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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Squids, Whales, and the FRC

I watched part of Squid and the Whale this morning. I couldn't bear to watch the whole thing; it's just too awkward and painful. As soon as I finish this post, I will promptly go shave my beard and throw away my corduroy blazer. The Metamorphosis is very Kafkaesque.

Speaking of corduroy blazers, the FRC is this weekend. This will be my eighth visit to the meat market--once as a candidate, the rest on the interviewing side of things.

Best of luck to all the faculty candidates. I hope you can make the best of an awkward process. There's lots of good advice swimming out there about how to succeed in these interviews. 

I don't remember seeing much about interviewer best practices, however. Like, for instance, don't read the newspaper during an interview. That happened to me.  The dean in one of my interviews didn't even get up to shake my hand, just read and crumpled a copy of USA Today for twenty minutes. It's hard to be cooped up in a room for two days straight. It's hard to sit on an uncomfortable coach, scarfing down overpriced cookies while your colleagues aren't looking. It's hard to muster an enthusiastic answer to the "How do you support junior faculty question" on Saturday afternoon. But I guess a good rule of thumb is to remember that this is a big moment for the candidates. They've got a lot invested in these interviews. So please, if you must, read a more reputable news source.

The Wardman Tower is the filet of the hotel.

Posted by Zachary Kramer on October 14, 2014 at 02:48 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market, Life of Law Schools | Permalink

Comments

It's been some time but the most awkward interview technique I ran into was when I was place in a chair about two feet across from the interviewer. The rest of the team was more or less in a circle around us. Except for introducing themselves, no one said a word other that the designated interviewer who was directly across from me. I like it so much I tried myself as an interviewer but was unable to pull it off with a straight face.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Oct 14, 2014 4:17:47 PM

As a candidate, I was struck by the tremendous differences in the seating arrangements from interview to interview. Some committees adopted the "lounging on couches" approach, others the "sitting around a long table" approach, others the "no table in the room at all, make a big circle of chairs" approach. I am curious, how much choice do the committees have as to the furniture that is in the room? I remember reading a lot into the seating styles, but don't know if I should have done so.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Oct 14, 2014 5:54:15 PM

Junior Prof. Not much to read into, in my experience. Schools state a preference for what kind of room they want. Then there's a lottery. You get what you get. I've interviewed in stately suites and tiny rooms with a bed as a chair. It's a crapshoot.

Posted by: Zachary Kramer | Oct 14, 2014 11:11:22 PM

Zak, I'm sure I would reexamine some of this advice, but it'll do for a start on interviewer best practices: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2010/10/interview-tips-for-faculty.html

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Oct 14, 2014 11:18:17 PM

As always, Paul, you're years ahead of me.

Posted by: Zachary Kramer | Oct 14, 2014 11:21:29 PM

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