The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The other side of the table

For the next 2 weeks we will be bringing in 4 candidates for our open position in the psych department. Our college is blessed in that we will be hiring for all open faculty positions. Other places are certainly not that lucky. And perhaps even more interestingly we are bringing in 4 people to interview on campus. Again this is interesting because we pay for the candidates' travel expenses and food.

We have brought one person in so far with the next three late this week and early next. I find it interesting to be on 'the other side of the table' so to speak in this process. I have been involved in the interview process in grad school, but this feels much different. I will no longer be the most junior faculty member. I am also finding all of the things that I was taught when I was being mentored in my own job search that the on-site interview is often about the more personal interactions. I am asking myself, does this person fit with this school, will they be able to work with our undergraduate students, is this person willing to put personal research celebrity away and focus on student research, and finally of course, will I want to work with this person on a day-to-day basis.

I was fully aware of these things when I interviewed a couple of years ago, but I am finally learning just how much these characteristics are important for me personally. I am very glad that I did all of my homework for the schools I interviewed at and did not just try to sell myself and my research program to the school. That approach really would not have worked well at my college.

I look forward to meeting the next three people, but when decision time comes, I think that it will be a very difficult decision. I have never realle felt this much control and I'm not sure I like that responsibility. Luckily I don't have to make decisions like this everyday.


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