After the interview

After the interview

You’ve interviewed on campus. Now it’s a waiting game. Use this time to rest, get ready for your next interview, work on your dissertation, etc.

Things to Do

  • Send thank you notes almost immediately after your visit (email is faster but handwritten notes are always a nice touch?). Be sure to include everyone that you met, and don’t forget to send notes to students and to professional staff. In a separate, typed letter, send in for reimbursement any expenses that you incurred during your trip. In your letter to the search chair, express your appreciation for the campus visit and your continued interest in the position. If you are no longer interested in the position, say so. Send thank you notes even if the institution was not a good match, and be sure to turn down any offer that’s proffered. Doing so shows that you know the norms of polite society. You will most likely see some people from that institution again, especially at conferences, and you don’t want them to remember you as impolite.

                   Alternate view: Only write a thank you letter to the search chair.

  • Be honest if you’re offered the job and are waiting for other offers or are about to go on another campus visit (you don’t have to name the other places). The search chair likely will provide a deadline for your decision.
  • Again, be patient with the search process. It may be a very long time after you interview before you hear from anyone. Colleges and universities often are on lengthy timelines of many months when it comes to hiring. Timelines often get extended through no fault of search committees. While you are waiting to hear from an institution, gather any additional information that you need in case you receive an offer.
  • You may want to share with your professors the details about your visit to campus.
  • Rest up and prepare for your next interview. Revise your presentation, your handouts, your questions for the next institution, etc. Have your interview clothes dry cleaned. Remember that if you were invited to interview once, chances are good that you will be invited by other institutions as well.
  • Take time after each interview to reflect back on your interview, presentation, and campus visit. Conduct a self-assessment and identify areas of strength and improvement so that you can be prepared for the next interview and be more comfortable with the process. 

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t burn any bridges. Don’t be impolite. Don’t say or write anything you may regret later. If the institution wasn’t a good fit or you felt that you were treated poorly, you don’t need to share that broadly with others. You will see these people again, at conferences, in collaborative work groups, etc. You also never know who knows whom. Remember that this is a relatively small professional field.