Faculty Job Interviewing

December 27, 2010

Tenured Radical has a cool-asse poste uppe about interviewing for faculty jobbes. Some of it is specific to the aspects of humanites jobbe interviewing that is different than in the sciences, but the generalities it highlights are worth remembering for everyone.

Here are a few additional thoughts of my own:

(1) Interviewing for jobbes has a bigger relevance than just securing a jobbe. Even in the case of all the interviews you have that *don’t* lead to jobbes, they are opportunities to make yourself better known to people who control other thinges you want besides just the jobbes their departments are offering. So making a good impression is essential, and bitching about people–even if you already know you won’t get/don’t want their jobbe offer–is fucken stupid. Interviewing is just a special case of the general professional activity called networking.

(2) The single most important general principle for interviewing and all other forms of networking is that people do like to feel smart, and they don’t like to feel dumb. And if they are talking to you when they feel dumb/smart, they are gonna blame/credit you for how they feel, and they’re gonna remember this psychosocial aspect of your interaction a bajillion motherfucken times longer than they’re gonna remember the content of your disquisition on the intricacies of tavern spittoon etiquette in 17th Century Scranton.

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7 Responses to “Faculty Job Interviewing”


  1. Both excellent points! We’ve had so many candidates come through that are so hell-bent on sounding like the Most Intelligent Being ev-ah. They typically just come off as jackasses.

    Don’t even get me started on how they are going to incorporate EVERY! BIT! OF CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY! EV-AAAAHHHHH! And that I, as an ancient assistant prof (two years in!), couldn’t possibly understand why cell phones as clickers is the best idea ev-ah! (wtf.)

  2. Spiny Norman Says:

    What amazes me is how often we get people who give a great pre-programmed talk, then completely blow the chalk talk. If you can’t talk about your work reasonably well in an informal setting, how the fuck are you going to run a research group?

  3. Delusional biologist Says:

    EV-AAAAHHHHH, EV-AAAAHHHHH,
    BE POSITIVE AND FEEL YOU’RE KING IN MARS,
    IF VENUS DOESN’T COME ALONG YOUR WAY
    YOUR GALAXY WILL SHOW UP THE NEXT DAY

    EV-AAAAHHHHH, EV-AAAAHHHHH,
    DON’T FEAR THAT YOU MIGHT LOOK like a JACKASS
    With YOUTUBE, GOOGLE CHROME AND POWERPOINT
    YOU’LL BE THE DREAM OF ALL YOUR INTERVIEWERS…..

    EV-AAAAHHHHH, EV-AAAAHHHHH
    ONE DAY THE BEST FOR YOU WILL SURELY SHOW UP,
    YOU BE PERSISTENT AND PURSUE YOUR DREAM
    AND MAKE THE UNEXPECTED TURN YOUR WAY

    EV-AAAAHHHHH, EV-AAAAHHHHH,


  4. I’m just very glad that I am not one of those poor souls this season. I’m not even happy being on the other side of the interview table, but I like it a whole lot better than the alternative. Hopefully all my future job market searches will be “selective.”

  5. Isabel Says:

    “…is that people do like to feel smart, and they don’t like to feel dumb. And if they are talking to you when they feel dumb/smart, they are gonna blame/credit you for how they feel, and they’re gonna remember this psychosocial aspect of your interaction a…”

    Yes! This is a perfect example – If you could just transfer this wealth of insight over to the current discussion at DrugMonkey’s …

  6. skeptifem Says:

    “networking”….. *shudder*


  7. [...] yourself as a colleague and peer to a wider professional network.  (He’s also posted a version of his comment on his blog here.)  Finally, it is a truth universally acknowledged by those of us forty and older that the ease [...]


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