The annual meeting of the Modern Language Association is the gift to the lazy blogger that keeps on giving, isn’t it, friends? Rate Your Students has posted more updates from Skeptinautica and Layla, but today’s must-read (so far) is “Does Anyone Know How to Interview? Ten Mistakes from Yesterday’s MLA.” Yes, folks–read it and weep. Ten interviews, ten boneheaded blunders. (Remind me: why is it so hard to get a job teaching humanities these days?) Some of my faves:
Candidate 1:Admitted [to a department with a 4-4 load] that teaching was relatively low on his priorities. “I really don’t want to lose the momentum I have in my own work.” Also apologized for arriving late becaue he assumed the time we set for the interview was his local time, not the time in San Francisco. [Ed. note–unless he arrived from Alaska, Hawai’i, or Asia, wouldn’t he have been extremely early rather than late for an interview in the Pacific Time Zone?]
. . . . .
Candidate 4: When asked if she had any questions for us, asked, “What time zone are you in?”
. . . . .
Candidate 8: Brought out a banana and a yogurt (with metal spoon!) mid-interview, and said, “I have an interview right after this and no time to eat. Do you mind?”
. . . . .
Candidate 10: Came one hour early, explaining that he’d never been out of “NYC,” and couldn’t find a clock in the hotel showing local time. Also asked if he could substitute his comp teaching for graduate courses in fiction.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
with the time zone confusion? (Helpful hint: Turn on your mobile phone when you deplane–it automatically knows what time it is wherever you land!
) These tales smack of Eastern cluelessness and that special provincialism of people who have never lived outside of the BosWash corridor. I’d be just plain wary of hiring anyone who hasn’t yet mastered 30-year old clock radio technology. (And a special note to the anti-Hunger Artist: you don’t look like you’re in-demand when you eat during a job interview, you just look like a jerk. Would you like a side of slightly used Chapstik
But enough with the cautionary tales–Tenured Radical has posted yet more sensible advice for earnest job-seekers about how to dress for the AHA
, which is coming up immediately after we ring in the new year. Now, just close your eyes and pretend that everyone from the West coast showed up 3 hours late for every interview and displayed as much active incompetence in discovering local time
on the East coast. Can you picture it? Yes, my darlings: that’s how dumb you Easterners look to us. I have half a mind now to campaign to bring the AHA to Phoenix sometime in the next decade just to smell the toast burning as Easterners try to figure out whether or not Arizona is in the Mountain or the Pacific Time Zone. (Hint: it’s both! But that’s how things are in Wonderland, where nothing is as it seems!
UPDATE, later this morning:
RYS has posted a reply from Hank the History professor, who seems entirely too earnest to be published there, but who offers some excellent advice for job candidates: “For God’s sake, eat an energy bar
!” Hank, you’re such a caring guy. Why not offer them as door prizes for your job candidates next weekend at the AHA?