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I've just sent out job applications last week and only a few days later received a phone call for a phone interview at one school. I am interested in another school that the chair of that school is on my doctoral dissertation committee. I've expressed my interest in a faculty position to him after he asked me if I would be interested. Since then, I haven't heard from him and my communication with him has been only about my dissertation. He provided me with a lot of compliments on my work and said directly that he is impressed by the amount and speed of work that I get done. However, I still didn't hear from him a call for interview or further discussion about the faculty position. Now that I am called for interviews, what shall I do?

Should I let him know that I have interviews. if I do he probably going to ask me which schools?.

  • Can you clarify the length of time between when he asked you if you would be interested in a position, when you told him yes, and now? If it was just a few weeks ago, for instance, I'd suggest a very different strategy than if he asked you months ago. – BrianH Apr 28 '17 at 20:31
  • The first time he talked to me about it was 7 months ago. Then he invited me for a meeting to discuss a possible position at their department. He was more specific and asked me questions about when will I graduate exactly and whether I am interested in a tenure or not. In the same conversation he also offered me number of grant funded projects that he thinks I can fit into as a faculty while I am developing my in research agenda. This conversation was in February this year. What do you mean by different strategy? – Change Apr 29 '17 at 21:26
  • An update: Today I`ve received a follow up email, two days after the voice message that they left in my voice mail, from the search committee reminding me that they would like to set up a time for a phone interview and asking if I am still interested. – Change Apr 29 '17 at 23:10
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He is probably trying to be professional and separate you as a student and you as an applicant. I wouldn't bring it up to him. You clearly already have a leg up since he told you about the position in the first place. He also probably already knows that you are applying to other places (since people generally apply for jobs before graduation).

  • Thanks a lot. I think that what you say is likely but for how long to wait?. – Change Apr 28 '17 at 19:43
  • Perhaps when you get an offer from another school, then tell him that you are considering another offer, but really want to stay here. – Michael Apr 28 '17 at 19:44
  • I actually put him as one of my recommenders since he is on my committee. What if the school I apply to wants to contact him for a reference? – Change Apr 28 '17 at 20:02
  • I agree that he is probably separating OP as a student from OP as an applicant, but one duty does not relieve him from the other. Yes, definitely let him know that you have an interview, but remember that he may not be able to promise or reveal much about your application status. – JeffE Apr 28 '17 at 21:06
  • How much information would it be ok to share with him about the invitation for interviews. Should I tell him the name of the school I am interviewing for, or should I keep this information from him for now, and tell him only if and when I am asked for references? – Change Apr 28 '17 at 21:43
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The application process for faculty positions often takes a long time. You may be one of many candidates invited to interview (also, you don't mention if this is a phone or campus interview, which would better help with understanding the timeframe you have). For instance, if you are the first of five candidates being interviewed, even if you are made an offer it could be a month or more away. That's a long time for your choice school to invite you for an interview.

My suggestion is to go on interviews and if they progress. If it looks like another school may make you an offer, then I would contact your professor and ask what their timeline is for interviewing. You might not want to jeopardize an offer in-hand for another job you might not be offered.

Also note that faculty searches are a group effort and the chair may not have the final say of whom gets interviewed or hired. Therefore, the person on your dissertation committee may even be advocating for you to be interviewed, while the faculty and/or Dean may view your research area as not being a priority. So, don't make decisions about other schools on the desired position unless you have an offer from that department in writing. Until then, it's not your job.

Good luck! Congrats on getting interviews!

  • As it is stated in my message (the first line) that it is a phone interview. As for the job that I am interested in, the faculty who I talked to is the chair of the school and he is the one who makes the decision to hire faculty members at the school of medicine. I didnt mention earlier that he already discussed with me grant funded projects at the school that I can be involved with. It was in a following conversation after he suggested that I consider working for their department. – Change Apr 29 '17 at 12:11
  • Ok. Sorry I missed about the phone interview. Well, it is more positive a circumstance that he makes the decisions. However, I stand with my position that you do not have a job there until you have an offer in-hand. I wouldn't follow-up with him unless you have a reason to pressure him, like you are invited for a campus visit. If he can make decisions about hiring and wants you, he will turn around an invite or offer very quickly. – Nicole Ruggiano Apr 29 '17 at 14:21

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