In December I applied for a post doctoral position. After 4 months I had my job interview and now one month later they are ready to make a decision.

Is a long interviewing process a red flag? I am concerned that this shows that the department has a bad organizational structure and decisions are slow to be made.

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    Welcome to the academic world ... if you are coming from industry, the pace is different... – Solar Mike May 31 '18 at 6:35
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    It's probably entirely the fault of one person, the professor. And will be as fast or slow as that individual gets their act together. Now if it really were left in the hands of the department/college/administration, then you'll see what slow really means. – A Simple Algorithm May 31 '18 at 9:50
  • I once had an interview 15 months after applying for it. To me 4 months sounds fast. – Sverre Jun 1 '18 at 15:51

That is pretty normal. That does not mean it is good, but it is not worse than your average university. Two things play a role here:

First, universities are just large organizations with all the bureaucracy and inefficiency that comes with that.

Second, universities are often self organizing, that is, the professors take a large part of the management duties. That is a good thing, in the sense that decisions are made by people who know what they are talking about. But it also means that a large part of those tasks are performed by people who are not primarily managers and have competing priorities (research, teaching).

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It could indicate that you were not the first candidate for the role following the interview. However, the first candidate (and second and (n-1)st) dropped out because of reasons, and the offer now comes to you. Just read the offer and decide whether you want take it or leave it, based on the face value. The delays you experienced are normal for academia and are not a red flag.

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