Posts Tagged ‘Hiring’

Scheduling and Hiring

March 17, 2021

We are in the middle of hiring two one-year term positions. We skipped interviewing at the JMM because (1) we intentionally set our deadline to be late (March 1st) so that we can minimize the competition with tenure-track jobs, and (2) there is a pandemic.

To replace JMM interviews, we are meeting via Zoom. Scheduling several interviews sounded like a nightmare, and I did not want to do it by email. Instead, I turned to an old friend: (I am not paid by; I just like their service).

Here are the steps I took.

  • I had my search committee (five total people) send me times when they are available.
  • I manually figured out all of the times when at least two of us were available to interview.
  • I created a new calendar within my work Outlook that was specifically for hiring.
  • I blocked off all of the times in this Outlook calendar where two of us weren’t available.
  • I linked this Outlook calendar to
  • I emailed (using Python) all of the applicants a welcome message and the link to

This whole process took me less than an hour—the toughest part was figuring out that I needed to create a new calendar in Outlook (other than that, this was a 15 minute job).

Then the magic happened. By the time I sent the email and check my calendar, two people had already scheduled interviews! The rest followed within about 24 hours, with almost no effort on my part (I just had to update the search committee’s shared document with the times of the interviews and the assigned interviewers).

The only drawback that I can tell is that there was not an equal work load among the search committee members. One member had significantly fewer interviews that than the others. I can live with that, though.

There are a bunch of other tools out there that will do the same, but I am very familiar with already, and I don’t need any more features than it offers for free.

On-Campus Interviews

February 2, 2011

Here are a list of things that I would like to do for candidates who come to my school for an on-campus interview:

  1. Have time to speak to each faculty member one-on-one or in pairs.
  2. Speak with the Dean.
  3. Have lunch with our students.
  4. Give a talk.
  5. Ride our bus system (mainly to see how remarkably polite our students are when riding the bus).
  6. Take a tour of campus.
  7. Take a tour though the surrounding city.
  8. Eat dinner with selected faculty at restaurant or faculty member’s house.

I am not particularly excited about seeing a candidate teach a class of actual students. For one, this is always awkward—teaching is built on relationships, and it is difficult to teach without knowing your students. At best, this seems like a poor indicator of how the candidate would perform on the first day of each semester. (this also seems to suggest that the candidate should lecture, since it would just be weird to watch a candidate do group work or create inverted classroom when the students are not necessarily expecting it).

What am I missing? What else is useful for a candidate to do and/or see on an on-campus interview?


January 24, 2011

We are in the middle of hiring a tenure-track professor. I, of course, and not going to write about the details, but I would like to write about the hiring process. I welcome any suggestions to make this easier.

My main proposal for the future is to use Skype in the role that the Joint Meetings currently does. We could get 90% of the information with only 10% of the hassle this way. We can then change the role of the Joint Meetings to go more in-depth with a smaller pool of candidates.

Here is my basic outline for a proposal:

  1. The deadline for paper applications should be December 1st. This will allow us to read all of the applications well before the Joint Meetings.
  2. The readers should work ahead so that they have a list of 30-50 of the strongest applicants by December 2nd. We should do video-interviews with these candidates over Skype. This is largely equivalent to the face-to-face meetings at the Joint Meetings. This work should be spread out over the entire department, ideally pairing up someone who did not read the file with someone who did.
  3. Get the list down to 15-20 for the Joint Meetings. Spend 45 minutes with each candidate.
  4. The Joint Meetings currently only allows two interviewers at the table at a time (unless you pay a lot more money). I would like to have a way to have all of my colleagues meet a candidate who gave a good face-to-face interview. A colleague suggested that we tag team in the interview—two people interview for 30 minutes, and then the other colleagues would take the last 15 minutes. Otherwise, we could arrange for informal meetings for coffee with the others.
  5. All of this should be done without working any one person into the ground.