I did a campus interview two weeks ago (US universities, R1, Engineering). I was not the last candidate, so, by considering the last one, the search was closed one week ago. In the last meeting with the department chair, he said the department will select the final candidate next week and it seems they have made some decisions based on the information I have. I received an update this weekend from the department chair indicating that they are working with the dean's office and I should get an update this week. First, I interpreted this email positively in a way that probably I will be their first choice since they should keep all finalists on hold until the first candidate (assuming to be me!) signs the offer, which normally takes time (negotiation, salary, lab space, ...). So, there is no reason to notify me if I am not the first candidate.
Then, I looked at this matter differently and thought maybe they already have offered another candidate and they are indeed waiting to get some approval from the dean for that person (probably the candidate has some requests). Because sometimes dean's office can approve the final candidate after a few days since it should not be a long process. I am not sure which case is more likely. I know that I should be more patient, but it is honestly difficult!
So, my question is about your experience with the hiring process and its timeline.