Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Milton in the Mountains with a Tale of Two Interviews.
The first was with a medium sized state uni. 5 nice, quiet, people in a hotel suite. They each had a piece of paper in front of them and they asked me very generic questions about teaching in the field. After each answer they just nodded to the next person and another generic question came my way.
There was never once any conversation or give and take. Some made notes; some sat placidly. One gent at the end I swear was asleep until it was his turn. "What sort of undergrad students give you the most difficulty?" he asked, then nodded off again.
When I finished the last answer, we all stood up. Everyone was pleasant, handshakes all around, and it was over in 25 minutes.
I went across town to another hotel for the second, for a similarly sized school right in the Boston area.
The four people asked questions about me, my work, my scholarship. After I answered, they took up the point as a conversation. These chats went far afield and looped back around. In a dead spot, someone would ask something else, but always quite specifically about me. Two questions were to ask for me to go on a bit about things in my letter.
It was an hour long and at the end I felt as if I really knew something about them, the school, their students. They talked as much as I did, and I wanted to join them in their department in September. Before I left the room, the search chair gave me his cell phone number and said that if I had any questions about things not covered, that I should feel free to call her anytime over the next month to "continue this chat."
As I flew back home Saturday night, I could barely recall a thing about the first interview. It may be a great place. It might be the job of my dreams, but I fear I'll never know.