Friday, December 29, 2006

SPECIAL TOPIC: Questions to the Demand-Side (Pre-AEA)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

What are the DOs and DONTs during the interview?

Anonymous said...

Can a school explain the value of the signal, from their perspective.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiousity, can we expect rejection letters after the AEA from schools who interviewed us but will not be extending campus visits?

Anonymous said...

Silly question, but when we get to the interview rooms, should we knock on the door at the specified times or wait for someone to come get us?

Anonymous said...

You should knock on the door no earlier than 1 minute before your interview starts. This was what someone told me the other day, at least.

MW said...

Re: Rejection letters

I am part of the recruiting committee for a lower ranked research department. I have been on the supplier side three times and on recruiting committees a dozen or more times. Our HR department requires us to indicate why candidates were not selected. This process leads us to send out 'no thank you' letters. But we will only do so after our search closes. This will likely be after we dabble in the secondary market (temporary positions) which I think will be some time in March. This is too late to be useful information to suppliers.

Realistically, we will come back from the AEA meetings having rated half or more interviewees as being unacceptable, a quarter that we like and a quarter 'on the bubble.' Because we are lower ranked, some of those we still like after a campus visit will have better offers. This means that we cannot tell those on the bubble 'no thanks' until we finish our search. Most search committee chairs will provide candidates with a realistic assessment of where they stand in the school's search if, for example, the candidates are considering other job offers or deadlines.

Anonymous said...

I heard that before the ASSA meeting, the department has already ranked the candidates.The interviews are used to verify the rank,is this true?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the demand's use of these interviews. How often does the department find their rankings turned upside down after an interview? I often hear, from former job candidates, that they went in ranking schools in the order of A,B,C, but after the interview ranking them C, B, A. How often does that happen on the other side of the market? Can anyoen comment?

Anonymous said...

We have some idea of who our top 5 or top 10 candidates are before the interview, but someone outside of the top 10 always rises to the top (or near the top) as a result of a really good interview. Also, one of the favored candidates always bores us to death at the interview. So, even if there is some formal or informal ranking before the conference, there is lots of room for movement there!

Anonymous said...

What are the DOs and DONTs during the interview?

Be on time. Shorter answers are usually better than longer ones. Ask good questions.

Can a school explain the value of the signal, from their perspective.

We didn't interview any of the people who sent us signals. They just didn't seem like a good fit with or w/o the signal.

Out of curiousity, can we expect rejection letters after the AEA from schools who interviewed us but will not be extending campus visits?

Not until the search is closed, and by that time you'll probably already know that you're not getting a flyout.

You should knock on the door no earlier than 1 minute before your interview starts. This was what someone told me the other day, at least.

Good advice. Even better, knock at the EXACT time when you're supposed to be there.

I heard that before the ASSA meeting, the department has already ranked the candidates.The interviews are used to verify the rank,is this true?

As someone else said, there's definitely a preliminary ranking (formal or informal), but there are often surprises. We've had people go from the top to the bottom b/c of an appaling answer to just one question (the kind of answer that reveals a lot about you), and we've had people go from the middle to the top because of an overall great impression.

Good luck to all!

Anonymous said...

"As someone else said, there's definitely a preliminary ranking (formal or informal), but there are often surprises. We've had people go from the top to the bottom b/c of an appaling answer to just one question (the kind of answer that reveals a lot about you), and we've had people go from the middle to the top because of an overall great impression."

I agree with this. I'm on the demand side at a top liberal arts institution. You should think of the "rankings" as groupings. We have our eyes on the lookout for that tier one group... ones we think are a good match on paper. But, *lots* of things change at interviews.

Also, remember that preferences among faculty members are not identical. Some of my top tier candidates may not be the top for someone else. as a supply-sider, you want to use the interview to give your "advocate" amunition in bargaining. :)

Anonymous said...

11:45 wrote:

"We've had people go from the top to the bottom b/c of an appaling answer to just one question (the kind of answer that reveals a lot about you),"

Would the demand side share a story that fits this sort of thing? What kind of answer revealed a lot about a person (in the bad sense)?

Anonymous said...

Hi.

I am looking for advice on spousal issues. My spouse is on the market in a separate field. So far we have not linked our applications as we would consider taking a job at a school where only one of us got hired. We would however, like to get some visiting or adjunct work for the other should one of us get an offer.

Any advice on when this issue should be brought up? We were thinking during the flyouts or when an offer is made.

I don't want the issue to prevent either of us from getting a good job.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:56 AM,

You may have missed an opportunity by not indicating a spousal relocation issue. Joint searches are difficult and often candidates have to, and are willing to, settle for something alittle bit 'beneath' them to acheive an acceptable domestic life. This means that departments who thought you, or your spouse, were out of reach might have considered you two jointly. I know that we see if we can make this happen every year.

Moreover, there is a possibility of harming a solo search by bringing it up late. Revealing it only at, or after, an interview might make a committee suspicious that, if hired, you will now angle for your spouse or you intend to be on the market again soon. This may be ok for many departments, but these searches represent substantial transactions costs that many departments try to avoid. Employers are not suppose to ask about spouses, but the profession is small and information often gets around. You may want to take whatever steps you can to assure search committees that your searches are truly independent.

Anonymous said...

"I am looking for advice on spousal issues. My spouse is on the market in a separate field"

I have the same problem. I was told by some faculty not to bring up the issue until the flyout/offer time to avoid scaring out the demand, especially since we are willing to look at flexible arrangements for us. However, recently somebody on the demand side told me that I should reveal it before. My espouse will be ok with some visiting/adjunt as well, especially since there are not many openings in his/her field.

My question to the demand side is how hard is to rellocate a espouse in a different field if the (i) they like the candidate and (ii) the espouse has a pretty competitive CV.

The second question is, how to come up with it in an interview? You want to make your best impression and do not have much time to do it. The last thing you want to do is to raise a potentially problematic issue.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't mentioned it so far, *do not* bring it up in a half hour interview. You really don't have the time for that, and it will be difficult to do it well under pressure.

In my opinion, there's no point in bringing anything up until the flyback stage, when it's clear that there might be a good match.

Anonymous said...

is it desirable/polite to write a thank you email after interviews or is it just annoying to faculty? thanks

Anonymous said...

do universities mention their compensation package during interviews? what does it mean when they do?

Anonymous said...

I am looking for advice on spousal issues.

I agree with the view that this should not be brought up until the flyout. For me, at the AEA interview stage it's premature--after all, the vast majority of the people a school interviews at the AEA will *not* be flown out.

My question to the demand side is how hard is to rellocate a espouse in a different field if the (i) they like the candidate and (ii) the espouse has a pretty competitive CV.

It depends on a lot of factors, but usually it's not very easy.


The second question is, how to come up with it in an interview?


Interviewers will often ask you questions that encourage you to bring up this kind of issue (w/o asking about it explicitly, since it's illegal). E.g., "how do you feel about relocating to XXX?" That's a good time to bring up a spousal issue (but, again, only in a flyout in my view).


is it desirable/polite to write a thank you email after interviews or is it just annoying to faculty?


After an AEA interview I find it unnecessary, but I don't feel strongly either way. It won't bother me if you keep it short (it won't help you, either).


do universities mention their compensation package during interviews? what does it mean when they do?


No, typically compensation is not discussed until after there's an offer on the table (so it's not even discussed during a flyout before the offer is made). Needless to say, there are a lot of exceptions. I once interviewed with a research institution that brought this up in an AEA interview, presumably b/c they paid A LOT and they knew that it was in their interest to bring it up. For academic places it's unusual, and you certainly should not ask.

Anonymous said...

What does signal mean?

'Can a school explain the value of the signal, from their perspective.'

Anonymous said...

11:14 - the person meant, how does the demand side tend to interpret the receipt of an AEA "signal".