Sometime in the relatively recent past, I traveled to another part of the country for an on-campus interview. Though it is difficult to be sure, I think that overall, it went very well. All of my interactions with various people--potential colleagues, administrators, administrative staff, etc--were pleasant, and the overall experience was enjoyable. Fun, even.
I was pretty relaxed throughout the day. It didn't really occur to me to be nervous or stressed out. I can imagine only that this helped.
My meetings with the Deany and Provosty types went well. I'm not sure how much influence these people have over the hiring process, but I think I was able to win them over. It had always been my impression that these meetings were supposed to be about the administration trying to sell the candidate on the school, and do not typically involve the administrator trying to "interview" the candidate. However, an anonymous commenter on our recent "what do they ask you on the flyout" thread mentioned that some administrators will want to know why you want to work at this particular school, and that your answer will matter. I owe this commenter a debt of gratitude, because I was asked this question several times throughout the day, and (maybe I'm stupid but) it did not occur to me on my own to generate a good answer to this question.
My impression of the school itself was very positive. It seemed to me that the institution had its head screwed on straight and its priorities in order. I felt like I was on the same wavelength with everyone I met. It seemed like it would be a wonderful place to work.
The talk also went well, I thought. I got good questions that strongly suggested that the audience understood what I was up to, what the "moves" were, and why it was important. I felt good about it.
Dinner was fun, too. And after the whole thing was over, I felt energized, not exhausted.
So, my sense of how it went is that it went well. This is, of course, from my limited perspective. And I have no idea who I am competing with or what my interviewers were really thinking. But they did not seem "poker faced"; they seemed genuinely interested in and impressed with me, because they said so over and over again. And I think I did a good job of presenting myself. As I said a while back, you try to represent yourself in the best possible light, but at a certain point, you just have to say, take it or leave it. But I really liked these people and their school, and I hope they take it.
The bottom line is that I feel really good about my performance, and really lousy about my chances. This has led to a lot of very guarded excitement, followed immediately by guilt, fear, and worry, and also a lot of heavy sighing.