Annals of Bad Academic Job Interviews

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Two posts at Historiann document some callback atrocities: here and here, and they are prodigiously supplemented in the appended comments. Here are just a few of the oddball things that happened to me when I interviewed for jobs:

1. A faculty member asked me if I had any quarters on me, and when I said yes, asked me to sort through them to see if I was in possession any of the “state” quarters that his grandchildren needed for their collections.

2. After learning that I had driven to the interview at a big city law school, a car-less faculty member asked me to drop her at a grocery store on my way back to the hotel after the first day of a two day callback. Then she asked me to stick around and drive her home after she finished shopping, since calling a cab would be inconvenient. This made me late for an interview dinner.

3. Though I was only going to spend one night in a hotel, because I was flying in one morning and leaving the following night, I was given a confirmed reservation for three nights, and told just to “ignore this, it’s a billing issue.” When I checked in, I found myself housed in party suite outfitted with an enormous hot tub. It reeked of cigarette smoke, and the bed spreads were crusty with, uh, DNA.

–Ann Bartow

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