I’m reminded of the interview last year when I was asked what I’m reading these days. At the time, I was in the throes of my coursework for the doctorate I’m still working on. I wasn’t reading much literature, as in fiction and poetry, but was reading a great deal about organizational development and conflict resolution. I think I mumbled something about squeezing in lit rags such as Granta and the Virginia Quarterly. Not the swiftest answer, particularly for an English candidate.
I actually have a list of not-so-swift things I’ve done during interviews. They’re actually sort of humorous.
- There was the time I dropped my keys down a storm drain and had to get help fishing them out
- Or the time I stepped in dog poop before walking in to an interview; I was unable to get it all off, and 15 minutes into the conversation, I could smell it and my nose began to tickle. And, I’m sure the two people conducting the interview could smell it, too.
- And there was the time I locked my keys in the rental mini-van; we had to get a small student so slip in the window in the back.
- Or the time I went on the interview in the early spring in Connecticut, not realizing a late snow storm was headed to the area. I had no winter coat or proper shoes with me, and spent the time on campus trying to keep warm between traipsing between buildings.
- Then there was the time I told the head of a school she’d made a mistake in selling some two hundred acres of school property to a developer. I think I said something about not thinking of the future.
- Another time I was asked, out of the blue, about my “relationship with Jesus Christ, our savior.” I didn’t see that one coming, particularly since at most schools I’m familiar with, religious tolerance, not belief, is a prerequisite.
- How about the time the head of the school asked me what I’d do in a particular instance of student misbehavior – I believe the scenario had to do with drug use – and, even though I knew the school policy, told him what I would do. My answer didn’t match the school’s policy.
- On another occasion , I had an interview at a downtown office; the interview went longer than I expected, and when I returned, I discovered that the meter had run out… and I’d received a parking ticket.
- I try and write thank you notes; one time I used the word phat. What the h*ll was I thinking?