I had a campus interview last week. It went well, was the ideal fit for me, and I will take it in a second if offered. I sent e-mail thank-you notes to everyone I met with individually, all members of the search committee, and anyone who made a specific impression on me. Most of the responses I am getting back from people are generically courteous and are saying things like "I hope things work out so we can collaborate significantly in the future." Which I take as a good sign, right? But my real question is this—two of the faculty members responded with lengthy e-mails about specific ways in which we could collaborate. I am genuinely interested in their comments and would love to engage in further discussions with them about the specific ideas they mentioned. But, I don't want to seem pandering, as they are supposed to be making their decision and contacting the "winner" with a verbal offer this week. Should I just wait until I get that call (or don't get that call) before I follow-up with the specific comments they made? Or do I start conversations with some of these people now?
Date: 14 Dec 2010 13:42
Number of posts: 8
RSS: New posts
Congrats; sounds like things went well for you! Personally, I don't see any issue with responding now, especially if you are seriously considering collaborating with these folks regardless of the outcome. The great thing about campus interviews is that you do get to open up the doors for new collaborations. Even if you don't get a job there, you can have inter-institutional collaborations that ultimately still serve your career well by making connections in the field.
The key point that I want to emphasize here is that if you have a sincere interest in collaborating with these people (like you mention), don't let the technicalities of the job search interfere. Pandering only comes across as pandering when you are…well, pandering. Given the success of your visit, it sounds like you have the social skills to know the difference.
Totally agree with the above two posts. Do it now. Best case they actually lobby for you in a faculty vote and it helps you get the job. Worst case, they lobby for you, you still don't get it, but you establish a collaboration with them.
If you don't respond, you run the risk of seeming insincere on the interview and they wonder if you really do want to come there and/or collaborate with them.
I agree with anonymous. Do whatever is honest. If you want to collaborate regardless of the outcome, contact them. If you are pandering (and hey, we've probably all done it to some extent), I would resist the temptation and just wait.
Thanks for the advice. I ended up getting an offer before I even had time to get back to those individuals, so I guess it worked out fine after all!
Aww man, that is awesome! Quick turnaround times are so rare. Congrats.