Interview Horror Stories

Posted on January 6, 2009. Filed under: miscellaneous |

Just read some hair-raising tales about job interviews at Historiann and  Squadratomagico, so I thought I would add a few of my own — all true.

Interviewers:  Don’t schedule interviews every fifteen minutes and then fall so hopelessly behind that you have several candidates in the “pit” waiting area at the same time.

Interviewees:  Please recognize that your interviewers have other appointments to keep. So, if they start winding down the interview, please don’t say “I’m  not done yet” and continue to blather on ad infinitum.  Under no circumstances follow your interviewer to the rest room so you can squeeze in more interview time.

Interviewers:  The candidate’s job talk is not the time to open your mail, read the newspaper, or grade exams.  If you can’t be bothered to pay attention to what the candidate has to say, don’t bother showing up at all.

Interviewees:  If you don’t get the job, and then see one of your interviewers at a future conference, please don’t come over to hir restaurant table and drunkenly ask hir why you didn’t get the job.

Interviewers:  Don’t complain about the boorish behavior of retired faculty members, no matter how much they disgust you.  This is especially important when you’re interviewing that person’s replacement.

Interviewees:   Don’t ignore the female faculty during dinner — this is especially important if one of them is chair of the department.

I’m sure there are others just as frightening but I’ve managed to repress them for now.  Feel free to add some of your own in the comments section.

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One Response to “Interview Horror Stories”

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Right on–especially the comment about not ignoring the woman (or anyone!) at your interview dinner. (I’d like to hear more about the circumstances that provoked that commandment!) I also second your comment about not complaining about colleagues to a job candidate–however justified one’s complaints, that just makes you seem sneaky and disloyal, not hip and in-touch.

That said, I’d like to hear more about the drunken confrontations!


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    Heather Munro Prescott

    Heather Munro Prescott

    Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT.

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