The Rhodes and
Allison: Friendly interviewers who push you hard
(State finalist for Rhodes, 1999)
For the sake of posterity, community, and institutional loyalty, here are the questions I was asked yesterday at the Rhodes interview.
The interview questions:
1. How did you become interested in field 'x', i.e., in my case conflict resolution.
2. Since you are interested in conflict resolution, what would you do to resolve the conflict in Seattle between the WTO and the protestors? (MANY follow-up questions here...questioners modified the hypothetical scenario five or six times, each time forcing me to come up with a new resolution.)
3. You are on a school board in Kentucky. A teacher at a junior high teaches evolution in their biology program. What do you do when many parents begin calling in order to complain that their students should not have to learn evolution? (Again, MANY follow-up questions here modifying the hypothetical scenario until parents are calling up the board demanding that their students shouldn't learn how to read because they might subvert the dominant patriarchy!)
4. What is your favorite novel and why?
5. Why did you change your mind on intellectual issue 'x', i.e., in my case the relationship between aesthetics and ethics.
6. Is an artist ethically responsible for his or her creations? What would you do if, as an artist, your work was appropriated by a hate crime group and used to advance their political purposes?
A couple general remarks:
1. There were very few 'off the wall' questions, i.e., the interviewers really worked from my application to develop their questions.
2. The interviewers were very very friendly. I liked them quite well!
3. The interviewers were good, as is evident from the questions, at pushing you to change your mind or modify your answer by modifying their question.
4. The other candidates were virtually insufferable in terms of their insincerity and constructedness. And I think that the interviewers saw through this fakery.
Christ Church, Oxford