Those pesky pre-interview jitters (a blogspot repost)

Nov 30 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

It was about this time last year that I was about to go on my first TT interview, and I was feeling great. My talk was practiced and polished, and I'd made the executive decision not to wear a suit (a VERY good decision). And then, out of nowhere...I started to freak out. Hard core. A never ending string of varyingly absurd "what ifs" paraded through my brain--including, but not limited to What if I don't actually know anything about neuroscience? Seriously, this is a thought that I had. 

To help quell my fears, I naturally took to the blogosphere, and the outpouring of wisdom and comfort that emerged in the comments is something every last one of you about to go on an interview should read and take solace in. Below is my last minute freak out, to make you feel better about your own jitters. It is OK to have them! Just know that in a few days, when it's all over, you'll look back and chuckle because you really didn't have anything to worry about, did you? Now go slay that search committee!

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My first faculty interview is this week, and frankly, I'm losing my junk a little bit. I'm super excited and I'm sure it will be fun, but I'm also terrified of doing something horribly gauche, insulting someone, or looking stupid in general. I've been poring over the very excellent advice on such matters from PhysioprofDrDrA, and Gerty-Z (and their commenters), but I still have a bunch questions. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Is it bad form to ask about the university city? I mean, everyone I'm talking to has chosen to live there, so would they be irked if I asked about quality of life/safety stuff?

2. I'm meeting the Dean. What does he want to talk about?

3. What do the students (grad) want to talk about?

4. Will people not take my relationship seriously because J and I are not married?

5. I'm doing a little reading about the research of each person on my itinerary, but will they expect me to be familiar with their work? How familiar?

6. What do I NEED to ask?

7. Anyone have any experience with those 5 hour energy shot thingies? Yay or Nay?

8. I seem to be coming down with a cold.

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