To get to campus interviews, most job applicants have to survive interviewing at a convention: tough because you must present yourself so strongly in such a short time.
An interview at a convention usually takes between 30 -45 minutes. It may take a little longer if they really like you. Usually conversations are divided into two topics: research experience and teaching experience.
These may very well predominate and will often take the form of specific questions like “what books would you use to teach …”. They’ll tell you about the school and the job and let you ask questions.
Quick Survival Advice:
1. Be prepared. Have researched the school so that you have ascertained their needs and can direct your remarks to what they appear to need. This includes knowing who’s on the staff, who teaches what and how territorial the place is. You don’t want to outline a course that someone else is already very invested in teaching.
I prepare a cram sheet for each interview that records my research for the job, my analysis of their needs, and the anticipated questions I’ll need to address. It also includes the questions I want to ask them.
Strike fast. Try to establish your candidacy in the first 5 minutes of the interview. Look people in the eye. Answer questions succinctly. Have ready good snappy short and medium length answers to the standard questions. DO NOT drone on for 15 minutes about the minutiae of your dissertation. Relax, be yourself and don’t try to hide who you are. Believe in your skills and give it your best shot.
Note: Dress distinctively. After 2-3 days trapped in a hotel room interviewing, search committee members are completely fried or bored or both.