Mother 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:
1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
I haven't had a lot of interviews, but the one I remember was when the town selectmen interviewed for the position of tax collector. I was in my late 20's and I was pregnant with my first child (who is now 27) I remember the head selectman asking me how I would care for my child if I got the job. I was quite incensed that the question should even be asked! I replied, "I don't think that's really any of your business. How do you care for your children?" Needless to say, I didn't get the job!
2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
I have been on several interview teams - as part of pastoral search teams, part of interview teams for teachers, guidance counselors, and even principals. I'm somewhere in between ---- I have to admit that when I was last on a pastoral search team, I didn't even want to interview one of the candidates. His profile didn't impress me at all. However, I was in the minority and we interviewed him. I was blown away in the interview! We ended up calling him and he served our church well for over 10 years. He was an excellent pastor, a wonderful mentor and spiritual director. I shared the story with him several years into his ministry with us.
3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
I don't find phone interviews particularly helpful. I need to see faces. I have done a couple of phone interviews as the interviewer, but have never been the interviewee.
4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
Best advice? Be yourself. Worst advice? Tell them what they want to hear.
5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
It's been so long since I've been on an interview - the last one was in 1995 when I interviewed for my present teaching job. I don't remember any special rituals other than practicing.