In the midst of all the blog interviewing going on of late, I actually had a real interview.
I interviewed for a position at this college a year ago and made it all the way to second place. Small consolation, I know. Making the whole thing even harder was the fact the woman who got the job was my office mate, and I had to grit my teeth and watch as she accepted everyone's congratulations and brought in her mom to see her new office. She's a great teacher and definitely deserved the job, was truly the best candidate, but there was a lot of weeping in the parking lot on my part.
The odds seem a little better this time. Primarily, there's more than one opening. In addition, on the search committee were two people who have observed me teach and both have given me strong reviews. Another member was on the search committee last year. Two others I didn't know. Finally, the director of the satellite campus where I teach offered to walk a recommendation over and hand deliver it before the interview.
The interview also went better this time. My teaching demonstration seemed well received. Last time, I was unable to give a good answer about which pedagogical theorists I follow. Let's just say that I figured out a name or two to drop. My very first question this time was, "Could you tell us which theorists you follow?" The names got dropped. Last time, I felt like I didn't ask enough questions of my own. I had some good questions to ask this time.
The only question I felt like I took a long time to answer was, "Can you tell us about a creative failure you've had as a teacher?" I finally had to say, "I don't want to sound like I've never failed, but ..." Then I did manage to come up with an assignment I'd had to tweak because I wasn't happy with it the first time. If there was going to be a question I struggled to answer, I'm glad that was the one.
I also got asked to talk about a conflict I'd had with either a student or a colleague. Word of advice: never mention that you've had a conflict with a colleague. Always go for the student, and always pick one where the student wrote you a thank you note afterwards for putting up with her shit.
Still, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. There are so many factors in what makes a committee hire someone, and really it's all out of my control at this point. They're about halfway through the search process, and I won't find out until mid-May.
Getting this job will change my life: a doubling of my salary, plus health insurance and stability for the first time in years and years. I can buy more yarn if I like, and the good stuff too, like a whole sweater's worth. If I don't get it, there will be weeping in the parking lot for sure, but I do have a full adjunct schedule already lined up. That said, I really, really, really want this job.
Thanks for all your good wishes. If you don't mind, keep keeping those fingers crossed for me.