interview prep

This past week our family – along with my mother-in-law (for babysitting back-up) – took a trip: three and a half hours up the road to Blacksburg, VA. Tim has been offered a position in the Department of Geography (yeah!) at VA Tech, but he hasn’t been able to accept the position – or even really start negotiations – because he’s got me, another academic, in tow.
VA Tech, unlike many other schools, has a very active spousal hire program, which, in theory, should make finding employment for me much easier (since there are systems already in place for hiring). In reality, however, asking for a job (which is essentially what a spousal hire is) is a rather complicated, somewhat awkward, and time consuming process.

The purpose of our trip was two fold; (1) for me to see Blacksburg so I could (hopefully) better imagine myself there, and (2) for me to have a meet and greet with the faculty in the department (the one for which I am the best fit). Before leaving, I felt confident and prepared; I am likeable, my research fits well with the work that is already going on in the department, I am a hard worker, and I am capable of communicating my ideas in a clear and concise manner. That’s how I felt before we left.

Then we got there, and the reality of the situation hit me: Tim has a really wonderful offer, and the only thing holding him back is me. Him taking a job hinges on how I present myself (and on their being funding and on me being a good fit) over the course of just six hours.

Let me tell you, if there’s one way to ensure that your anxiety level goes up a few notches before embarking on an interview schedule like this, bring your husband, toddler, and infant with you, cram into one hotel room, and then have to remain out of your toddler’s line of sight as she tries to fall asleep an hour later than usual in a strange room. In my experience, it means you’ll probably look a little something like this:


2 thoughts on “interview prep

  1. Hi Kiyah! Tell Tim congratulations! Jason got his doctorate at Va Tech so you will need to be schooled in all things Hokie and blanket your home with maroon paraphernalia. Assuming that is you accept your offers (of which I’m sure you will be presented with). Now, here is why, in my family, we never have to worry ourselves with that whole irksome spousal hire business:Me: J, my friend kiyah’s husband got an offer from Vtech in the geography department! He’s going to be working with all your old buddies.
    Husband: No, honey, remember, we’ve been through this before i am a geo-LO-gist.
    πŸ™‚ whatever πŸ™‚


  2. I didn’t know that (but I guess, really, why would I?). So what advice does he have for us?
    About that pesky geographer/geologist business- I think even Tim’s family gets it wrong sometimes. And everyone else just thinks he sits around looking at maps all day!
    And I have still not been offered any job…want to start a business together? Seriously.


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