Taking political stands at interviews etc.

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Funshine
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#1
Report Thread starter 18 years ago
#1
In my personal statement I mentioned that I might like to work for the Hoover Institute for Studies of War, Revolution and Peace (the largest think tank in the US) upon graduating. It's known to be somewhat conservative, was it a bad move to put down? Will I have to defend it at the interviews? Should I?
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Linda
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#2
Report 18 years ago
#2
Hi, I did the same thing actually! I didn't know the Hoover Institute was particularily conservative though, not as much that you could call them biased anyways. What section would you like to work in?
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Unregistered
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#3
Report 18 years ago
#3
Yes, it may affect your placement. Admissions Tutors aren't meant to base their decisions on personal choices. Like it or not though, they do.
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kildare
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#4
Report 18 years ago
#4
Hmmm, well when I was at St.Johns (Oxford) the admissions tutor told us that she hated when people wrote about what they wanted to do upon graduation, saying that she was solely concerned with a students interest in their academic subject. Saying that however, I doubt that one line concerning your future career aspirations probably won’t hurt your chances.

Annnnnnywaaays to actually answer your question , I would say that the interviewers are going to put you on the spot and ask you for your subjective opinions on certain issues. In this regard they’re not interested in what your particular political leanings are as long as you can logically and rationally argue your point of view.
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Linda
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#5
Report 18 years ago
#5
It is the most respectable think tank in the US though, I doubt it can hurt you that much (I hope!). I put down that I was co-founder of a liberal forum at my school, and even though the admission tutors could be conservative or radical (in fact, I beleive that the philosopy one is!), they really couldn'y hold political activity against me, could they?
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kildare
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#6
Report 18 years ago
#6
(Original post by Linda)
It is the most respectable think tank in the US though, I doubt it can hurt you that much (I hope!). I put down that I was co-founder of a liberal forum at my school, and even though the admission tutors could be conservative or radical (in fact, I beleive that the philosopy one is!), they really couldn'y hold political activity against me, could they?
Well her point was that they want people who wish to study their chosen subject because they have a passion for that subject, not because they think it will improve their career chances. Oxford tutors do tend to be pretty idealistic is this respect (I THINK). And no, I can’t see them holding any political activity against you, founding a school political forum is an impressive achievement and shows your interest in politics goes beyond the classroom. I’d say your forum’s political orientation is relatively unimportant.
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Linda
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#7
Report 18 years ago
#7
If anyone has the time (30 min) and interest, take a look at this video by the Hoover Institute.:

http://www.uncommonknowledge.org/800/812.html

(also in paper version). It's about the European Union Constitution, the guests are senior fellow of the Hoover Institute (and fellow of Oxford U.) T. G. Ash and British historian P. Johnson. In my opinion, Johnson is far more subjective than Ash.
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Linda
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#8
Report 18 years ago
#8
i take that back, they're both subjective. Ash openly supports Tony Blair, whilst Johnson openly says that Blair, err, sucks.
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Fidel
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#9
Report 18 years ago
#9
On my application form I put down interests in the USSR, and 20th Century political movements commenting that their idealism for a better world was lacking from modern politics. I did however help moderate it with a mention that I'm a member of a local liberal party. I was told do so as it showed "some of my character". :/
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Unregistered
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#10
Report 18 years ago
#10
(Original post by Fidel)
On my application form I put down interests in the USSR, and 20th Century political movements commenting that their idealism for a better world was lacking from modern politics. I did however help moderate it with a mention that I'm a member of a local liberal party. I was told do so as it showed "some of my character". :/
Seriously?
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kildare
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#11
Report 18 years ago
#11
(Original post by Unregistered)
Seriously?
Nah, he just decided to make that up and write it on an internet messageboard for shíts and giggles xthup
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Juwel
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#12
Report 18 years ago
#12
Careful with the politicals at interview, they might prejudge you...
e.g. Labour = thick,
Tory = suckup,
Lib Dem = really thick,
socialist = idealistic airhead,
nationalist = racist,
centre = not informed enough (and hence too stupid) to make a decision...
Not my view at all by the way...
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#13
Report 18 years ago
#13
how about economically conservative & socially liberal people? How are they looked upon?
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Mark_KK
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#14
Report 18 years ago
#14
(Original post by Funshine)
In my personal statement I mentioned that I might like to work for the Hoover Institute for Studies of War, Revolution and Peace (the largest think tank in the US) upon graduating. It's known to be somewhat conservative, was it a bad move to put down? Will I have to defend it at the interviews? Should I?
Personally I think that when you are involved in any sort of application process you should avoid being drawn into discussion on either Religion or Politics.

I would also dress smartly, boys in a smart suit and tie, girls in a suit and blouse.

Oh yea and should a girl wear a skirt it should never be much above the knee. Tops should also be suitably buttoned up. Contrary to common belief showing abit of flesh is not going to get you into somewhere (be it a workplace or uni) and more often than not it will actually work to your detriment.
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kildare
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#15
Report 18 years ago
#15
(Original post by Mark_KK)
Personally I think that when you are involved in any sort of application process you should avoid being drawn into discussion on either Religion or Politics.
He's going to have a Politics interview....
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Mark_KK
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#16
Report 18 years ago
#16
(Original post by kildare)
He's going to have a Politics interview....
Yes and if I get invited for an interview it will more than likley involve Politics too.

What you need to do is develop a tactic often used by Tony Blair and various football managers.

You need to be able to answer a question without actually saying anything or voicing any real opinion that could cause controversy.

You also need to be good at deflecting difficult questions particularly ones that ask you about subject areas where you have either no or little knowledge.

I was once asked in a panel interview (the worst type in my opinion) to give my opinions on the McPherson report. Knowing very little about the report other than the fact that it had something to do with the death of Stephen Lawrence (a black teenager) I managed to completly avoid the question by talking about the wider issue of racism which satisfied my interviewers.

It may sound like a load of tosh but it can be done and once you have perfected it you have developed a very useful skill.
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kildare
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#17
Report 18 years ago
#17
(Original post by Mark_KK)
Yes and if I get invited for an interview it will more than likley involve Politics too.

What you need to do is develop a tactic often used by Tony Blair and various football managers.

You need to be able to answer a question without actually saying anything or voicing any real opinion that could cause controversy.
.
I can't really see that strategy impressing the Oxford politics tutors... :\
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Mark_KK
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#18
Report 18 years ago
#18
(Original post by kildare)
I can't really see that strategy impressing the Oxford politics tutors... :\
As I have said it is a difficult strategy to master and requires a fair bit of thinking on your feet.

It is not possible to implement it all of the time but it can work for you in *some* situations.
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Funshine
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#19
Report Thread starter 18 years ago
#19
Hi Linda,

I'd like to work in the European Economics and Policy field, don't know exactly what...

Thanks for all the responses, I kinda wish I hadn't written it now, but it's too late to change it, so I'll just have to make the best out of it
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kildare
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#20
Report 18 years ago
#20
(Original post by Mark_KK)
As I have said it is a difficult strategy to master and requires a fair bit of thinking on your feet.

It is not possible to implement it all of the time but it can work for you in *some* situations.
Yes, it's perhaps the best approach sometimes. I can't see you manging to "successfully" avoid taking a stand for a whole 30 minute interview though.
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