I have been waiting for a week after my first-round interview for a tenure track position in the US. The interview went well, I think, and ended up with a nice response from the chair of search committees. She was impressed with my presentation, but I took it as her courtesy. From the interview, I also knew that the initial interview was completed yesterday.

This position was posted in March (very late) and closed in April (very short). If offered, the candidate will have to work in August. I am curious to know if anyone has any experience with such quick hiring. What should the timeline be for the hiring decision?

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    The "standard hiring timeline" is largely a myth. – Anonymous Physicist May 7 at 1:58
  • Lots of strange things are happening this year. My institution is still hiring for tenure track positions starting in the fall, but this would not happen in a normal year. – Brian Borchers May 7 at 2:22
  • @BrianBorchers I thought the job market closed this year. I haven't seen any posting in Mathematics from your institution. – ttguest May 7 at 3:20
  • No, we didn't have any positions in mathematics this year- I'm talking about positions in other departments. My point was simply that the hiring process has taken longer than normal at our institution this year. – Brian Borchers May 7 at 3:54

After the last interview, the committee will have to come up with a ranked list of candidates. Then this is forwarded to the department head for approval. Then this goes to the dean for approval. Then an offer letter will have to be drawn up. This has to be approved by the Office of Equal Opportunity. This process can easily take 2 or more weeks, and this is particularly true at places where final exams are running at the same time.

In other words, have patience!

  • Thank you for bringing up the fact that the final exams are running now. What you have said is about the activities after the second round. May you let me know your experience of what they should have after the first round, especially, for late positions? – ttguest May 6 at 20:10
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    1-2 weeks seems like a reasonable turn-around time in academia. You should hear shortly, but not yesterday. – Wolfgang Bangerth May 6 at 21:22
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    I hope so because this is my last chance in this year's market. I am also an applied mathematician like you. :) – ttguest May 6 at 21:41

Timelines in hiring can be messy, especially if the committee does not immediately agree on a candidate or there is some other stuff going on behind the scenes that leads to extended discussion meetings. In many places, scheduling meetings is now messier than ever, since we still live in pandemic times. The fact that they want to hire someone to start in August may help a bit to speed things up, but doesn't have to.

In short, one week is nothing. If you have not heard back after 4-6 weeks, you might want to contact them and ask for the status.

  • Thank you for your advice. I posed this question because it seems only top candidates will be contacted within a week after the initial interview. – ttguest May 6 at 20:13
  • @ttguest - one would suggest that only top candidates get an initial interview. Then the messy time-consuming discussions start. Have they indicated there will be further interviews at all? – Jon Custer May 6 at 20:49
  • @JonCuster During the initial interview, they responded that the last candidate to be interviewed would be on 5/5. I just googled the fact that top candidates (after the first round) should be contacted within a week. – ttguest May 6 at 21:04

In addition to the other good answers, it may be (as at my R1 Univ in the U.S., regarding math) that although some advertised jobs have been allowed, economic/budget issues may be so unsettled (here, the state legislature still hasn't given us a biennial budget!) that no actual commitments can be made.

A very awkward... and ugly... situation, yes.

  • Thanks! I suppose all R1 students took their candidates already because it is May now. Is that true? – ttguest May 6 at 20:20

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