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After having conducted interviews for a postdoc position, what could be the reasons for which the academic researcher involved in the hiring process would ask for a second meeting with an applicant? The applicant was not informed during their first interview about the possibility of a second meeting.

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  • "The applicant was not informed during their first interview about the possibility" are you 100% sure? did they not mention "you may meet person X" or similar phrases? maybe they were ambiguous in the formulation... however, you can still be optimist. They would not invite you again to say to you "your profile does not match"
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 13:25
  • Have you considered asking them? Something like "is a second I review routine for postdoc positions?" would work fine. Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 13:40

2 Answers 2

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If you were invited for a second interview, you are still in the running for the job, but not yet selected.

A likely scenario is that the interviewer decided that (s)he could not make up their mind after the first round of interviews or that the academic researcher on looking back at the interviews decided that information was lacking.

Ultimately, only the ones conducting the search can give you the reason.

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  • I understand that the hiring committee can tell the real reason. But as they did not mention any reason when asking for the second meeting, it seems kind of inappropriate to ask for it. If they wanted to reveal the reason, they would have done it when asking the applicant for the second meeting.
    – vyali
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 13:10
  • @vyali - if you feel the request is inappropriate you can turn it down. That choice of course has ramifications. “I’d like to talk some more” is a reason though.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 19:04
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    @vyali I think your reaction might be unnecessarily sensitive. Hiring decisions have far-reaching consequences, in academia even more than in industry, since positions are usually bound to specific projects. If one meeting wasn't enough for them to come to a conclusion, that's completely reasonable and understandable, and they don't need to cite particular reasons for an invitation to a second one. Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 20:37
  • @lighthousekeeper What reaction are you talking of? The only reaction I gave to the interviewer on being asked for a second meeting was to agree to it. As I'm curious to know what the second meeting could be about, I asked about it here.
    – vyali
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 3:36
  • I think they are talking about the comment where you said it "seems kind of inappropriate"
    – Dawn
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 3:44
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In addition to the answer by @ThomasSchwarz, this scenario can sometimes arise if the outcome of the interview is more complex than a straight "yes, you've got the job" or "thanks, but no thanks".

Examples might be:

  • "You are our first-choice candidate but our HR department has frozen the hiring process due to internal issues, and so we don't know when we'll be able to give you a final answer."
  • "You didn't get the job you applied for but would you be interested in this other position?"

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