I'm on the academic job market this season for a position in a STEM field. I've had one on-campus interview and may receive an offer from this school within the next week or so. I've also had Skype interviews with a few other schools, but haven't received any on-campus invites from them. (The Skype interviews occurred about 3 weeks ago.)

At this point, should I let these schools know that I've had an on-campus interview? Or is it safe to assume that I've been rejected by them if I haven't received a campus invite already?

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    An interview is not a job offer. Don't say anything until you have, and have accepted, an offer.
    – Bob Brown
    Feb 1, 2019 at 20:37
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    Correction: If you have an offer—a formal, written offer—from A but would prefer an offer from B, you should tell B about your offer from A. Who knows, they might match it.
    – JeffE
    Feb 1, 2019 at 21:08
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    Without saying anything about other interviews or offers, it is reasonable to call up a search committee chair at a place that skype interviewed you and ask them what the current state of the search is. You're likely to get an answer like "We're meeting tomorrow to pick a short list for on-campus interviews" or "We've invited several candidates for on-campus interviews and you weren't selected." If you don't ask you probably won't get any information. Feb 1, 2019 at 21:28

3 Answers 3


Don't make assumptions. Nearly everywhere will let you know when you are no longer under consideration. You may or may not be high on their list. You could be high and they are just dithering. But they would rather make it definite, just to avoid fruitless communication.

But it is probably a mistake to tell them you've had an interview, as it may confuse them about your interest. Wait until you have an acceptable offer before you notify them.

Trying to "nudge" them in your favor could work either way, if it has any effect at all. It is a risky thing to do. Nudging might be worthwhile if you are juggling multiple offers.

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    Just a bit more info in there: They usually let you know if you are in the shortlist, then not selected. Otherwise, very few universities let you know anything ("only the short-listed candidates will be contacted" is usually on the text of the job posting) Feb 1, 2019 at 21:34
  • It's often the case that shortlisted candidates will be held in reserve in case the top candidates don't do well in interviews or turn down offers- they can then invite lower ranked candidates to campus to interview. Thus you might not hear anything until a candidate is made an offer and accepts the offer. Feb 1, 2019 at 22:03


Interviews are nothing, they don't really mean anything more than "you made the short list". Still a long way from hired...

You should only communicate the other committees when you have something concrete, like a written offer. Otherwise, you would be just wasting people's time. Why would a committee member care if you went to interview somewhere else?

@guest "auction" only works when you have more demand than supply. If you are a one of a kind rockstar of an academic, then sure, that would work. Otherwise, plenty of supply, very low demand...


A general advice in any job search (academia or civilian world or NFL) is to let the other parties know when things have become competitive. It doesn't guarantee you get something done with the other parties. But it will often move things along. Especially if you are a good candidate and are likely to come off the market.

Be gracious about it (just wanted to let you know that I am moving down the path with X...would love to interview with you, T.) But don't hide your light under a bushel. At the end of the day, both sides are seeking to create an auction. Make sure you do the small things you can to make an auction for you.

Edit: Just looked at Buffy's comment. Yes, an offer is much more powerful and deserving of a nudge. I would still consider if you can do the nudge (gently) with less than an offer. In particular, if you think things will move fast with the other party and you won't have a lot of time to shop an offer. Judgment call, but my gut feel is power for the people.

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