Mary Laura writes: Songbird just had an interview for a "vague and interesting" possibility, and More Cows than People is doing campus visits for doctoral programs. There always seem to be a few RevGals applying for new positions, and I just got my first call for this year's preliminary interviews for college teaching jobs at the American Academy of Religion meeting in San Diego coming up in a few weeks. It's for my dream job among this year's offerings, and I am flipflopping between excitement and nervousness. So please keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for everyone facing such conversations, and share your thoughts on the wonderful world of interviews:
This is a very timely Friday Five for me, as I have a phone interview this afternoon and two face-to-face interviews on Sunday and Monday. So, I'll be reading all of your answers with much interest!
1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
The Summer after my Freshman in year in college, my friend who was a nanny needed a substitute for a week and asked me if I would do it. I agreed and my friend arranged for me to meet the family one day before she left. So, I came by at the agreed time for what I thought would be just a quick hello and run down of the kids' schedules, etc. I wasn't expecting when I walked into the living room to find the kids, a girl 9 years old and boy 7 years old, sitting side by side on the couch each with a legal pad and pen ready to "interview me." At first I thought it was cute and I was amused by their very grown-up questions like, "What is the best book you've read in the last year?" I answered all of their questions and was about to ask to what time I should show up on the first day of my friend's absence when the little girl said, "We don't think that you are taking this very seriously. I mean, you dressed in a shorts and a t-shirt for a job interview. We're going to ask if Kristen has any other friends she could ask." It was okay by me. I always hated babysitting!
2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
Somewhere in between, I guess. I usually conduct interviews by committee. So, if others on the committee are being tigers, I'll usually be the cream puff. However, if the interviewee comes off as overconfident or pompous, I'll become a tiger.
3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
Neither less or more nervous. There are several advantages to the phone interview as far as not having to dress up and being able to spread out all the information about the church on my bed to consult during the interview. However, it's often disconcerting to not have the opportunity to read body language. For all I know, people might be rolling their eyes during the entire interview!
4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
Oh, the absolute best advice I've ever received is "Know when to shut up!" It's very easy to get diarrhea of the mouth and go on and on and on. This is especially helpful advice during phone interviews and on the floor of Presbytery!
I can't think of any bad advice I've received, but I'm sure I've given plenty of bad advice!
5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
For a phone interview, I almost always talk in my bedroom away from the rest of the family. The room has to be very tidy or I feel scattered. So, I take time to clean my room and, although they can't see me, I make sure that I am dressed in something besides my pj's or sweat pants.
For in person interviews, I will often take sometime by myself in the hour or so right before to collect myself and pray.