Hello, academics, and welcome to the world that non-academics have been enduring for 15 or so years now.
Not that non-academic job applications ask those specific questions, but along the same lines.
I’ve seen questions like these on job applications, with the responses I wished I’d sent:
Describe why you are a better fit than other candidates?
I don’t know the other fucking candidates. How the hell would I know? Isn’t that your job to figure out?
What makes you excited to work at (insert company here)?
It’s mainly the paycheck. And, you know, the paycheck.
And more. So many more. I’ve abandoned job applications because they wanted me to answer 10-15 essay-length questions.
The trials and tribulations that academics are put through generally lag behind the rest of the world 10-20 years, so it’s been interesting how as the crucible of modern hiring practices reach academia only then do you hear about it in the press (because these days only those who’ve gone to Ivies really are allowed to be in the mainstream press).
So welcome to the rest of the world, guys and gals! It’s not fun but we’re all in it together it turns out.