When I told a colleague that I was enjoying interviewing for a database specialist, she thought I was being facetious. However, it’s absolutely true. I really enjoy listening carefully to statements into which our candidates have put so much thought and preparation, presentations that attempt to reflect their very best qualities.
Our colleagues are so responsive to invitations to join the selection committee. A group of peers from around the school, some technical and some not so much, prepare thoughtful questions and show considerable investment in the selection of a future colleague. I just listen to their questions and the candidate responses.
This week, I scheduled a lot of individual time with each candidate. We walked around campus chatting about issues technical and not. I just wanted to get a gut feel for what it might be like to work with this person. This is an overt attempt to get away from my usual practice of being very analytical and strategic. I need some “soft” input into my decision making as well.
I attempt to imagine each candidate’s potential. What exciting contributions may that person make to the school in the future? Build new systems? Bring people together toward a common purpose? What connections can I make between their experiences and apparent qualities and the challenges that we face?
It will only get more exciting when our choice agrees to join us, and we start to turn possibilities into reality. Stay tuned.