I had a PhD interview (bioinformatics) a month ago. I was a master student during the time the interview happened and I am still a student.
During the interview I was asked when I officially want to submit my thesis as this is important to start doing the PhD. I told them the date I planned to submit my thesis.
I did not hear back from them after a month. Recently, I got an email from them indicating that they have not made the final decision yet. In the same email they are asking this question again, which is "When will you exactly submit your thesis? And as a proof can you send it to us before we make our final decision?".
I was also told that there were 13 other candidates and I felt like I had no chance as they would probably prefer somebody who has already completed their masters.
Does their last email imply that they are interested in hiring me but they want to be sure that I am not lying about finishing my thesis soon? Or is it just a normal process and does not indicate anything? In other words, am I right thinking that "they would not bother and directly reject me if they were not interested in hiring me"?
Also, my thesis is not yet fully complete (but I still plan to submit it at the date I promised to them). Would sending them the thesis too late cause my application to be rejected? What should I do in this case to increase the chance of acceptance as much as possible?
Update based on the comments: The PhD project starts in early October. I plan to submit my thesis in September. And they know that this is when I will submit the thesis. The start of the PhD cannot be delayed.