There’s no such thing as being too prepared. There may, however, be such a thing as being prepared too late.
I am on my first year in the full-time job market after 16 years out to raise my children. Last year I applied even though I really would have had trouble doing a full-time job because I know jobs don’t come around all the time.
What that gave me was the knowledge that I need to get out and start presenting. So I did. I spent this year searching for CFPs and getting papers accepted to conferences until I had an entire page of recent presentations. Then the fact that I wasn’t presenting for 16 years doesn’t show up.
I’ve written six articles or book chapters, but right now I have one rejection and five out. So I don’t have publications. I do have a book contract. That’s good. But I am trying to ramp up my publications. Even the CCs have asked about them.
Be ready for questions
This is what actually started this post in the first place. Now that I’ve gone through the final interviews for two schools, I found a great link list of academic interview questions.
Maybe being better prepared for questions would have made me a better candidate.