Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Topsy-Turvy the motherfucker

The below problem has been solved. So, with that taken care of, I'm bumping up a more pressing topic courtesy of Ibid:
What strategies are you all using for phone interviews?[...]For example, do you write SC names out and arrange them around a table so that you can pretend like they're there and that you're talking to people and not to a phone? Has anyone tried this? (My hunch is that it might in fact be helpful.) Or any other strategies?
Again, let's start with my uninformed opinion. My (vacuous) hunch is that figuring out what you can do to make yourself feel comfortable during a phone interview (including putting name tags, cardboard cutouts of Star Wars characters, or your old Magic guarding Bird poster at a table) can only be helpful. Though perhaps you shouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out these sorts of comfortability issues peculiar to phone interviews. Your energy might be better spent on coming up with a pitch for your work in a way that's tailored to the search committee interviewing you, figuring out how to use interviewer's questions as hooks to talk about what you want to, etc. In other words, just on general interviewing strategies.

But, I may be off-base here, so I'll let others give more informed opinions in the comments. In the meantime, the best interview advice one can get starts here at 3:46.

--STBJD

3 comments:

Soon-to-be Jaded Dissertator said...

C gives us these helpful comments (from the below comment thread):

Ibid,

The lack of visual cues makes the whole thing super difficult, in my opinion.

I tried the Round Robin strategy in a couple of phone interviews last time around. On the first, I suppose it helped to keep me from getting TOO bewildered by the SEVEN fucking people clustered around the speakerphone on the other end. And, to their credit, they actually went around the circle to give me a way to visualize the interview. And on the strength of that interview, I got an on-campus, but not a hire.

But on the second, putting the names in a circle did nothing to mitigate the questions aimed at sinking my candidacy (um, dude, you want to actually READ my fucking CV before asking "how analytic philosophy figures in my current research?") I would have bombed with or without a circle of names.

Mr. Zero said...

I did some phone interviews this past spring. It's a really weird interaction. I saw no point in writing out names on post-its or anything--you're not going to know whose voice it is anyway. I just tried to focus on the question, and not on who I was talking to.

I'm shy about stuff like this, so I made my wife leave between an hour before the interview was scheduled to start and an hour after it was scheduled to end. I can't sit down for these things, so I would pace around the domicile while the interview was going on.

For the first several interviews, I kept notes around the room so I could glance at them and remind myself of what I was supposed to say. If you do this, you have to be very careful not to just read the notes. If you sound like you're reading a prepared statement, it sounds bad. This worked Ok--I know through a friend of a friend that I was a finalist for one of these positions. But for the job I actually got, I did the interview on short notice, in my car, without notes. Life's funny.

missamerica said...

Fuck the cardboard cutouts! That is sooooooooo last year's job market. Haven't you heard?! Blow-up dolls are what's hot in 2008-09!! I've got five of them seated around my living room, each uniquely identified with a postcard on his/her forehead denoting that doll's...er, faculty member's AOS.