I was recently invited to an on-campus interview after having a skype interview. I noticed, after checking with my referees, that this particular school did not request letters of recommendation for me. It just seems odd to me that the search committee would commit to flying me out and having me complete two full days of interviews without first reviewing letters of rec.

Is this unusual? What would the advantages of doing the interview before reviewing letters be?

  • 9
    That they want to interview you... – Solar Mike Jan 4 '19 at 0:09
  • They may ask for the recommendation letters if you are in the closer selection after the interview. – Captain Emacs Jan 4 '19 at 4:56

I think they will ask for the recommendation letters at a later stage. It seems to me that they first want to interview you.


Letters of recommendation are not a universal phenomenon. You might just be asked for a CV, a list of publications, research or teaching statements/plans, etc. Some positions have specifically emphasized that they do not want letters of recommendation and will disregard them.

Maybe you will be asked for a list of references who will be contacted by the search committee, or maybe they are relying on knowing your reputation or knowing the people who know you, or maybe the decision will be made based on the interview and the submitted material.


It means that recommendation letters might not be strictly rewuired for hiring in that institution. I got three-year postdoc contract without them.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.