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I hate the post-interview waiting game!

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I interviewed with a local university last week for an administrative position, and I feel it went well. They received more than 100 applications, but only a few (including me) made it to the interview stage. I was required to submit several writing exams later in the week, all of which I put lots of time and effort into.


I also sent each interviewer -- there were four in all -- a carefully crafted thank you letter that not only included a quote by a famous person that relates to education or the job itself, but also discussed an article that the interviewer either wrote or was featured in. (Yes, I ran a Google search on each person.) I attended the university for two years, and my advisor happened to sit on the screening committee for the position. I was sure to express how passionate I was about the university and its mission, and how I wanted to give something back after the institution gave so much to me.


Only one interviewer -- based on her title, I presume she's the chairperson of the committee -- replied to the e-mail containing the thank you letter, and she said the committee hoped to make a decision in roughly two weeks. This was Monday, June 13.


I'm doing my best to keep my sanity! I keep replaying the interview in my mind and wonder if the following does/does not not bode well:


- Lots of nodding on the part of the interviewers while and after I provided responses to their questions

- They told me during the interview that they'd be making a decision in a few weeks, which is fairly in line with the time line set in the e-mail. However, she also said something about narrowing the candidate pool down further and bringing in people for follow-up interviews. This leaves me scratching my head: Will they pick someone and then bring them in for a final interview, or will they just select a final candidate and inform them of their decision in said number of weeks?

- They responded quickly to all my e-mails

- I mentioned my g/f is also an alumnus of the university. One of the interviewers works for alumni relations and took down her name -- perhaps to use her as the subject of a college success story in the future

- The last question involved explaining why I wanted to work at the university, but one of the interviewers said I had already answered it throughout the interview by discussing how passionate I am about the mission, etc.

- They didn't ask when I could start, but I'm sure my enthusiasm conveyed I'd be willing to start immediately. (It's likely noted on my application as well.)


I hope that two week period is really not the time they've set aside to give the job to someone else, run a background check on him or her, and send me a rejection letter.


I realize that the rules in higher education are a lot different than those in the private sector. Based on what I've heard and read, it's slower, more political and lends itself more to cronyism. My only hope is that there are no internal candidates in the mix -- that would, I think, dim my prospects significantly.


You guys are probably thinking, "Relax. It's just a job. Just keep applying to other jobs." But breaking into and landing a job in higher ed is no easy task, and I really want to leave corporate America. I am also excited because I see myself retiring at this place.


What are your thoughts? Thanks for reading.

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I've been on the job market for a while now and I hate the waiting game too. The whole thing is...you cannot fixate. I know you want this job, and I know you are seeking to make a career with it, and it sounds like the interview went as well as it could have for you, but you cannot think too much and read too much into the experience. You can only be sure of what you put forth, and after that, it is up to the hiring manager or committee. The vibe I get from what you listed in the bullet points here indicates to me that they are decent professionals, and are serious about your candidacy. But that is by no means a guarantee.


The private sector domain I've been interviewing in is also prone to slow process and cronyism, so that's definitely not limited to academia. It's taking me on average 45-60 days to go from initial inquiry on my or the prospective employer's part to a decision, and that's even if I hear a decision at all. My most successful interview experience to date I have yet to get a response from--but since the company hasn't returned any of my subsequent communication I must move on and figure that another candidate won out. But it's ok as I feel I'm on to something better anyway now.


Good luck no matter what--really hope you land this!

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