The Successor Search Part Two- The Short-listing Headache

Unfortunately I didn’t get my wish that this Monday would start very well. I had my first intense migraine ever – lasted for almost 48 hours. But migraine or not, I still needed to go through the motions of all the work tasks for the day.

Talk about timing! In that afternoon I had two meetings, one for a rescheduled weekly meeting and that one-time important meeting about short-listing for my successor. We had to consider how to deal with people we know in one way or another – one of us knowing at least one candidate isn’t really that surprising since we are all students in the U of A after all. Each candidate has very solid skills and experiences that fit several of our requirements in one way or another. Also for the interview questions, we need to cut several of the questions to consider time and reflect everything we want to see in the candidate during the interview. The key word that we all had to keep in mind while going through our tasks is balance.

This is such a new experience to me. I was a bit nervous when some familiar names came up. I’m really glad that after my supervisor provided me the documents about related policies and also explained it to me in laymen language, I realized that knowing someone by name does not necessarily mean conflict of interest. Her simple mantra is “no blood, no sex, no money and no grades.” It’s a helpful way to remember the basics of conflict of interest, but of course the actual definition is important, and can be more complex. When we were reviewing the interview questions, I was really glad that some of my questions I recommended to add are also accepted with some suggested grammatical revisions. I guess since the candidate will fill my shoes so to speak, these questions would help all of us see how they will wear it if given the position. If only I didn’t have the incessant pounding in my head during the meeting, I might have been more participative than I have been.

We just talked about the same thing in class last Wednesday when my professor asked us what kinds of questions we encountered during interviews. Most of my classmates shared the generic ones:

“Tell me about yourself.”

“Tell me about a time when….”

I shared my interview experience for this position, particularly that one question that terrified me a lot, because no one else in the class shared that they had that kind of question in their interviews. I can’t share that question on this blog before interviews, sadly, but feel free to share your own interview question stories here! I think there should be more of those. They are really valuable. During the interview I didn’t appreciate it much since I was already nervous, but after I had a chance to get reminded about it a few months after, it can give anyone a good perspective of what they are capable of dealing with.

Interviews are rolling in tomorrow. Wish me and the interview panel luck and good luck to everybody preparing for interviews!


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