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Academics - how are applicants for lectureships normally informed when they haven't got the job (ie phone/email/letter etc)?(33 Posts)
Only asking because I had a fairly (well, if I'm honest, completely and utterly) disastrous interview before Christmas for a lectureship I thought I really wanted. Now the head of department has arranged a phone call with me.
I am 99.5% sure this is to tell me that I haven't got the job, but am surprised that they are going to the trouble of telling me over the phone - thought they would just send me an email. I do see that it is very civil of them to break the news in person, but I would prefer for them just to confirm that I haven't got it, sooner rather than later. Email would be fine to convey this information as far as I am concerned!
As it is, I am now letting that 0.5% chance niggle at me. I shouldn't, should I?
Hello Campergirls. No, nothing - thanks for asking. They said that they 'hoped' to know this week. I'm not holding my breath.
Hi Margrat, you didn't offend at all! Sorry if I gave the impression you had in my reply. Interesting about your competitive/not comfortable place to work. I believe that quite a few people are trying to leave the place to which I am applying because it is so tough. I guess it's just possible that they are having trouble recruiting, although it is one of the UK's top ranked faculties in this subject. So again, not sure why I'm bothered, except that I've recently been turned down in quite brutal terms by another fairly prestigious place where I had actually worked for a period and my ego has been badly bruised. Think I feel like I've got something to prove, although I'm actually quite happy at my less prestigious place.
Hi fruitpeeler, sorry, my question came across probably more blunt that I intended, I didn't mean to offend!
(The prestigious, very competitive and not very comfortable place to work sounds like my old place, which coincidently still hasn't filled the lectureship I left even though they advertised it a while back).
Hello again Veronica. It IS an uplifting career, you're right. And I'm lucky enough to already have a job in it, so going on about this other one is silly really. It was quite a bruising experience though and I think I just want 'closure'! I often wonder myself how to provide the kind of criticism we're meant to in an academic context without quite so much of the negativity. Difficult balance. But I don't think this lot quite managed it.
Poor you fruitpeeler. There can be such negativity in the way academics approach each other, and it's a real blight on what can otherwise be a really uplifting career.
Hello Magrat. I thought it was a HEFCE funded position but perhaps not. It's all very confusing. This is a (very prestigious) RG university but one with a reputation for being very very competitive and not necessarily a very comfortable or nice place to work as a result. I did present a paper. It has already been published in a 4* journal so hopefully can't be that bad, but they were pretty horrible about it, and that's putting it mildly. Then I had a formal interview where, after my mauling during the presentation, I couldn't quite summon up the energy to bullshit about my interest in academic leadership, or discuss why this particular job was so right for me (I wasn't sure that it was at that point). The interview only lasted about fifteen minutes! Which is why I am so baffled that they haven't just put a line through my name. Actually, I think they have, but something funny is going on. Academics/academic institutions can be a funny old lot in my experience! Thanks for responding anyway.
It is not a direct HEFCE funded position then?
At my old place (RG university), for tenured posts the interview was v. formal via a panel - usually with a presentation etc as well, but only HR were allowed to phone candidates, just in case the academics said something they were not allowed to say. IME, successful candidates are phoned, unsuccessful candidates are written to/emailed/ignored depending on the university!
That's a good point Campergirls. I'm such an idiot, I should have asked more questions about that, I didn't really think to.
Veronica - yes, going to call me. It will be nearly three months by then!
I am about 'they will rank the candidates once funding has been confirmed'. If the job description is in line with the one for the first post, they should go with the ranking they already drew up. If it's different, they should re-advertise. Iffy employment practices are not uncommon in universities, but this lot sound a right shower!
I was going to guess there was a second position involved!
It's good they want to keep you in mind. It's all good networking. Turn on the charm!
Ooh. So are they going to call again? It must be a month now since your interview, right?
Spoken to them today: They are waiting to have funding confirmed for a second position. Apparently I have not been ruled out, but that they will rank the candidates once funding has been confirmed. He asked me what my job status was (ie on market/any other positions pending). So I guess the first position has been filled already but they might have another one? Really trying not to raise my hopes over this.
Yes camper girls suggestion is a good one. Hope you get the right outcome and hear soon. It sounds like you might be best off elsewhere from what you say!
Hello again campergirls, that would make sense. I would imagine that he must be able to give me some information about whether I am still in the running, should for example the successful candidate turn the job down. If I am not in the running, but they can't make it official because of their procedure, I would hope that he can at least give me a strong hint.
At my university, we don't tell unsuccessful candidates anything until the successful candidate has been offered the post and accepted it. I think this is probably common practice. So if for some reason they haven't yet had a decision from the successful candidate, that would explain the delay. That seems a fairly likely explanation to me, though not the only possible one.
How annoying! No way I'd be able to wait so long I think you're being rather patient considering
Hi Help1975. Yes, I guess that's possible, although I have a feeling that my references were taken up some time ago.
I have found out now that he will not in fact be calling me to tell me the outcome - which hasn't been decided yet - but to explain the delay.
I don't really understand their selection process other than they have to put decisions to a panel. Is it possible that ALL decisions have to go to a panel? ie even if they know they definitely don't want a candidate, that this has to be 'approved.' If so, it seems bureaucratic to me but who knows.
I think I am going to ask when I speak to him whether or not I am still considered a 'live' candidate, or what their recommendation is going to be. You would think they would be able to tell me that by now?
Just another thought. I gather from my own and others experiences that US process is more likely to take references before offering a job where as over here it is common to offer subject to references being ok. Could be a good reason for the delay and maybe you will be offered it?!
Yes, I supposed I could do that. But I am so sure the decision is negative as I say, that waiting a few extra days is not the end of the world (although I recognize that these posts suggest something different)! This department is prestigious but does not have a great reputation for happy staff and their approach to recruitment would seem to support that. So in a way this final part of the process is helping me feel even more OK about not getting the job.
you could call yourself and try to speak to them now, make out that there's something else in the pipeline so you need to know whether to pursue it or not. being kept waiting weeks on end is not on
Hi campergirls. Thanks for that comment, I feel a bit the same.
They did warn me during the interview that they may not let me know for some time, as a result of this fairly bureaucratic process they have. I think also that they were interviewing candidates from overseas and so may not have interviewed every candidate until fairly late.
However, as you say, since they have clearly come to a decision and I am almost certain that the decision is negative, I don't know why they don't just tell me, and perhaps set up a call to offer feedback following that. Seems like a strange way to go about things overall.
This seems really poor to me. I think it would be reasonable to call them and ask what the decision was and what the purpose of the call is.
I'm an academic and have chaired a lot of appointment panels. I phone people as soon as I can after interview to let them know the outcome either way and to offer feedback. If I can't give them a definite decision because of some complication, I let them know whether they are still live candidates or not. I wouldn't dream of keeping a candidate in suspense like this!
Hope something good comes of it for you.
Hi TinyDiamond. He's calling me next week. The interview was weeks ago, but the institution is known for having a fairly bureaucratic process for recruitment I believe.
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