Decorum at an Academic Interview Presentation


I wish some of the following could be realized or made as rules in an academic recruitment interview presentation/seminar. After writing this, I can observe some items in the list also hold true if Candidates are replaced by Faculty and interview and seminars by class lectures.

  • The Laser pointer used by the nervous candidate should auto turn off whenever it is pointed away from the board and in particular when the candidate turns and addresses the gathering.
  • Interview candidates tagged Last Guy Before Lunchtime, First Guy After Lunchtime, Last Guy for the Day, all should be given another chance some other time to present their stuff, when the audience are in a responsive mood.
  • Every candidate who presents in the afternoon should be made to carry a disclaimer in the first slide: Presentation is Free of Sleep Inducing Content or Delivery.
  • Candidates who manage to give a math presentation without a single equation or math symbol should be appreciated a lot for giving a nice presentation that everyone liked and promptly sent home.
  • Candidates who in their enthusiasm overshoot the given time limit should be made to sit in all of the subsequent presentations by other candidates.
  • When a candidate who has worked in a field of research x that spans 0 < x < 0.2 is asked whether it is true that he can work and teach in other related areas of the subject spanning 0.2 < x < 100 and if he coolly answers YES, the audience should be allowed to laugh aloud for a minute.
  • When candidates philosophize something like “genetic algorithm is black magic,” they should immediately be offered the position of a tenured Witch Doctor of Philosophy, if it remains vacant.
  • Audience seen leaving the seminar hall cupping a non-ringing cell phone over their ear, while a presentation is going on, have already evaluated the candidate. They should not be asked to fill the evaluation form even if they return.
  • Candidates who utter statements like “I love thermal science but am interested in crowd psychology in the Sahara” should be made to explain what they mean.
  • Suave Candidates who, in the pretext of polity, begin their seminar with “those of you at the back, let me know if you can’t hear me” without bothering to notice the irony, should not mind if the audience laugh at their expense.
  • In a small seminar room, candidates when asked “do you want to use the mike” are supposed to say “no thanks”. But if they reply “yes”, then the mike should be switched off before placed on them.
  • Gobbling snacks and slurping drinks, while the nervous candidate is presenting is fun but rude. Candidates should capitalize on such situations when the audience are mouth filled to ask any questions and finish their seminars quickly.
  • Candidates who use a pdf file made out of LaTeX Beamer to present their seminar ought to be given some extra brownie points ahead of the rest who use ppt files.

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