I'm interested in answers for both the individual faculty member and for the department as a whole.

For the individual prospective faculty member - How long does the prospective faculty member's visit usually take, especially compared with the visit of a prospective PhD student applicant? And does the faculty member go through multiple interviews with individual members of the department? I know that the process varies from department to department, but specific examples would still be helpful.

  • 3
    It's worth pointing out that prospective PhD student visits vary greatly (especially because some are interviews and others aren't, and even the interviews vary a lot in approach). Commented May 7, 2012 at 23:49
  • 1
    The process undoubtedly depends upon which country you are applying in. So you might get more specific answers if you specify which country. Commented May 8, 2012 at 6:26

2 Answers 2


Edit: This answer applies only to the US.

For me, the typical case seemed to be:

  • Day 1: Fly in mid-afternoon. Meet your faculty host and 3-4 faculty members for dinner where you have informal discussions about research, the university, or anything else.
  • Day 2: This is the main day. The day lasts from about 8am until about 6pm. You give your 1 hour talk, interview with about 6 different members of the faculty (sometimes more if the meetings are in groups), have lunch, meet with graduate students, meet with the dean, and meet with the chair. After 6pm, you usually get taken to dinner with 3-4 more members of the faculty.
  • Day 3: Sometimes you'll have breakfast with your host, sometimes not. Then you fly out.

It also wasn't so different for research labs. Just replace "faculty member" with "research scientist."

I'd say that these visits aren't any longer than a prospective Ph.D. visit, but much more intensive. Also, Ph.D. students usually visit after being admitted, whereas faculty members visit to interview.

  • 1
    My department's process is similar to this, except that the formal interview lasts two full days (including six meals) with the talk early on the first day. So most candidates fly in the afternoon of day 0 and fly out the morning of day 3.
    – JeffE
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 15:05
  • Yeah, there is definitely some variance. I'm guessing UIUC CS would be on the longer side of things given how large (and strong) the department is!
    – Lev Reyzin
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 15:52
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    I think two full days of interviews is more towards the norm.
    – Suresh
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:04
  • I guess my sample was too small :)
    – Lev Reyzin
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:08

Once again, this depends on where you're applying for jobs. In the US, the typical interview is between one and three days, with public presentation, closed presentation to the faculty (or hiring committee), and one-on-one meetings with faculty and possibly students.

In contrast, in Germany, where I now work, the interview is just a public presentation and an interview with the hiring committee. There are no one-on-one meetings, and the idea that they should be scheduled (when I asked about them) struck the organizer of the interview as an entirely novel idea.

  • The Belgian system is very similar to the German system. There are also often some unofficial interviews and visits etc to the research group where you'll end up, just to see whether you'll fit. Commented May 8, 2012 at 13:33

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