Comments on: Labor Day 2009: will work for internet connection and library card? History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 26 Sep 2014 03:40:45 +0000 hourly 1 By: GayProf Tue, 08 Sep 2009 19:37:07 +0000 Late to the party as always:

I think others have already clarified my point. Yes, apply to most jobs, even ones that seem unlikely or uncertain. You might just love the UP in Michigan after all.

Still, there are places, as a gay man, where I will never work — ever: Brigham Young, Calvin College, Bob Jones University, etc. In the bizarre turn of events that they invited me for an interview, I know that I would turn down the job. So, it is a waste of everybody’s time. And who needs that?

Practice is good — But interviewing is exhausting as well.

By: Comrade PhysioProf Tue, 08 Sep 2009 17:35:56 +0000

the whole argument about “interview experience” imagines completely mercenary applicants who clearly are willing to take interview opportunities away from candidates who are actually interested in the position. Shame on them, I say.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Dude, the goal of each job candidate and each hiring committee is to maximize the outcome of the process: for each candidate to secure the best job possible and for each committee to hire the best candidate possible. As a candidate, you’ve gotta be completely out of your fucking mind to be worrying about *other* candidates. Whaddya thing this is, some kind of motherfucking care bears tea party?

By: Indyanna Tue, 08 Sep 2009 17:24:28 +0000 Bad interview moment, on campus division? The airport van pulled up with me in it and the search committee chair who I had met at the convention a few weeks before waiting to take me to my room (which was a cramped on-campus guest room in an academic administration building). Chair nods me a few steps away from the driver and says he had just been at a movie with his wife and forgotten to stop at an ATM. Could I slip him a fiver to tip the driver? Of course I could, but wow, what kind of a prep time issue is this, anyway? I took the job. A few years later I escorted a candidate to the exact same spot for hir ride back to the airport. We shook hands and parted. Ten minutes later the phone rang. The van driver had spotted a typo on the university voucher for the airport trip and marched the candidate fifty feet, all but at gunpoint, to the ATM that had been there all along for several years to withdraw hard cash for the ride into town.

Not as bad as being told you won’t be hired, or that your job talk is out of bounds before you deliver it. I guess.

By: Historiann Tue, 08 Sep 2009 14:32:04 +0000 Shaz: yes, definitely! If you do women’s history, you clearly can’t do anything else competently. Unlike all of those religious, intellectual, and political historians who somehow can represent a national history and/or a given time period.

Like you, I’ve also been the recipient of comments by search committee members, like: “We already have an American women’s historian. Will you be frustrated that you can’t teach women’s history?” The funny thing is that the man who asked me this was (and is) married to a very important American women’s historian! But clearly, only one women’s historian is allowed per department…

As Tom says: if only we had a magic wand to wave, like Glinda the Good Witch, to make everyone behave. I don’t think there are probably all that many people who accept interviews at places they’ll never actually go. But I am not offended by the concept of keeping an open mind about a job, no matter how unlikely it is that one might be offered it or that one might take it. (You have to be offered a job first, before you can turn it down, friends! Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, as we say down on the ranch…_

By: Shaz Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:33:05 +0000 My favorite interview moment: the dept forgot to have anyone pick me up for dinner. An hour later, someone remembered that a candidate was supposed to be there.

My worst interview moment: before walking in to meet with the search committee, I heard them saying, “We don’t need a women’s historian!” Never at a loss for words, I neverthless wound up speechless when trying, in a panic, to re-tool my (completely centered on women/gender) scholarship as really being about men…

Or maybe the worst was the moment a search committee member insisted that my work on sexuality was just like reading a tabloid. Or the one who said it was “scatology” (I never mention feces — he clearly had some body part confusion.) Or maybe the multiple times I was asked to pick if I were a woman’s historian or a historian of my region/time period. Only one choice allowed!

See a trend here? Still, I wound up very happily employed, so maybe the lesson is: perservere and ignore the assholes.

By: Tom Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:17:21 +0000 I’d stake out my own position on applications and search committees as follows: all applications should be treated by both applicant and search committee as sincere expressions of interest in the job as described: if an applicant has no interest or intention of taking the position, obviously the applicant should not apply: the whole argument about “interview experience” imagines completely mercenary applicants who clearly are willing to take interview opportunities away from candidates who are actually interested in the position. Shame on them, I say.

On the other side of the table, committees should be charged to evaluate candidates: not their supposed or imagined hireability, the reputation of their schools, or imagined willingness to take the job if offered.

Now, if only I could wave a magic wand and make both applicants and committees work in such utopian ways!

By: Comrade PhysioProf Tue, 08 Sep 2009 12:08:30 +0000 Even if you think there is zero chance you will take a particular position, if your application is responsive to the solicitation, you should apply, and should go interview if you are invited. Truffula points out a very good additional reason for this: you need practice interviewing.

My first interview was at an institution that by any objective standard should have been drooling to have someone with my accomplishments join their faculty. My job talk was so bad, however, that they ended up hiring some total loser who has since fallen completely off the map. My last job talk was my best and was at an extremely well-respected institution, which is where my research program is currrently excelling.

By: truffula Tue, 08 Sep 2009 06:15:04 +0000 It was really quite obvious who was going to get the job- for no other reason than it was a coup for the dept to get her. So, should they have not bothered interviewing anyone else?

Something else that comes to mind is the interview experience gained by applicants who are new to the process. It’s not a reason to bring somebody to campus but can be a benefit to the rookie candidate. I certainly improved my interviewing skills as I went along.

By: Historiann Tue, 08 Sep 2009 03:48:41 +0000 It sounds like CPP and the rest of you aren’t so far apart on the “don’t apply for a job you wouldn’t take” issue. I think in general that CPP is right–apply for everything for which you’re qualified, and take pretty much every interview you’re invited to, since it’s all good experience. But I think Dr. Crazy’s qualifications on this are smart: if you know for certain that you’d never move to Alabama, or Alaska, or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, then you’re wasting everyone’s time (most especially your own) if you apply for jobs there. But as many have pointed out: you never know, really, and going on interviews is the major way we can decide if a job is right for us, or not! You can’t know if you don’t bother to apply or go on the interview.)

Feminist Avatar’s explanation for why interviewing a good number of people is instructive. (Besides, very frequently candidate #1 drops out of the search or turns down the job offer–and if you’ve made arrangements only to interview hir, then you’re in trouble!) So long as the interviewing department are good hosts and treats everyone with consideration, then there can be no complaints (much.) I have taken great comfort (and felt not a little pride) when a department that interviewed me ended up hiring an extremely distinguished and/or senior person for the job instead. A junior scholar just can’t take that personally.

By: susurro Mon, 07 Sep 2009 22:56:55 +0000 those posts should be available. hmmm . . . will check the links when I get a chance.