Friday, June 17, 2011

Holy shit job talk etc oh dear

The final Big Deal Thing out of this little catch-up-with-my-life series I seem to be running is that I have been shortlisted for a permanent job in my department.


Actually there are two jobs: a three year one and a permanent one. I only applied for the permanent one, but they seem to have pooled all the shortlisted candidates for both. So there are six of us being interviewed next week—some for both jobs, and some for one or the other.

The other candidates are all amazing and their CVs are terrifying and I don't know how I even got into the mix. I'm guessing I probably shouldn't say that in the interview, though.

The process is being run like a serious Big Deal Event. There are job talks and focus groups (with students, colleagues, and publishers) and interviews with the selection committee, and a reception and a dinner, and a hiking trip (to see who pushes who off a cliff, perhaps?).

Actually the whole hiking thing is confusing. My job talk is directly beforehand. The time my job talk is scheduled to end is the time the hike is meant to begin. I'm guessing this will not leave me time to change clothes without holding everyone up. But I'm not sure what I can wear that works both for walking in the Australian bush in winter, and giving a job talk. Then I have to come back and do focus group meetings directly afterwards.

Our department is at the extreme end of the casual–formal dress continuum. The last two people we hired wore jeans and bare feet(!) to their job talks. But I suspect there may be different standards at play for women. And the selection committee includes people from outside the department who are from disciplines where dress standards are a little... tidier. (Law, for example).

And then I'm not sure how I feel about being an internal candidate. There are actually two candidates who are currently in the department, and two of the others were here until last year before they moved overseas. Then there is one from the USA and one from Norway. The usual pattern of this department is to hire men who did their PhD here then went somewhere like MIT or Oxford for a couple of years. There is no one in this shortlisted group who precisely fits that pattern. There is a woman who does. And there's a man who did a postdoc here, then went to the USA after that, so is close enough. My guess is that those two probably have the best chance. I'm guessing the American has a very good chance too.

The biggest issue with being an internal candidate is that my entire LIFE right now feels like a job interview. Every time I've attended a seminar since being shortlisted, I've worried that I'm not asking smart enough questions at the end. If I miss a department event, I worry that people will take this as evidence that I am not sufficiently collegial. I feel like I need to be seen arriving early and leaving late.


It will all be over this time next week. They plan to make the decision and offer on Friday afternoon already. Wish me luck.


LJB @ crankymonkeys in london said...

Good luck :)

EcoGeoFemme said...

Wow! This sounds awesome! And also extremely nerve-wracking. Good luck!

Anthea said...

Good luck! It does sound even more nerve racking given that you're the internal candidate.