I'm just curious about how long people wait after interviewing before they (at least internally) say, "it's just not going to happen?" The frequency of search committees being pretty non-communicative seems so high, that I feel like I just need my own timeframe for calling it a day and mentally moving on…
Date: 06 Mar 2015 18:59
Number of posts: 11
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I hear you. We wish for closure. Hope stinks.
Unfortunately, it can take forever. I interviewed about a month ago at a school that was ridiculously slow in its progress (they sent out the ad in Sept and they were still interviewing in Feb). I have no idea on when to mentally say, "it is dead".
Likely scenario - they asked the first choice, that person is mulling it over… so I can't say, "it is dead".
It is a common refrain on these pages: why don't the committees communicate better? How bad would it be to be told, "So, just to update you, you aren't the first choice but you might be our second, so hold on"? Seriously, do people think that I would be offended? That I would back out of the running? That I would hold it against them? How old are we….
@qwerty Thanks for the post. I'm in pretty much the same position - month since last candidate on campus. I'm also assuming what you are, but so wish they would just say that this is what's going on. I think I need to call it a day for myself in a week or two - the waiting is just killing me.
For me it was about three weeks before they offered me a job. Seriously, I looked at the caller ID and figured they were being overly polite. I almost passed out when the guy said "so do you still want to work here?"
I get that SCs should be a lot better at updating applicants, but imagine if you were told "you're the second choice candidate" rather than something more vague like "you are still on the list of candidates we're discussing". If I were a SC member, I might be a bit afraid to tell someone they're the second choice. We're all human, and everyone wants to be the 1st choice (on both sides). If the 1st choice backs out or goes elsewhere, then you could be working with someone for years, knowing in the back of your mind that someone else was preferred and if they had only accepted you'd not even be there. Such is the nature of the game, but perhaps it is better not knowing "how the sausage gets made".
Any SC members want to weigh in? Is this the reason why SCs are so cagey?
Not sure. Maybe "your our second choice" wouldn't be best. But if the candidate is told, "You are still on the list", I would translate that as, "I'm second or third".
Either way, no serious offense taken. The fact that I made it to the interview stage is pretty great, and I have no illusions that there are others out there as good as, or better, than me.
I'm currently at a regional SLAC. Bored one day, I was scrolling through the Wiki's past searches … and came upon my search back in 2008! Lo and behold, there was mention of a first candidate who withdrew from the search, and a second who also declined. In short, I was third! Does it bother me? Not at all, I think it is funny since now I am on the market for an upgrade from them.
My sense is that the search chairs operate through the default, namely 'contact the candidates as little as possible, since you never know…' It is a felt decision, rather than a rational or humane decision.
I'm with qwerty on this. Who cares if you were considered #2 at first (or #3?) Also, only if the first choice person turns them down quickly will there ever be any doubt about whether you were #1. I think it doesn't make sense to withhold that information. MAYBE keep it a secret for a week or so, but after a bit of time has passed, go ahead and tell the other candidates where they stand because it will be obvious to them anyway.
I've been told that I was on the long list, which is fine. I would vote for more communication. I assume every job has a great number of applicants, so the long list is better than the slush pile (committees are you reading this?!)
I have colleagues who gave it a year or two for the dream TT and then jumped ship and are very happy with the decision.
After I did my interview, I didn't hear from them for 6 weeks, at which time I got an offer. It turns out, I was the first choice, but the provost and dean had taken an extremely long time to make a decision. And often, search committees are not allowed to say anything to candidates, officially or unofficially, until they get word from the affirmative action office or dean. So sometimes even if they wanted to let you know, their hands are tied.
6weeks, that is an interesting point: "often, search committees are not allowed to say anything to candidates, officially or unofficially, until they get word from the affirmative action office or dean".
<b>1. Does anyone know how to find out whether a school has that policy?</b> I don't want to call the dean's office because that could be weird, but is there some way to look it up? Also shouldn't a department tell the on-campus finalists if such a policy existed? That way, they would not be expecting news for a while…
<b>2. Also, what is the justification for such a policy? </b> Couldn't the policy send the wrong message to an applicant - such as that they are not wanted or no longer in the running - and make them take an offer that neither they nor the dept/school would prefer? Especially if they have another place suggesting they might pull an offer.
I can see how it might be tricky if a dept made even an unofficial offer and then the higher ups nixed it. However, I bet the lawyers could come up with a way to couch it in enough legalese that it would not be grounds for some sort of lawsuit ("You've been submitted as a final candidate to the Provost, so please be aware that any offers, made or implied, by this department are conditional on the Provost's office approving of your candidacy).
It would be a lot easier to placate another offer and hold off on accepting just to have a "bird in the hand" if one had even an unofficial, provisional notice about whether they were being considered by these higher ups.
<b>3. Also, what does "word from the affirmative action office" really mean? </b> Could an affirmative action office nix a department's choice if in their opinion the applicant wasn't in the "right" category? Doesn't that in itself seem like discrimination (or reverse discrimination)? I thought the role of that office was to ensure that there were no biases in hiring, but only after the fact, not before…