I was pretty targeted in my job search, and knew how to write an eye-catching resume, so I did land a decent number of interviews. Some of the bizarre stuff that happens during the interviews though...I couldn't have made some of it up if I had tried. Previously I wrote about the dude at Goldman Sachs who abruptly ran out the door during the interview, and the woman with the greasy palm who shook my hand at Seton Hall University Law School.
I also had an interview once at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. The first person I met with said, "If you get this job, you will not have very big shoes to fill." Hmm. That's good, I thought. I did know the guy who held the job I had been applying for. I met him at a couple of conferences in years past and wasn't very impressed.
Anyway the first group interview went pretty well. One person said something odd, saying the student leaders were "seasoned." To me, a student leader is just someone who has attained a position of power. "seasoned" just isn't the word I would use to describe a college student who still has a lot to learn.
Then I met with two other people, a guy who talked about a business he had on the side from his college job, and the intramurals director who didn't look at me or ask me any questions. Weird. I tried to engage her but she just had this strange look on her face.
Later I met with a few upper level administrators and faculty members. Talk about goofballs. Two of the guys kept looking at each other while they talked in circles at me, never really asking me any direct questions. It seemed like they were totally unprepared and had never interviewed anyone in their life. Maybe they hadn't, who knows. A faculty member who slurred his speech, like he had been drinking, asked me a couple of odd questions. I politely answered, and asked my own questions, like it was a wonderful interview and I was glad to be there. The chair of the search committee, a guy named Mark, was affable enough. Unfortunately he was only around at the start and end of the day.
I didn't get that job, and I heard that the person who did was only there for about a year. I guess they didn't pick the right person, unless it's okay to spend all that time searching for a worker who is going to be in a position for just a year. Seems like a big investment of everyone's time for something so short term. Why not just have two or three people interview the person over two or three hours? Who knows. American colleges are models of ineffective bureaucracies.