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Author Topic: Why you were not hired  (Read 88808 times)
atalanta
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« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2007, 3:31:52 pm »

We invited you to interview because your research record at Big Government Lab is very impressive, and you somehow convinced us that you really wanted to become a university professor. But when you met with our grad students, you said: "No, I've never taught a class. And I hope I never have to! BA HA HA HA HA HA HA snort!"
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 3:33:13 pm by atalanta » Logged

the thing that against me is "time", tell me something I could beat time?
scienceguy
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« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2007, 4:19:52 pm »

We love you. You are our first choice. But, our second choice just notified us that he has arranged to bring $700,000 worth of laboratory equipment with him when and if we hire him. Yes, we realize this is an Asst. Prof. position, but, frankly, we just can't say no to an "offer" like that.
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hollow_man
Funny, I don't feel like a
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« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2007, 4:21:28 pm »

I think these are standard operating procedure in some places. I know I spent a lot of time on all my interviews talking about possible neighborhoods and living arrangements, and a number of people gave me tips on what to negotiate. I just took it as friendly advice and practical information that would be useful if I got an offer, not that I was assured of getting one.

That's good to know. Seriously.
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"Suffer no thirst in the presence of beer!" -- Inscription of Nebnetjeru
pink_
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« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2007, 4:26:01 pm »

1. You seemed arrogant. You acted as if you were a shoo-in for the job, and that we should be grateful that you would consider working here. You implied that you were a "hot commodity" on the job market. You may be, but we still don't want you.

I think this is a reason I didn't get an offer a few years ago. The key words here are "seemed," and "implied." Perhaps the candidate was given the idea that he was a shoo-in from faculty members who were giving suggestions for how to negotiate salary with the Dean and driving the candidate around several neighborhoods with suggestions for where to buy a home before the interview even began.

I think these are standard operating procedure in some places. I know I spent a lot of time on all my interviews talking about possible neighborhoods and living arrangements, and a number of people gave me tips on what to negotiate. I just took it as friendly advice and practical information that would be useful if I got an offer, not that I was assured of getting one.

Yep.  At my campus visit for the job I got, we drove around a few neighborhoods where a lot of faculty live on the way to the hotel from the airport.  We had time before dinner, and it was on the way.  Plus, the low cost of real estate is a huge selling point for the area, and these were both historical districts, so they were very attractive.  I haven't bought a house yet, but it certainly created a favorable impression, especially after going to grad school in a super-expensive city! 
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john_proctor
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« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2007, 4:35:16 pm »

You were damned good.

Truth is, though, it's a very competitive market right now.

The other two candidates were damned good, too.

We were sifting nuances, here.  It didn't fall your way.
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"Look upon me! I'll show you the 'life of the mind.'"
t_r_b
A mean, suspicious, hostile, bitchy, grumpy, nasty individual who is clearly not a mainstream American, yet somehow became a
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« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2007, 4:53:51 pm »


6. The syllabus you submitted included an autobiography by a person who made up most of the pivotal events described therein. When we brought this up you ducked the question. You did not seem to realize that when my colleagues asked you: "Does the truth have any place in your classroom?" that was a criticism.


This autobiography wouldn't have been I, Rigoberta Manchu (or something like that), would it?  But maybe saying would out the person...

That's probably it. Of course, other autobiographies that fit this description include those of Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Billie Holliday, and who knows how many others. But for some reason Rigoberta gets singled out for special opprobrium.

In this case, though, I would hope that the death knell of this person's candidacy was not the choice to use the book, but the inability to comment intelligently on the surrounding controversy. If the candidate can't do this for the SC, the SC can reasonably infer that hu won't do a good job presenting it to students.
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A lot of the people posting on this thread need to go out and get kohlrabi.
edwidge
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« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2007, 5:18:13 pm »

All of the members of the search committee really liked you, in fact you were our top choice, but our opinion didn't really count. The department head preferred someone else, mostly because you were considered too quiet and the other person was more extroverted. This other candidate also had the backing of a powerful member of the faculty (not on the SC, but oh well), and so s/he got the offer.

At least within my department, the SC has very little power, ultimately. We just do all of the grunt work related to the search, then wait to see if our recommendations will be ignored or considered useful.
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rising_cat
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« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 5:29:45 pm »

You probably shouldn't have slept with one of the students who took you out to dinner as part of your interview.  And if you simply had to do it, it probably shouldn't have been with one of our high-school-in-college students.

Tip: Never trust a 17 year old boy not to boast.
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imawakenow
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« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2007, 5:59:15 pm »

When asked during the job talk how your research related to the larger field in which our department resides, you somewhate smirked and said, "I don't know that it does."

When given a second chance by another questioner (surely you misunderstood the first question, right?), you acted annoyed and enlarged upon your earlier "I don't know that it does" answer.

You came off like an ignorant pr***. You know what? I bet you are one.
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john_proctor
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« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2007, 6:10:57 pm »

Iron clad rule of interviews, number 343:

DON'T drink at dinner.  No matter how much we tell you it's OK.  No matter how much we do (or seem to).  If you feel you must, pour a glass, sip it once, switch to water.

It's not that it's a test or a trick.  We really don't intend it that way.  We may well mean well. But we get casual, then you drink some more and get casual, then, almost inevitably, you'll go and say "that."
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"Look upon me! I'll show you the 'life of the mind.'"
mended_drum
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« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2007, 6:44:57 pm »

Iron clad rule of interviews, number 343:

DON'T drink at dinner.  No matter how much we tell you it's OK.  No matter how much we do (or seem to).  If you feel you must, pour a glass, sip it once, switch to water.

It's not that it's a test or a trick.  We really don't intend it that way.  We may well mean well. But we get casual, then you drink some more and get casual, then, almost inevitably, you'll go and say "that."

This hasn't happened during the searches I've been involved with.  I remember each candidate limiting him- or herself to one glass of wine or none at all.  I'd say that you should ask a trusted friend if a single glass is likely to make you say something inappropriate if you're nervous.  I honestly have not heard any of our candidates do so.

Now, members of the sc, on the other hand, well...
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"dr. mended_drum don't give a sh!t; she will chew me up like a cobra."
larryc
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Be excellent to each other.


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« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2007, 6:57:09 pm »

You probably shouldn't have slept with one of the students who took you out to dinner as part of your interview.  And if you simply had to do it, it probably shouldn't have been with one of our high-school-in-college students.

Tip: Never trust a 17 year old boy not to boast.

Ummmm...17-year-old boys are prone to lie about exactly this sort of thing.
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I can be happy anywhere I have a little money and the cops aren't after me--I'm still searching for this place.
historian
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« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2007, 7:00:53 pm »

A few tips from the outer margins of "crazy behavior" I've witnessed:

1. Your home country might find certain casual racial slurs acceptable but you did all your grad training in the US, you should know that it will not be received well.  And, no, despite what our looney colleague told you, its not about "PC," its about appropriate adult good manners and decency.  Your two competitors did  not use crude slurs against 30% of our student population, and they didn't even hint at such opinions. That's why one of them was hired despite a slightly lesser publication record...

2. Do not tell our grad students how "worthless" a degree is from a school like ours and how superior your own program was. It was stupid, rude and mean---

3. When the youngest and most junior of the faculty taking you to dinner *obviously* has had a bit much to drink and starts "kidding" the tenured at the table and tries to draw you into a "deadwood I have known" conversation...don't join in. Just don't.

4. Your teaching and research presentations were pretty good. So were the others we brought in. We had three solid candidates. In the end, hairs were split to determine which sub-fields, methodologies and other minor factors brought in something new. Another day it might have gone your way but you did nothing wrong, you are just in an over-crowded field.

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alshealy: "Nothing says 'retreating from society' like learning to play the banjo."
aandsdean
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Positively impactful on stakeholder synergies


« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2007, 7:02:24 pm »

Yellowtractor's ninth point, about calling an administrative assistant a secretary, seems like an incredibly harsh reason for nixing a candidate. Whether or not the person in question likes to be called an "administrative assistant" or a "secretary" depends on campus culture. Candidates can't be expected to know the campus culture in such detail in advance. My MIL has the title of "administrative assistant," but likes to be called "secretary" and expects everyone in her workplace to do the same. Dismissing a candidate from contention because they used the word "secretary" us just downright petty.

Yeah, the point is that candidates need to treat the department staff with respect.  Treating them badly (and this goes for both full-time staff and student workers) is one of the fastest ways out of town.

What you call them is a lot less important than (not) referring to them in the 3rd person when they're present, the way you'd talk about your dog.
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Que scay-je?
historian
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Posts: 824


« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2007, 7:02:57 pm »

You probably shouldn't have slept with one of the students who took you out to dinner as part of your interview.  And if you simply had to do it, it probably shouldn't have been with one of our high-school-in-college students.

Tip: Never trust a 17 year old boy not to boast.

I've got to ask if you are sure he didn't *lie* rather than "boast"
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alshealy: "Nothing says 'retreating from society' like learning to play the banjo."
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