Thunderdome roll call

So at some point in the near future I’ll be having my first (only?) campus visit. My inference is that there are 5 candidates. The talks are not listed on the department web site, but what I do know about the search leads me to believe that despite a broadly-worded ad they are looking quite narrowly, perhaps even as narrow as my cozy sub-sub-discipline. Here is the short list in my imagination:

1. Me. I think I’m a reasonable candidate, though with some notable deficiencies on my CV.

2. Someone I know quite well. Honestly, I don’t know who I would pick between us. Comparing us head to head, I’d say we have complementary and not very overlapping skills and strengths. Very different approaches to similar system/problems. In fact, an ideal collaborator for me. I’d say my work/approach better fits the department’s current line up, which could be mean anything depending on whether they want to build that kind of thing up or branch out to something new.

3. There is a PI in my field who gets TT jobs for PDs the way toilet seats get ass. Always safe to assume there will be a PD or 2 from this large-ish lab in the mix. This is probably 1 of ~12 interviews for this person. My best chance here is that it’s not hir first choice, and I am their consolation hire.

4. Statistically, there will be a weirdo who looked good on paper but will bomb. Unless that’s me. But let’s assume it’s not.

5. Candidate X. Seriously, who is this person?

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8 Comments on “Thunderdome roll call”

  1. See now gallows humor like this is what makes your blog so damn entertaining for me. I see such a reflection of myself and all my pd friends and the anxiety we felt going through this. I have so much I can say but I am still working through formulating several blog posts of my advice to those on the job market. Now that I’m through with that stack of grad school apps maybe I can actually start writing this weekend.

    One thing I have to say to you specifically though is remember *everybody* feels this way. 2-5 probably do and certainly should fear *you*. If your blog is any indication, you’d make a great colleague and that’s worth a whole lot.

  2. Similar to Steve’s comment, it is important to remember that there are exceedingly few people who go into tt interviews feeling confident that they are the top candidate. The people who do are often self-delusional. It’s important to have some confidence but as should be clear by now, you don’t know what the committee is looking for. They may not be sure either.

    In the search I am part of right now we are bringing in 4 people who we agree all fit the position nicely. We’ve balanced the invite list across gender and ethnicity lines as well as we could and we’re just going to see what each person has to offer. There’s no pre-favorite, we’re just looking forward to meeting them.

  3. rxnm says:

    Thanks, these comments from the other side are always helpful. I have a gently planned transition from my current default postdoctoral state to enthusiastic and optimistic for the visit. Don’t want to risk spraining something by doing it too fast.

    I have a million ideas for things to do…need to shape them and make them coherent. Still no word on if there is a chalk talk… making me crazy.

  4. Lay out your future research ideas almost like 3 aims of a proposal. Don’t be scattered, show a coherent plan and tie in resources available at the interview uni if at all possible.

    Good luck.

  5. Potnia Theron says:

    So… how did it go???

  6. rxnm says:

    It was awesome. I thought it went great, a lot of fun. So, no regrets… just have to hope for the best! There are several candidates to go….

  7. Spiny Norman says:

    Verrrry rare that a dep’t would interview two candidates from the same lab.

  8. Spiny Norman says:

    Good luck!


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