Walking into the Career Services Orientation on Tuesday evening, I was expecting a full house of anxious, anticipating job seekers. It seemed well attended on first glance. Held in the East Ballroom on the third floor of the Hilton, a very large room with a sea of sea foam green-colored chairs, it could have held hundreds.
Speaking to Emmanuel Lemakis, Director of Programs for CAA, and facilitator of the Orientation, he commented that his headcount was 100+, which I thought was quite a few. However, that number was below his expectations. Emmanuel remarked “this was the best showing of jobs and interviewers at CAA in years.” He expected more bodies filling more chairs.
With that in mind job seekers, here’s what you missed that may be useful to you on your job hunt!
For someone like myself, who has been to many conferences, chaired or participated on many career-oriented panels—or, as a former member of an academic administration involved in many stages of the faculty search process, the do’s and don’ts presented by the guest speakers seemed like second nature to me. Not so to many of the attendees in the audience. It made for much nervous and cautious laughter!
Presented by Sheila Pepe, Harriet Senie, and David Sokol, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you go through the interview process here at CAA:
• Learn as much as you can about the school you are interviewing for, and its curriculum. Can we say GOOGLE?
• What is their culture?
• Speak in specific, anecdotal, rather than global, terms about your work.
• Ask smart questions, not global questions, about the institution.
• Instead of just selling yourself—listen. What does the institution need to build a better department?
• Do your homework: who are the faculty members & their work? How will your specialty fit into the curriculum?
• Assume an intelligent but uninformed audience when talking about your work during the interview.
• Ask to repeat the question if not understood the first time.
• Wear age-appropriate clothing. (David Sokol used ex: An artist wore an outfit with a light bulb on his head—a definite don’t!) And of course, if you are of a more “mature” age, wearing a mini skirt and mid-drift shirt just won’t fly with most committees nowadays–did they ever?
• Leave them feeling you are perfect for their department and their needs.
• Send a handwritten note after interview.
• The proper mindset: “You only need ONE job.”
• Underline things in your cover letter.
• Call institution about the search.
• Put personal information in application.
• Talk about personal or financial information at the interview.
• Bluff about credentials and knowledge in application.
• Be condescending to the institution.
• Insult interviewer’s intelligence.
• Crash alumni receptions of potential institutions at conferences (including CAA).
The best advice all the panelists gave: MAKE THEM LAUGH!
And if you have not already done so, pick up one of the green CAA Career Services Guides for the 2011 conference. It explains the services available for job seekers and employers alike, including the Candidate Center, the Online Career Center, and the Interview Hall. It also includes additional helpful hints and FAQ for job seekers and Employers.