The candidate who shot up to the top of the list of interviewees was the one who answered the question of “Why are you interested in this position?” with an honest “Because I need a job, and the job market is horrible.”
It was so refreshing to hear an honest answer and to see a glimpse of humanity in the candidate. Mostly, people answer with “Because I’m dedicated to teaching and I fully agree with the core mission of your university which is [cue a long verbatim quote from the university website]” or “Because I’m dedicated to teaching and I’m excited about using the language lab at your department which [cue a long verbatim quote from our departmental website.]
Yes, you are totally willing to relocate to Illinois from California because you are so excited about our language lab. That’s so believable.
I understand that people are anxious but nobody at the committee could even remember the person we interviewed on Thursday because his robotic answers faded from our memories in two minutes.