A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article has shed some light on the shoddy treatment I received at my last on-campus interview. It seems I may have been a "faux finalist," brought in strictly pro forma even though the search committee had already set their heart on another candidate. Some of Sayer's experiences were uncannily similar to my own:
"The interview schedule can give some important clues that a search is not truly open. A position at a senior administrative rank should require an interview of at least two full days. Several of mine were shorter than one business day." Not that I was interviewing for a "senior administrative" position, but I was flown in and out in the same day, requiring an overnight layover in Las Vegas.
"Another time I was instructed to get a rental car to drive myself back and forth, not just from the airport to the hotel but also from the hotel to the campus, to spare the search committee members that "inconvenience." Yep--and they never did reimburse me for the rental car!
"During my final interview at that institution, only two people attended: the head of the search committee and one other member. Both were very gracious, but that didn't conceal the fact that so many others were missing." I didn't even get an interview with the search committee, just brief chats with a couple of administrators.
"If I had not already figured out that I was a faux finalist, my experiences at the dinner hour often settled it. Some frugal campuses have figured out that if no one from the search committee eats with the candidate, it's not part of the interview, and they can send the person off to forage for themselves with a $15 reimbursement limit." I got zilch.
It's unethical to bring someone in for an interview under such pretenses.