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So I ended up going ahead with it because I couldn't figure out how to go back and change my answers. Ugh. I actually wish I hadn't now. The whole thing will just feel weird.

cup half full

Think of it as a free practice interview.


I've only once been on an interview panel in the UK. We did not have anyone from the 2-tick scheme, but we were pretty open-minded about which candidate to hire. We had a shortlist of 6 people, and the person in my mind who was the best candidate totally bombed the interview. There was one person who was interviewed who was on our reserve list, but we interviewed her anyway because one of the shortlisted candidates could not come. That person did brilliantly and even though she was a stretch for the position she convinced us all. So, an interview is a foot in the door, definitely not just interview practice. Just treat it like you've been shortlisted. Make sure to be compelling. Read the interview tips here on the Job Market Boot Camp and go for it!


Thanks folks:) I might as well do my best now!

Everlasting Godstopper

Hi Amanda,

First, I wish you all the best with the application.

Now, this is going to make me sound like the voice of doom, but there is some doubt as to whether the Two Ticks scheme is actually implemented in many cases. It may be that, with the job market being what it is, people who also meet some/all of the 'desirable' criteria are those who make it to interview (of course, that often disadvantages disabled people too who will often have had a non-linear path through their studies).

The stats are grim in terms of disabled academics. I am in a minority of precisely one in U.K philosophy concerning my own disability. I too wonder whether to declare it (otherwise, I have a great big apparently unexplained gap on my c.v), and then worry that assumptions will be made if I do (not completely unfounded).

I do hope the institution you're applying to take the scheme seriously, and that you are offered an interview. As Helen said, once you're there, the job is yours to play for.

Ambivalent PhD

Important clarification - The two ticks scheme guarantees an interview *provided that the candidate meets the criteria for the position*. It is essentially a recognition that a person with a disabling condition has a whole lot of time and resources tied up elsewhere and thus maybe won't have all the shiny extras which can give applicants an edge.
I'm based in the UK - I know one person who refuses to use the system, and only reveals their disability after an interview has been offered, and another who always uses it because getting a toe into an academic career is hard and he sees it as a means of valid support. Despite always using it, he does not always get interviews, because it still depends on whether he has managed to convey that he meets the criteria.
(There is also an argument for disclosing because then the data can be used in equality monitoring)

So it's a totally personal choice, which some UK people use and others don't, but I wouldn't worry too much about it being a 'pity interview'.


As 5:14 points out, disability alone doesn't guarantee you an interview. The fact that you have been invited means that at least you tick (most) of the boxes in the 'person specification'. Most UK departments I know are likely to give you a fair chance, i.e. they don't see it as an empty HR exercise, but once invited you will be measured against the other interviewees. And in some places disability may be seen as a factor that tips the scale in your favour (since there's increasing pressure on UK dept to be (seen as) diverse).


Well, I don't mind if I don't get an interview. If they don't want to interview me, I would rather they not (otherwise it would just be an awkward waste of time for us all.) That being said, I think they would have to stretch to claim that someone who works in the area they asked, has publications, has teaching experience, etc. doesn't meet the minimum qualifications. If I had to do it again I decided I would not inform them of my disability. I figure it is best that they interview because they really want to, not because of any other pressures.


I don't know much about the UK system, but I've been on quite a few (I really believe) of these mandated HR interviews, and in general, it shows. The faculty is wondering why I am being interviewed and sometimes they have been visibly either bored or hostile.

That being said, take the interview. 1) Lots of other people do it; 2) it is a free practice interview under particularly odd conditions; 3) you might just have something close enough to what the department wants that they will be happy and they will make some dean VERY happy. That is a win-win. Hopefully if you are hired, your personality and work will justify their decision and everyone will be glad HR forced them to interview you and incentivised picking you.


FYI, I applied to a job in the UK this year. I was as conflicted as you are, I ended up ticking the box, and never got an interview, probably because of the *provided that the candidate meets the criteria for the position*. I was applying to a job with my AOS so I guess they can have a very narrow definition of the criteria, i.e. they would only interview people with disability that they would have interviewed anyway... As far as I'm concerned, I decided I would tick the box in the future but I am way less concerned with the pity interview case!

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