I applied for postdoc positions and I received a few interview offers. I thought not many institution have interview process for postdoc positions and they give offer only based on application material. Do I have false information?
Assuming that you're a mathematician (seeing as how your question migrated from math.SE), I believe that you get interview if you applied for:
- European institutions
- tenure-track level positions at liberal arts colleges
- lower-level research universities who want to gauge the applicant's interest (was the applicant applying to this position as a safety, or is he/she genuinely interested?)
- (only sometimes true) positions where research and teaching are equally valued, or where teaching is valued more highly
- (only sometimes true) if a particular researcher is hiring postdocs out of his/her own grant
I personally would never employ anyone (even grad students) without an interview, and at least in Germany and and my field (CS), I'd say that most professors do interviews for post-docs since this is really a trust-relationship. On the other hand, the German system differs a bit from the US-sytem (our post-doc positions can often be compared to an assistand professor in the US).
Honestly, I think it depends on the situation. Being on the market myself (math) and also applying for postdocs, I was under the impression that there would not be many interviews. However, I did get two post-doc interviews, so far.
My take is that this depends on the situation. Many times if they are departmental postdocs, there wouldn't be an interview (or so I gathered). However, if you are applying for a postdoc that is tied to a specific PI, then there would be an interview.
Finally, the climate may be changing in such a way where departments are conducting more interviews now.
I'm in the social sciences and most department postdocs search committees seem to interview before their final selection. I had a few Skype/phone interviews for positions I was shortlisted for.
There are other postdoc fellowships, like national competitions by grant making foundations, which make decisions without interviews though. One I was a finalist for, only asked for a full 10 page proposal and a budget narrative for the final round.
Like the other person said, I think this should really depend on the field, country, and type of postdoc.
I guess it depends on the search committee in math major. I know one case that one institute sends out offer without interview this year but it interviewed the applicants last year.