Friday, May 19, 2006

Advice for job interviews

1. It’s best not to risk being late for an interview because you are stuck in traffic on the highway. If you don’t know the traffic patterns, i.e. when there will be backup on the highway, leave VERY early. I made it to my interview fine, but I had some frantic moments along the way when I cursed myself for leaving home so late.

2. It’s best not to run into a colleague from your current job while you are walking down the hall on your way to an interview for a new job. Of course, this meeting may be unavoidable, but if you can, duck into a side hall or a bathroom to avoid seeing this person who may report back to your other colleagues that you are hoping to quit ASAP. I, unfortunately, did not have time to do this. I have no idea what this colleague was doing at this other place of employment. My first thought was that she was interviewing for the position too, but she was dressed in jeans. Either she interviews in jeans (in which case I may have a better chance!), or she works there in some other, unknown function.

3. Do your best not to splatter yourself with water when you are washing your hands in the bathroom just before the interview. Luckily I had my blazer unbuttoned when this happened, so I buttoned it to hide the water drops.

4. When you get to the place you think the interview will be held, and you look around for someone to help you find the place for certain, it’s best not to ask the previous candidate for the job who just got out from his own interview. I saw a person who looked very nicely dressed and immediately thought – this person will help me! Wrong choice.

5. When do you find the room for certain, don’t walk in when the hiring committee is in the middle of deliberations on the performance of that previous candidate. I did this, but only because the students I finally asked for help told me I could go right in. What did they know?

6. When you are finished with the interview, don’t get lost on your way home. I didn’t get lost, actually, but I did miss my exit and had to wind my way around complicated intersections and back roads to make it home. I almost invariably get lost coming home from interviews because I’m so busy thinking about all the brilliant things I didn’t say that I can’t pay attention to the road.

In general, do your best not to be an idiot.