Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Five: Interviews

Mother Laura brings us this weeks Friday Five about Interviews:

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? The only interview I can really think of right now was for the job I currently hold. It was a rather lengthy process with lots of different sections. The great thing about this interview is they allowed my husband to be a part of it. I was a little afraid it might come across as bringing my mommy along with me, but in actuality it allowed the search committee to see that Jack and I work as a team and that if you hire me, you're getting two people in the bargain. The whole thing was a two day process. They flew us both in (I was coming from NY and Jack was coming from Texas, we were not married yet, just engaged) and put us up in a hotel (separate rooms, of course). We had lunch with the committee, then had a speaking interview. Then, I played organ and piano for them, including hymn sight-reading. Then, they wanted to see me in action directing a children's choir so they put together a small group of kids and I worked on a piece of music with them. There was a party with the choir and the session, and finally a talk with the personnel team about money and such. Overall it was a fun experience. I really appreciated being able to have my husband there. He was really good and helping me remember names and knowing whom to ask what questions, etc. I do have a funny anecdote from that interview. I was asked if I know how to improvise and I said that I want to learn how to be better than I am at it, but that I do know how to noodle when needed. The committee laughed so hard and I couldn't figure out what they were laughing about. Apparently, my definition of noodling (playing around on the organ to get from one key to the next, or to just fill dead air) is different than the Oklahoma definition, which is catfish fishing where you reach down into the mud and grab the catfish and pull them out - apparently a rather dangerous activity.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between? Come to think about it, I don't think I ever have. Hmmmm. But knowing me, I'd probably be a creampuff.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones? Less, I think, because I can stand and walk around, or even dance if I want to, and they don't know over the phone. But in person, your body is on the spot as well as your voice.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst? Honestly, the only advice I can think of that I got for an interview was "say your name clearly." I really can't think of any other advice than that. That was more for an audition, really.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence? Take a deep breath and remember that what is supposed to happen, will.


Blogger Elaine said...

What is supposed to happen will?

We're going to make a Presbyterian out of you yet. :)

Norman, OK

11:02 AM  
Blogger Kievas said...

Wow...playing the piano and organ at an interview. I'd hate to think of what would happen if my job depended on that :)

12:27 PM  
Blogger Mother Laura said...

Love the noodling story!

And you're the only person besides me who actually prefers phone interviews.

I did my dissertation defense on the phone because I was nursing a toddler and didn't want to drag her and my husband on a plane back to Notre Dame. It went great but I was a little distracted knowing she was in the living room with the babysitter and hoping she wouldn't cry. So when one of the profs asked me where I was, meaning what city, I was baffled and finally said "in my bedroom"! At least it broke the tension...

2:27 PM  
Blogger leah sophia said...

great play! hasn't this been interesting and revealing?

9:41 PM  

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