Some schools are starting to request phone interviews. Out of curiosity does everyone get a phone interview before a school makes a campus invite or do some folks simply get a campus invite with no phone interview first? In other words, I understand the phone interview is a way to assess candidates for a campus invite who the committee may not be sure about for whatever reason (e.g., fit, ability to teach certain courses, etc.). But does it work the other way, such that the committee is sure about a candidate for a campus invite so sees no real need to conduct a phone interview first. Of course, this may depend on the type of school, rank of the position, or discipline, but still curious about folks general thoughts. Thanks!
When I was on the market a few years ago the majority of my interviews began with a phone interview. I had a few R1 places that just called to invite me for a campus interview.
I think it varies…the purpose of a phone interview is often to whittle down a short list. This can occur when a committee has 6-7 people (or more, although I would argue that anything more than 6-7 is not needed) and they are all so darn good that they need a phone interview. Or, the committee cannot agree. This happened on a SC that I was chairing: one group wanted pure cognitive and another half of the committee wanted a clinical twist. We couldn't agree and so we went to phone interviews in the hopes that 1 or more would just bomb it. And yes, 2 of them did, so it made our campus interview invites easy.
I've also had cases where the phone interview was a formality, just a quick screener. The committee identified 4 they wanted to invite out and figured they could save some time if a phone interview would reveal a personality they didn't like.
@anon. Thanks for your comments.
I certainly understand when a committee is unsure of a candidate so uses the phone interview to vet them. But have you heard of a case when the committee invites candidates for an on campus visit and some of those candidates have had a prior phone interview and some have not had a phone interview—those candidates were simply invited for a campus visit.
Sorry if this was not clear in my OP.
When I have been on a search committee a guiding principle is to treat everyone the same. This means phone interviewing everyone, even if there is a visitor in the pool (someone local) who is looking to move up. The EEO person usually asks for a record of such activity. I think it'd be poor form, and potentially against the rules to treat candidates differently.
Yes, that makes sense…I realize it would be bad form to show "favoritism" so to speak and certainly could be problematic for any school if word got out about something like that. Well, I guess a promising start to a job search was only just promising…guess I got my hopes up, sigh
Some schools cut straight to campus interviews, and some have phone interviews. Most of the places I applied did phone followed by campus. I think this model is more common for places with somewhat of a teaching emphasis. The places that go straight to campus interviews are more often research focused. That said, my current institution, which is more teaching focused, went straight to campus interviews.
I think that every school treats all candidates the same. If a phone interview is offered to some, it is given to all, even the person/people they're sure are making to the campus stage.
Oh, yes, I agree with others. You have to do the same with everyone. Human resources will require it.
You treat all candidates the same for the most part. For example, our HR requires that we ask the same basic questions of everyone on the phone interview.
It can be the case that people are phone interviewed at different times though. Let's say the committee makes a Top 8 and phone interviews them. 3 bomb, 3 are great, 2 are OK. Of the 3 great ones, two decline to in-person interview. Or you bring the top three to campus and don't want to hire any of them. In such a situation the committee can bring the initially OK performers from the phone interview to campus, or go back to the pool and phone interview some more people. So you aren't out of the running totally if you don't make the first cut (but yes, you shouldn't get your hopes up too high).
Also, I don't think this applies to the OP, but everyone should remember to relax with regard to the wiki. When I was first on the market I had my very first phone interview and it went…not so great. A couple of days later, when I was obsessively checking the wiki, there was a campus invite for that school. I was in a really bad mood all day. But then that evening they called me for a campus interview. I was offered the job eventually. Because I was checking the wiki too much, I had a day of freak-out needlessly.