A mock interview goes horribly wrong:

Interviewer: As you know, we’re a small liberal arts college. Part of what keeps our philosophy department in business is our ability to offer six sections of “Critical Thinking” every semester. “Critical Thinking” is a required course in our General Education curriculum. So, each member of the Philosophy department offers at least one section of “Critical Thinking” every semester. Could you describe to us how you would teach such a course?

Candidate: Critical Thinking?… hmmmm… Well, that’s not my area.

Interviewer: Well, I realize that this is not your area. It’s not mine either. But, as I said, we all have to teach it. So, could you say something about how you would construct the course.

Candidate: Well… I’d rather not teach that kind of course. Couldn’t I just stick to “Intro” and upper-level courses?

Interviewer: Well… No. As I said… We all have to teach “Critical Thinking.” It sounds to me as if you’re saying that you’re unwilling to teach it. Is that right?

Candidate: Yeah.

A happy thought for candidates: some of the people you are competing against are this bad. Huzzah!

Another lesson: seriously, think about the needs of the department that is considering hiring you. My department is not in the same business as the department granting you a PhD, but we don’t think that’s our problem. A surprising number of people show up to interview knowing that we value teaching and research yet without having thought in any serious way about teaching. It’s lame.

Finally, when in doubt, just talk about the New Deal. We go nuts for that stuff.