Monday, June 1, 2009

An In-Person Interview

Time to brush off those long-forgotten interview skills, last used some four (four!) years ago during the grad school application process. Friday afternoon I have an in-person interview at the University of Major City, my final chance to convince someone that I can teach a graduate proseminar while ABD.

I am more excited than nervous. It really helps that there's no pressure: I don't need the job, it would just be a very cool opportunity. And, since I am ABD, I can always shrug off rejection on the grounds that I just don't have that final qualification - although I'm not entirely sure how an extra six months of working on my dissertation is supposed to improve my teaching. So it's really just an excuse to practice my interview skills, and take breaks from research in the next few days to brainstorm ideas for a seminar in my field. What topics should be covered? How should different theoretical perspectives be covered? (My advisor taught the course 12 years ago, and it was entirely theoretically oriented. I don't think I can do that - and finishing the dissertation certainly wouldn't help. But how close can I get?) What topic would I choose for a final paper?

The problem with the interview is that it's going to jolt me out of my careful focus on my dissertation and start me thinking about after the dissertation. I can't even begin looking for jobs yet - they aren't being posted, everyone's still trying to fill the last-minute positions for this fall - and I'm going to start daydreaming about when I have a real job. It might help me get through the next few weeks of intense data collection; it might not.

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