I wrote to a professor at a German research institute who was hiring PhD students. His area was a bit different from mine, but he wanted to have a chat. We met over Zoom and I told him about my projects. He found it impressive and said he wanted to explore supervising me and would get one of his colleagues to cosupervise given the minute differences in areas of research. He also asked me to prepare a technical presentation and requested the names and contact details of my references.
After preparing my presentation I emailed him. He was at a conference but still listened to my presentation and asked a lot of questions, took a lot of notes. The presentation was based on a paper he wrote. I could answer most of the questions apart from one. He also told me that he has written to my referees for the references and has even discussed ideas about co-supervison. He said he would also assess the presentation and discuss it further with his colleague and will be in touch.
My referees sent the reference letters. One of them was delaying it and wrote to him saying he’ll take time to which he asked to write at his own pace. But since our last interview he never wrote back to me. It’s been 11 days. The references have all been sent.
His automatic reply says he’s travelling and will be slow to respond but nevertheless he replied to my referee and not to me. I wrote to him that my first referee has furnished the letter while the 2nd individual may take time.
Can anyone tell me if this looks negative or positive? Is the professor avoiding me, in which case it would be safe to assume that he is not interested.