All y'all remember Inside Man, who's on a search committee at a Leiterrespectable school this year? Here, via e-mail, is his take on the noisiness of conference interviews.
As an interviewer, you go in to the interviews knowing that there’s only so much information that you can get, that a careful perusal of the files is bound to be more informative, that candidates have bad days that don’t mean anything. In short, you know that you're going to get a lot of noise. And yet. I left some of the interviews so excited about some of the candidates that I wanted to hire them on the spot. Heck, I wanted to endow chairs to give to them. And, let me tell you, it’s really, really hard to put that sort of excitement aside.