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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

You're Hired

Office Space


This is a one-day offer. You saw my book. You know I can handle the work. You're gonna have to let me know today, not at the end of the holidays. If you want me, make a decision right now.

-- Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)


Wouldn’t you love to say that to a committee? The Faculty Recruitment Conference is less than a month away, and I thought I would add a little lighthearted levity to ease the stress. As candidates prepare (and prepare a little more) for those intense 30-minute sessions, it might be helpful (and entertaining) to consider learning a few tips from depictions of interviews on the big screen. One of my personal favorites appears in Office Space, where the “Two Bob’s” make arbitrary decisions based on nonsense. I also love the group interview in Boiler Room; I think it is Ben Affleck’s best (and briefest) performance. What are some other great interview scenes on film?


Posted by Kelly Anders on October 6, 2009 at 10:34 AM in Film | Permalink


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Not quite the same kind of committee, but in the same spirit. One of my favorite movies (and I think I may have been (a) the only person to see it, or (b) if not, the only person who remembers it: "Getting Straight" - 1970, before most readers of this blog were born). Elliott Gould played Harry Bailey, a grad student in English, I think at Berkeley, or some place like it in the 60's. There was a scene in which he defends his dissertation on F. Scott Fitzgerald to his doctoral committee. One of the committee members insists that Fitzgerald was a homosexual based solely on an interpretation of Nick Carraway's physical description of Jordan Baker, Nick's love interest in The Great Gatsby. Harry disagrees. IMDB reports the relevant part of the script as follows:

* * *

Dr. Greengrass: So, it is undeniable, isn't it? You can't deny it. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a homosexual and it appears in his writing. Doesn't it? Doesn't it?

Harry Bailey: [he realizes he is defeated and suddenly lashes out with an outburst of yelling] It's gonna... it's gonna... IT'S GONNA BE A SURPRISE TO SHEILA GRAHAM!

Dr. Greengrass: [suddenly becoming afraid] W-w-what?


* * *

I know there is an AALS interview equivalent, because I had one.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Oct 6, 2009 4:26:57 PM

Not to be a downer, but I think this clip from Albert Brooks' Defending Your Life may be more appropriate for the current economic climate (starts at 5:06).

Posted by: Jeremy Sheff | Oct 6, 2009 1:53:06 PM

Great links!

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Oct 6, 2009 1:17:40 PM

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