So, I thought applying, campus interviewing, job talk, etc. would be the hard part, and while those had their challenges, waiting is the hardest part, esp. when you interview some where and really love it! I am curious how long until departments generally notify their first choice after they meet and vote (a few days, a few weeks, etc. I guess some depends on university bureaucracy)… I have been given general/vague timelines where I have interviewed, but I think this is done so that if applicants are not initially their first choice they don't necessarily know it if the first choice rejects and they go to the 2nd person on the list and so on… Thoughts? Ideas? Validation? :)
Date: 09 Dec 2010 14:44
Number of posts: 12
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I would agree with your assessment about them being intentionally vague. I had a great interview at a place last year and was told that it would be awhile (they had 2 more candidates coming in and then some time for the bureaucractic process to play out with the Dean). They told me not to expect to hear anything for a month or more. It turns out I got a call from them in just less than a month and someone else had already accepted the position.
So I do think they tend to move quickly if they can and, in general, I suspect that when it goes several weeks or a month past their last scheduled interview it doesn't bode well. But like almost everything else in this process there is no "typical" and thus no way to really know what is happening. Better to just stay positive and hope for the best.
I was in this position last year and it made me crazy!
For the job I really, really wanted, the chair was upfront about the timeline - "we will make an offer by the end of next week," he said. (He might have just tossed it off, but of course I remembered it verbatim!). The end of that week came with no news, and I naturally was devastated and assumed they'd offered the job to someone else. Turns out, things too a little longer because of dealings with the dean. I was offered the job the following Tuesday. It was a lot of anguish for nothing.
So, I'm in favor of them being intentionally vague!
So, how long after the search committee votes do they contact their first choice applicant?
Presumably, after the faculty vote they go to the Dean with the recommendation right away. At that stage its out of the department's hands and so its hard to say how long it might take. Typically probably fairly quickly, but could be a week or more depending on circumstances (i.e., how busy the dean is, any financial hurdles, weekends, vacations, etc.). Also in many schools the dean may inquire as to why a minority candidate wasn't selected and require some back and forth with the department to make sure bases are all covered. Once the Dean signs off then I'd assume the department wastes no time in contacting the first choice candidate.
Anon, I am in the exact same position you are in (hopefully with different schools ;)! I find the information shared by everyone really helpful—thanks!!
My own question is, is it appropriate to contact the search chair about the status of their decision? I don't want to be rude or pushy, but I am dying to know whether they have already made an offer to someone else, so that I can begin my healing process (given bad news).
Any thoughts/advice about contacting the search chair, how long you should wait before contacting the chair. how to ask nicely, etc.?
Thanks in advance.
I'd probably let them do it on their terms. In the event they've made another offer, better to wait and see how it works out. That person might decline or fall through and then you get an offer.
The only reason I would contact them is if you have another offer in hand. Then they need to know for their own process. Otherwise, you're just asking because you want to know….of course you want to know! And they'll tell you when there is news to tell.
Thanks, ClinicalPh.D, your suggestion helped me calm down. Will be focusing on my own research, class prep, etc., rather than worrying needlessly about something I have little control over at this point.
I'm in the "waiting" situation at the moment. Do schools tend to tell the other 2 candidates when an offer has been made, or make them wait it out until that offer is accepted or not? One chair told me he likes to tell all 3 candidates as soon as he can because he prefers to be upfront with info, but I was wondering about other people's experiences.
My experience has been the opposite. They tell you nothing until the contract is signed. You just wait and wait and wait. :/
One chair told me they are interviewing until the end of the month and will contact me soon after. My guess is that means I'll hear where I stand at that point, good news or bad. It is nice if they are up front about it, but I could see from their point of view that it'd be a shame if they told the 2nd choice that he/she was 2nd choice, and so that person accepted another offer, and then if the 1st choice didn't work out they'd be up the creek.
Agreed with above. Most will not give any information if you aren't the first choice, until the contract has been signed. The only way I think they would is if they really want to hire you as well and its a situation where they hope to make two offers, but that 2nd line hasn't come through yet. Otherwise, they'll wait to see.
I don't know if I agree with this process or not, but it is my experience.