blog that Etsy nearly quintupled its number of women engineers in just a year through a series of smart decisions and innovative methods. [See the coverage of this in The Atlantic, too.] In particular, Etsy aimed for more junior hires but helped to train those hires by providing them with grants to enroll in Hacker School. Etsy CTO, Kellan Elliott-McCrea, reckons their approach wasn’t just equity supporting — it also helped the company to recruit better and more economically. The post should be required reading at all universities and tech companies. Here’s a taste:

Etsy… had a substantial “boys versus girls” dynamic, where engineers (mostly male) sat on one side and the women on the other… It was a broken system that required changes on both sides of the house…. Simply saying that you value diversity internally isn’t enough – there’s just no reason for an outside observer to believe you if they come and see a scarcity of women in the organization.

Thanks, Mr. Jender!

Inclusive pedagogy in the job ad

Congratulations, department chair David Concepción, because your program at Ball State University has a job ad which is a model of awesomeness.  If only more ads were like this!

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY, Muncie, IN. Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies, invites applications for a tenure-track position, effective August, 2013. 3-3 teaching load. AOS: Metaphysics broadly construed. AOC: Area of study concerning underrepresented populations including but not limited to African American Philosophy, Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Philosophy of Indigenous Peoples, Women and Gender studies and animal studies. Required qualifications: (a) PhD prior to application and (b) evidence of teaching effectiveness. Preferred qualification: Experience in mentoring non-majority students, inclusive pedagogy, and diversity issues.

The department highly values the teacher/scholar model, so candidates should have a passion for, and innovation regarding, teaching and learning. Candidates demonstrating the ability to offer a wide range of timely courses that should appeal to many student populations while still being properly thought of as metaphysics will receive serious consideration.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Submit complete dossier, including a curriculum vitae, graduate school transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a brief statement of teaching philosophy, and a brief statement of research interests to: Ann Marie Adams, Dept. Administrator, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA, 47306-0500: Electronic submission is strongly preferred. For more information, see:

The department of Philosophy and Religious Studies seeks to attract an active, culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber. Ball State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.  Therefore, we especially encourage applications from candidates that would contribute to this commitment.

When they ask the interview questions that they’re not supposed to….

What do you say?  A reader writes:

I’m on the job market this year. If I’m lucky enough to get interviews, I’m wondering if anyone has any advice about how to handle questions that people aren’t supposed to ask, such as if I’m married, if I have kids, if my husband would be willing to relocated, etc. I fell I can’t say it’s none of their business and still get a job offer. Is there a way to deflect these questions if they come up?

This is a really tough question.  Obviously one answer might be “that question is illegal” or “none of your damned business”.  But of course this may be unwise– either because you really need this job or because the person asking might be decent and good despite their cluelessness (I definitely know people like this).  What do you all think?