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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Updates From The Job Hunt

I had my interview, and it went well. For the non-academics among you, here's how a typical faculty interview goes:

I flew in the night before. Unfortunately, this means that things started with a delay, since my destination airport was snowed in. There was an hour delay getting into the air, the plane had to circle the airport thrice before landing, and we ended up waiting on the runway for another 30 minutes after landing before taxiing to the terminal. But, we finally got in, and I went to dinner (around 7:30 or so) with a couple of the faculty from the school.

The next day, the interview started with breakfast at 7:30, followed by two separate 45 minute interviews with faculty, followed by a ninety-minute presentation of my current research, followed by lunch, followed another four 45-minute meetings with various other faculty (one of which was the Dean), followed by dinner with another faculty member, followed by a plane ride home.

Final tally - four meals with faculty, six 45-minute meetings with different faculty, a ninety minute research presentation and two plane rides - all within a little more than 27 hours. And then, collapse into bed exhausted for about 12 hours.

My impression was that it went well. It's very different (and oh, so much easier) interviewing for a job when you already have one. I was as relaxed as I've ever been on campus visit (and this is the 8th time I've had one of these over the years, so I've got some reference points).

I knew quite a bit about the faculty beforehand due to some personal connections, so I was very well prepared. The presentation went as well as any I've ever given (interestingly enough, a lot of that was thanks to tips on presenting I'd picked up around the blogosphere). I knew that there would be some accounting faculty in the audience, so I chose a topic that fit into the seams between finance and accounting, and I ended up with a lot of audience participation and some pretty good comments. I was a bit concerned before the presentation since there are a few "problem children" on the finance faculty, but they didn't bother to attend. From what the others had told me about these two, absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder, so even that worked out.

Everything I heard during the day convinced me that the position would be a great fit for me. And as we concluded our meeting, the Dean said, "UP, I'm very optimistic about your chances. And that's a very good sign, since I'm the one who makes the final decision".

Now, we wait to hear from them (the hardest part). I've been told by a friend on the faculty that an offer (if I get one) could be forthcoming as soon as next week. If it works out, I'll wait until my travel authorization for a conference next month is approved and then tell my current chair so (s)he can plan for next semester.

We have a joint accounting/finance department, and we lost two accounting faculty last year (we haven't filled their positions yet). In addition, one of our other accounting faculty just announced she's leaving in the fall.

So, when I tell our department chair, it's entirely possible his/her head may just explode on the spot.

Time for another nap, and then some grading.

UPDATE 1 (Saturday): I just heard from my friend on Unknown U's faculty, and he said that he has gotten uniformly positive feedback from everyone he's talked with - particularly regarding my presentation.

UPDATE 2 (Monday): According to my mole on the inside at Unknown U, my offer is currently winding it's way through the black hole of affirmative action. I should get a verbal offer in the next couple of days. I know that verbal offers aren't worth the paper they're written on (and I'll wait for the written one before I start mentally packing), but I still have to say,

Woo Hoo!

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