Sunday, January 24, 2010

Prepping for the job interview: hilarity ensues

To-do list for campus interview prep:

Flight plans in place? Check!

No-fuss haircut? Check!

Wrestling the job talk into submission? (sort of) Check!

Catastrophic laptop failure? Check.

I'm typing this on a new laptop. I spent about 10 hours today shuttling in the rain between the Apple store (a city over), home, Best Buy (another city over), the Apple store (again), and home, then moving data around so everything works. Before those trips there was hemming and hawing over where to buy the laptop--the Apple store, where I can get the education discount, or Fry's Electronics, where I know from (sigh) experience they'll give me an identical loaner computer, complete with data transfer, if something goes wrong with the machine. And because there's a chance I'll be living someplace different in the next year, I was cautious and did some research: ends up the university city where I'm interviewing has neither an Apple store nor a Fry's. Damn. (Of course, neither does my current burb, but having both within driving distance is nice.)

But in the end, it really wasn't so catastrophic--except for the unexpected expense--as I rescued all the data, but I lost an (reserved! emptied! weekend!) day of interview prep. Somehow I doubt the other candidates spent today twiddling their thumbs. . .

In other news, I'm wondering, the Chronicle's advice aside, how one balances potential snow showers with interview shoes. . . Fingers crossed that the 10-day forecast for sunnier weather holds, lest I develop hypothermia and require toe amputation. Wouldn't that be a great campus interview cautionary tale, forever immortalized in the Chronicle's online career column archives? I'd be right up there with the guy who showed up for an interview in a Tweety Bird t-shirt, or the candidate who ran from the room to throw up from anxiety. Or that woman who blogs about goldfish constipation even though she's on the job market.*

*As evidence I have been thinking about museums, I offer "What's your museum's 'cello side'?" from Museum Blogging.


hypatia said...

I'd go for slacks w/ tall boots. Thus the boots are not the highlight of the outfit as they would be with a skirt...But feet are toasty warm and possibly you even get to wear socks.

Seeking Solace said...

I agree. Pnats with boots will keep you toasty while still looking fab.

Good Luck!!

Karina said...

When I lived in places without Apple stores, I had good, fast, experiences sending away my computer for apple care. It is always a pain to go without the computer for a few days, but it always came back more quickly than they said.

Good luck with the interview attire (and interview)!

susan said...

I think it's good to show up for an interview looking like you have the wherewithal to live with the weather in that place--which is to say, I'd be more impressed with a candidate whose snow boots don't match her outfit than a candidate whose shoes are totally impractical for the weather. That said, I realize candidates who live in, say, Florida might not have the wardrobe for, say, the Univ of Northern Maine in February. But still.

Whatever you wear, may your feet be comfy and may you have wonderful conversations.

Leslie M-B said...

Thanks for your advice, everyone. I ran out today and bought a pair of boots and a pair of warm shoes, as I realized all of mine are made of very thin leather or fabric, and I really don't want cold feet (in any sense of the word).

Remaining to do:

- revise a chapter of the diss down into a job talk (in progress, and it’s killing me)
- put together images for job talk
- plan to teach someone else’s class (class and topic as yet unknown)
- read some work by the history faculty (PDFs already saved to desktop)
- re-read (OK, skim) my diss
- glance at some material on my new research direction
- survey the state contemporary public history (ha!)
- figure out what I’m going to wear on each of the four days I’m in town
- work through a few kinks on my new laptop

Nadja said...

Really you might leave sunny CA? Well, good luck and I would also go with the boots and pants (and warm socks). You will be great!

Bryan Alexander said...

Your laptop story got me, right there, right in the heart. GAH!

...and good luck. You'll rock the house.

Lilian said...

our laptop does not work with a projector anymore, so K borrowed a laptop for the first interview. We decided to get a new one for the new interview, so we bought it online and I went to pick it up at BB yesterday (in DE, no tax).

The fun thing is that it's cherry red! (it was cheaper at BB than at the Dell site) So it will kind of be mine. :-)

We have wanted to buy an Apple computer in ages, but haven't been able to do so just yet ($).