Friday, September 01, 2006

Interviews



I had three interviews in the span of three business days, all at different community colleges or universities in South Bend.

The first interview was the last one scheduled, and they asked me to come in that same day. Fortunately, I'm flexible, and while I wasn't sure how interested I was in the position, I thought it would at least give me practice answering the typical questions.

The position open was for an adjunct English instructor at a community college. As part of the interview, I was to teach for ten minutes on a topic of my choice. No handouts were necessary. I tossed around different ideas, and decided on a topic from my student-teaching days, Joseph Campbell's Monomyth concept, sometimes called the Hero's Journey. While some are skeptical of the benefit of this theory to literature, it is an interesting way to analyze a dominant character through the course of her changes, and this approach recognizes the formulaic nature of many works.

I felt the interview was mediocre, but I did a respectable job with my teaching portion. I knew as I left that I wasn't interested in the position. It was for an evening composition class (four-hour stints three nights a week), and my employment would be from month to month, as the college accelerates students through one class each month, and they wouldn't always need a composition class available. Nevertheless, they called me this past weekend to offer me the position. I politely declined.

Onward! Another interview was working in the financial aid sphere for a dean of students. I felt that I was on the fence for this one: the tasks were not ones I had much previous experience in, and while two of the four interviewers seemed pleased with me, two seemed aloof. Not the best connection I've had with potential co-workers and employers. I have yet to hear back on this one, but I'm not sure I see myself in that position. I'm of the mindset that I don't want them to offer me the job, as that means I have to be the one to make a decision.

Finally, the last interview was for a position managing graduate students in a science department. This seems to have the most overlap to previous job experience and interest, and I connected with the employers. They were to make a decision by the close of this week, but then I received a call yesterday that they wanted me in for a second interview. During that time, I met an individual who had been absent for my initial visit, and they asked some questions that had been previously overlooked.

They are to contact me Tuesday with their final decision. I'm optimistic, as I was told by one not to accept any other offers before then, but I also recognize they may have other prospectives that are as capable or more suited to the position than I am. So, my employment is still questionable, but I hope to have positive news come Tuesday. Otherwise, the search begins again to find the appropriate fit for me. That, or I start coercing you for donations. Just imagine, I could knit socks in exchange for steady philanthropy.

2 comments:

Mrs. Knapp said...

You know, there's a woman in South Dakota or something who knits hats for poor kids in Mid-West inner cities (aka Milwaukee), and then donates them anonymously. There was a picture last winter on the front page of the Sentinel with a couple hundred kids wearing her hats, and it was quite moving. Therein lies your potential knitting future...

Seriously, though, hang in there, and good luck! The perfect position is certainly worth waiting for!

Faith said...

I have heard of these groups; many times they'll provide the actual pattern for the knitted product.

Try this on for size: I knew an elementary-school teacher who made winter hats for each student of hers. She's done this for decades, and while there's a bit of her that would like to stop (especially when it's early December and she's nowhere close to being done), she's afraid to let them down because it's 'tradition' and the younger siblings know what to expect. Maybe you should begin this tradition for your high-school students?!