When you are invited to an MLA interview, keep these things in mind during the conversation or email exchange setting up the appointment:
- Consider anything else that is already on your schedule so that you don’t cram things tightly together. Make sure to leave at least an hour free between interviews (two hours is better). You may have to walk or find transportation from one place to another, and delays are always possible. Even if everything moves along smoothly and you have plenty of time, you’ll want that time to take a break and get your head ready for the next interview.
- Be sure you’re clear on where the interview will be held. If it will be in a hotel (this is usual), your contact may not know the room number yet but should at least know the hotel.
- Ask your contact whether he or she is able to tell you who will be present at the interview. It’s very helpful to know who the interviewers are in advance. The hiring department’s website will give you basic information about them, such as their fields of specialty.
- Find out how long you should expect the interview to last. (They are usually either 30 or 45 minutes.)
- Before the communication ends, be sure that you give your cell phone number to your contact person and that you have gotten the number of the search committee chair (or another designated emergency contact). In the unlikely case that something goes wrong and either you or the committee urgently need to get in touch while at MLA, you want that to be easy to accomplish.