I have been rereading my old posts on my job interview process at the MLA conference. (Yes, I'm weird enough to reread my own writing on a regular basis.) In those posts, I described some of the most disconcerting experiences I'd had as a job candidate for an academic position.
I was surprised to discover that most of the weird experiences I described came from the very institution that ended up hiring me and where I am now happily employed. This just goes to show that first impressions are not the most credible ones.
Of course, the people who interviewed me must also have a lot of funny stories to tell about me. Once, for instance, I forgot the name of the university that was interviewing me. OK, I didn't really forget, I was just too lazy to check before the actual interview. The following dialogue then took place.
Interviewer: So what makes you want to work at XXX University?
Interviewer: XXX University. [Pause] That's our university.
Me: Oh! Right. [Long pause].
Needless to say, after this phone interview they felt no desire to meet me in person.