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The Interview

Even if a search committee identifies the very best candidate to fill an open position, it is an empty exercise if the committee cannot close the search successfully by persuading the person who emerges as first choice to accept the position. By focusing on Northwestern’s comparative advantages and targeting those colleagues who might find a position at Northwestern especially attractive, committees can maximize the likelihood that the top candidate will accept an offer. 

Additionally, search committees should recognize the important implications of their interactions with candidates. Individuals contacted in connection with the search process will form lasting impressions of the department and of Northwestern. All prospective faculty colleagues should be treated with great respect during the interview process. The way these scholars are treated will affect their future sense of the institution—even if they do not receive, or if they decline, an offer. By dealing with candidates warmly, efficiently, and professionally, the committee has an opportunity to enhance the reputation and image of Northwestern.

Departments and schools should use the campus visit to impress upon candidates Northwestern’s strengths and the attractiveness of the Chicago area. The following suggestions are offered for providing faculty candidates with a welcoming, supportive, and collegial atmosphere during the campus visit: