I had a second round postdoc interview (and presentation) on Friday at a prestigious UK university. They seemed very pleased with my work and they stated that my research is in line with the needs of the project. The interview took longer than it was supposed to and I was even told that they have postponed the next interview by 10 mins, as they found my work interesting. At the end of the session, I was told by the PI that they would let me know of the outcome next week (i.e. this week), which he quickly corrected himself by saying that they'd let me know on Monday (today).

I spent the entire weekend feeling very confident of having secured the position; however, after not receiving any emails today, I have started questioning said confidence (e.g. that they may have gone with another candidate). Is it too early to be disheartened? Would it be appropriate to send them a polite email and ask about the status of the interview outcome?

I understand that technically only one working day has passed since the interview; but I was told by the PI that I would be informed today (which I took as a sign of their interest in me), and as I have not heard anything, I have become somewhat paranoid.


1 Answer 1


You don't have the job until you receive a formal offer, no matter how pleasant or excited anyone is when meeting you, or any information you find in tea leaves, bones, horoscopes, numerology, etc.

I would wait at least until the end of the week until contacting them, unless you have some outside reason that you need to know the outcome immediately, for example if you have another offer that will expire. In that case, you could send a brief message that covers:

  1. Thanks for meeting with me last week

  2. I'm interested in the job

  3. I have another offer and my response for that offer is due by (date)

  4. Ask politely whether they are able to let you know prior to that date, and if so/if not, when you can expect a response.

If you don't have another offer, I'd just wait, but do continue pursuing other opportunities: keep applying for jobs, schedule/attend further interviews, etc, just as you would do if you've already been told you haven't gotten the position. I don't think you need to be disheartened or pessimistic, just pragmatic. At the end of the week, you can send a polite email along the same lines as I suggested above, minus (3) of course.

I think the most likely explanation for no response as of yet is that their timeline of getting back to you so quickly was a bit optimistic on their part. However, I don't think that gives you any more information to work with than you had 24 hours ago.

  • 2
    Thank you for a very sensible response to a panic riddled postdoc candidate!
    – Carl
    Dec 6, 2021 at 22:38

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