Our books

Become a Fan

« When should one start trying to publish? | Main | Advice on preparing for/taking comp exams? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


straight talk on lines,

Many thanks for your informative answer. I didn't know I could have so many mysteries resolved by such a short paragraph. I'm very glad I asked.


How many candidates typically comprise a "long list"? And what sorts of factors are typically used determine who makes it off the long list and onto the "short list"?


Just to harp on the issue of search committees neglecting to communicate with a job candidate after an interview:

No matter what is the case about HR or whatever university regulation, if an SC member tells a candidate at the end of an interview that they will communicate with them about the next step by X date, then they should communicate something to the candidate by that date.

Out of three first-round interviews that I’ve had, 2 SCs didn’t communicate anything to me by a date they set as X date.

Just don’t tell a candidate anything if rules preclude it.

Better yet just tell candidates that if they don’t receive news by X date, then they haven’t made the cut.

limning limbo

There's bizarre comfort in reading Fantasma's and anon's posts. I'd echo both, and stress that a lack of communication seems especially challenging for a candidate if the interview in question was a final round/on-campus interview.


Did anyone get on-campus/final-round with LSU Philosophy and Religious Studies and if so, have you heard back?


You're asking in the wrong thread--try the Job-market reporting thread (top of side bar).


Long and short list can very A LOT. Sometimes a long list is just a first round of cuts, where each search committee members, say, chooses 10 final candidates. If so, it might be as long as 40. It might also mean it is the list of "skype interviews" so as few as 8. Short list might mean second round cuts, or might even mean flyouts. So it could vary from 3-20.

Having search on search committees, often being on the long list doesn't mean you have close to a shot. The committee rules demand choosing so many people in a first round cut, and the top candidates are so far above the bottom ones that the bottom ones might as well have been cut from the start.


@Listing thanks very much for the demystification!

UK Grad

I recently saw a job posted online with an application deadline of less than 48hrs after the job was posted. I've been scanning the usual venues for such posting pretty frequently and I have not seen this particular job advertised elsewhere. Is this unusual? And in particular, is this evidence that the post is set up for an inside hire? If it matters, this is in the UK.


@UK grad, what is the listing?

from afar

About long and short lists
Just to state the obvious, the terms mean very different things in different national contexts. Where I am the people who make the first cut are on what is called a short list - and they will be told that they are shortlisted. But they may not get an interview - a shortlist can include 12 or even 20 people. Maybe only 3 will get interviews. But this is the way the terms are used where I work - and this is the way they are used across the nation.
This causes some confusion for people who think if you are shortlisted, then you are one of the three finalists.


@from afar: thank you very much—for me at least that was not an instance of stating the obvious.

I have to ask: what is the point of contacting people on a list, long or short, if they are not going to make it to the next stage? Which isn't to say it's bad. It seems like it will get people's hopes up, but on the other hand it is encouraging to know you were at least in the running.


Artur - It is probably a policy, that might or might not have been made with good intentions - by either the admin or the department. However, whoever made the rule might have left that school long ago, and the policy continues without much thought.

As to why persons might have come up with it in the first place? Well faculty and/or admin were sitting around a table, talking about job searches and how to conduct them, when someone points out how hard it can be for candidates to be left in the dark about the stage of the search. Then another faculty points out that by not letting top candidates know they are in the running, the department might lose a top choice to another school. What soon follows is a proposed rule about notifications, a vote, and then a very long-lasting and rarely reflected on policy.

from afar

I think you are misunderstanding the sort of way the system works here. Candidates deemed qualified are on a short list (it could be 12 to 20). They are assessed by one group. And then another committee then invites a subset of these people for interviews, ranging from 3 to 5. But all 12 to 20 are called shortlisted. It is a difference of terms - a difference of cultures.


For some jobs, especially some in the UK, long-listing also comes with a request for further information, such as requests for letters of reference or writing samples, which are not included in the original application.


Thanks Amanda, afar, and JDF. Really appreciate the insight. I don't have much to add but I will say on reflection that I have been long-listed for a couple of jobs for which I was ultimately not interviewed and there was considerable epistemic value for me in knowing my materials and references were good enough at least for that. So (again on reflection) I would support letting candidates know, whatever the real rationale is.


If I just had an interview, should I mention that fact in follow-up emails with other schools? If so, should I specifically name the (reputed) school?


Is there a place where people discuss hiring information about alt/ac posts targeted at philosophers (e.g. the Notre Dame Center job)?

Marcus Arvan

wondering: I’m not sure—but I’d be happy to start a thread here on the Cocoon for that. It actually sounds like a great idea to me!

School C.

@Drew: Congrats on the interview with school A, but I would not mention it in correspondence with other prospective employers like school B. If you had an offer, rather than just having been offered an interview, my advice would be different.

The one exception is that if school B gives you an offer and is really putting on the pressure to decide, you might ask for more time and justify that with the fact that you had recently been interviewed by school A.


If I've heard nothing from a university and haven't seen anyone post anything related to it, how long should I wait to send a follow up email? In particular, for positions that I have a particular interest in (but might not be generally of high interest---I mention this to ward off concerns about swamping committees with emails). For example: a somewhat niche post-doc in my hometown. Would also be curious to hear more general advice with respect to this.

Thank you, Marcus, and everyone else for this thread!


Just-wondering: if you haven't heard, assume you're not getting it and move on.


I wonder what the regulars of this blog think of job ads in the US that explicitly state that their position is for only citizens or permanent residents of America...


Enough: while technically all American jobs are supposed to prioritize hiring Americans (just like Canadian jobs for Canadians), in practice R1s, R2s, and well-off SLACs are happy to hire non-Americans.

But if the ad specifically says it's only for Americans and permanent residents, then you should take them at their word: they won't make any effort to help you get a work permit, and they'll probably just junk your application if you don't meet that criterion.


@Enough: I think there have always been some ads like that, generally from smaller schools in the US that are unable to sponsor visas (e.g. because of cost, competitiveness, etc.). Have you noticed an uptick in ads stating that?


@Fav: yes, but in another field.
in general, i thought this was discrimination, which of course is illegal...


Enough: "Foreign national" is not a protected category.

Daniel Weltman

@Enough: For what it's worth, quite a few countries prioritize nationals when hiring, such that to hire a non-national entails resources and effort that are beyond some institutions (smaller, non-elite ones, for instance). The practice is not unique to the US. (In fact, the state in India where I live just passed a law prioritizing hiring of state residents over Indians from outside the state, let alone foreigners.) It is indeed discrimination, but as Michel points out, this discrimination is legal in many places.


@Michel: Legalisms do not justify discriminating against us.


Enough: sure, it may or may not be morally justified. But it isn't illegal, as you suggested.

(FTR, I'm not American either.)

lottery player n

Today -- very nearly 1 calendar month after submitting an online application, I received an email from Interfolio that my request to upload letters there had been executed. Any sense of why on earth this might have taken so long?

(The post used a university application form and applicants were supposed to include email addresses for letter writers. Whenever I see these, I always use the special interfolio generated addresses for recommenders that will have them upload automatically.)


@lottery player n: Double check the job ad. Some places want actual letters at the time of application, whereas others want 'names of people we can contact for letters.'

In the latter case, letters will sometimes be requested only after they have narrowed down the applicant pool. If that's the case, it would explain the delay - and would also mean that you've survived the first cut!

lottery player n

@historygrrrl (was that the right number of rs?)

Thanks -- it seems the ad no longer exists. It was for one of the Oxford jobs, so presumably first cut or not, it won't matter in the end. But that's interesting! I'd thought that the "virtual upload" would've put the letters up automatically at the time of submission (so that they could be downloaded, say, with the rest of the dossier). Accordingly, I was a bit nervous when I didn't see the delivery in the Interfolio account. Anyway, thanks for the helpful reply about how it actually works.


It does seem a bit weird that an Oxford job would request letters after one month. My impression is that in the UK letters are only used very late in the process (like, just before an offer is made) in order to just check that you are who you say you are etc. Certainly, this is the HR rule at my University. Oxford is a bit weird though, so maybe they do things differently.


In case anyone saw the job posting for the position at the American University of Malta and was considering applying, it would be worth taking a careful look at how things appear to be run there, as indicated in this IHE article: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/01/09/controversial-start-university-fires-founding-faculty-members

(I know nothing more than I've read there; I have no affiliation or inside knowledge of AUM. Just happened to have Googled it and saw this and thought I'd pass it along. Also, to be clear, I'm not applying.)


Should a VAP expect to get interviewed for a TT position in the same department?


'Should a VAP expect to get interviewed for a TT position in the same department?'

No. You should consider your candidacy for it as about the same as your candidacy for any other job at a similar institution.


JDF, thanks for your reply! My question was ambiguous. I meant to ask if they department wants you, would they want to interview you like anyone else, or given that they know you already, it's likely that they would want to skip the interview? T

Marcus Arvan

Vapgoingfortt: they can’t skip the interview. HR would never let that fly—at least not at a US university in my experience.

You're just visiting.

Vapgoingfortt, I have been in this precise situation and know several other people who have been. The previous comments are correct. One is lucky to get a TT interview (most VAP people I know did not get one) and if one does one will be treated like any other candidate.


Over this year and the last I have had a few interviews for amazing jobs and a few great long lists where I had to choose to send in this or that writing sample. I have a really hard time not regretting my decisions—if only I'd done this instead of that in the interview, if only I'd sent in that paper...It is a pointless enterprise, not to mention a pretty draining one, but I can't seem not to fixate on things that I might have done differently. I spose this is more a question for a psychologist, but maybe someone here has some strategies for becoming more forward-looking on the market. The stakes are so high that just hard not to think: that one thing would have made my life so much better...

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Job ads crowdsourcing thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory