It's been a while since I've done a job market post. The news is mostly good, but unbloggable. So, in lieu of actual information, have some pointless snark.
The MLA or phone interview:
"Tell us about your dissertation."
I don't remember which one you are, and I can't look it up because my daughter used the cover letters to line the birdcage.
"What attracts you to Podunk Land-Grant University?"
Are you fleeing a scandal, or are you just very fond of mud flats?
"Oh, I think mud flats are fascinating!"
I want a job, dammit. I don't care where.
"What are your greatest weaknesses as a teacher and as a scholar?"
Please eviscerate yourself for the search committee's amusement.
"I'm a perfectionist."
I'm a bullshitter.
"Here at Malcolm X College, we are very interested in diversity. How would you support this important value of ours?"
Do you freak out around black people?
"Here at Lars Oleson and Olaf Larson College of Minnesota, we are very interested in diversity. How would you support this important value of ours?"
Please don't be white. If you have to be white, please don't be Lutheran.
"I think diversity comes in many forms. You can have geographic diversity, socioeconomic diversity, diversity of interests and experiences. At a college in Minnesota, to take a hypothetical example, a Southern person might be very diverse..."
I am a heterosexual white person. I cannot help you. But I do know how to make red velvet cake!
"How do you see yourself fitting in with the mission and values of our college?"
Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior?
"How would you teach an Intro to the Humanities lecture course, covering art, music, literature, and theater from 800 BCE to the present, incorporating multicultural perspectives, to a group of 50 to 75 remedial students who don't want to be there?"
Are YOU Jesus Christ and our personal savior?
"With a population like that, my philosophy is that you meet the students where they are, and take them where they need to be."
I'd show a lot of movies.
"Do you think all English majors should be required to take a Shakespeare class?"
The other committee members and I are on opposite sides of a bitter dispute about this. Whatever you say, it will offend at least one of us.
"What do you like to do for fun?"
Are you a weirdo?
"I do a bit of creative writing."
I write fanfiction. About my dissertation texts.
"Have you got any questions for us?"
You MUST MUST MUST ask a question! Otherwise, you will never find the Holy Grail! But it must be a safe question. Oh, and you don't get to find out which questions the safe ones are until after you're hired, but don't let that stop you.
"Tell me about your students."
I am boring, but at least I won't embarrass you in public.
"You can expect to hear from us by the second week in January."
You will never hear from us again.