Our books






Become a Fan

« Constructively situating papers in the literature | Main | Best stepping stone to a research job? »

08/02/2022

Comments

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

anon

@ grouch. Yeah, you shouldn't infer anything. While it's not impossible that they're only doing two, it's also possible that they're just simplifying their scheduling by giving you not so many options. (I do the same thing when I email my students meeting times.)

wondering

@History of Modern Person

Hi. I work on some figures in late 18th and especially 19th century philosophy. One of them is neglected, though my work on them is quite fresh. Part of the reason I asked my question here was because I'm trying to get a feel for how many of these jobs in 'History of Modern' are interviewing 19th century folks. Some included in their ads that they meant to include 19th century, but I have my suspicions that a lot of these jobs are more exclusive in their conception of 'history of modern' (aka they really mean 16 - 18th century only). Your reported experience so far seems to fit my impression.

jaybird

@make a living: my understanding is that it is considered a (fairly major) faux pas to ask about salary before the on-campus interview stage, at least in the USA. And when you do ask, it's highly recommended that you only do so in your meeting with HR or the VPAA or Dean (NOT departmental search committee members), when they go over nuts-and-bolts things like the benefits package and tenure requirements. If you receive an offer, you can (and IMO, should!) try to negotiate, but get the offer in writing and keep your requests moderate (e.g. don't ask for 20% over the initial offer). Also, you should not be surprised if they can't or won't give you anything all, even moving costs or start-up funds. It's all really unfortunate, and (I think) comes from the ugly combination of American we-don't-talk-about-money culture + the expectation that anybody who gets a job offer has already won the lottery and should be grateful, with salary as a side consideration. Generally, starting pay for assistant professor positions in the USA is expected to be doable, but not super comfortable. (You should not be shocked if a SLAC job in a LCOL area offers $50,000/year, for example.) I know some schools in HCOL areas will help faculty secure housing (e.g. through faculty housing, or through low-or-no-interest loans for house downpayments), but this varies widely and often depends a lot on the size of the school's real estate holdings and/or endowment. You can look on Glassdoor to try and find salary information, but it's not super reliable. If you have a minimum salary requirement and are trying not to waste energy on applications then you are probably going to want to restrict yourself to schools in areas where salary is legally required to be included in the advertisement, and/or to wealthy schools.

herewego

Whats up with some schools going straight to flyouts? Seems like a lot of money to spend on folks you haven't even spoken to yet!

TT professor

Herewego:

I think the research on interviews actually supports going straight to fly outs. Marcus can potentially confirm

anon

As an applicant, I way prefer to have fewer emotional rollercoasters / days to feel like I need to be on the ball. Straight to flyouts is great.

Marcus Arvan

@TTProfessor: https://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2015/02/more-news-on-the-interviews-are-worse-than-useless-front.html

Also see https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/202008/poor-predictors-job-interviews-are-useless-and-unfair

CIIS?

This job ad just came up on HigherEd Jobs: https://www.higheredjobs.com/faculty/details.cfm?JobCode=178225475&Title=Core%20Faculty%2C%20The%20Philosophy%2C%20Cosmology%2C%20and%20Consciousness
The institution seems... a bit sketchy, but it's hard to find unbiased info online. Can anyone who's heard of CIIS fill me in on whether it's worth it to even apply or whether it's a sketchy/questionable institution? I wouldn't want to be involved with a degree mill type of place.

make a living

@ jaybird: Thank you for your answer! That's very helpful :)

anonymouse

@CIIS: I saw this ad too! The institute says on their website that they are regionally accredited (which to my understanding is the most important/rigorous level of accreditation in the USA) and have held this accreditation since the early 1980s:

https://www.ciis.edu/academics/provost-division/accreditation#:~:text=In%201991%2C%20the%20College%20was,2018%2C%20effective%20through%20February%202025

https://www.ciis.edu/about-ciis/history-of-ciis

So not a degree mill...but definitely a unique place. It seems to me that this is the sort of institution that would be very much concerned about "fit," so before investing in the time required to send in an application you should decide whether and how you are committed (or at least open) to the wide-ranging nature of their mission and initiatives (they offer a Doctor of Acupuncture program, for example - some people might think this is cool, others might consider it quackery of the highest degree).

sadforchristmas

Having been backburnered by several schools who have now gone on to flyouts, I'm now wondering (in desperation, surely) about how often it happens that schools are displeased w/ the flyouts and return to the short list. Any thoughts on whether this is something that ever happens?

Marcus Arvan

@sadforchristmas: yes, it happens. Don’t know how often, but I know it does.

Marcus Arvan

Also, sometimes candidates who accept flyout offers back out because they get a job elsewhere. In that case, the committee may invite the next candidate on their list to campus. This can happen weeks or even a month after initial flyout offers.

PFO, then P~FO, & then PFO again

@sadforchristmas I was given a PFO after round 1 last cycle and then invited back for an on campus.

JJ

@ Am I wasting time? I was on the job market for three years and got I think 7 interviews in that time. One of those years I got no interviews for permanent jobs at all, and one postdoc interview, despite sending out over 50 applications. In the third year I landed a TT job at a good R1 in a desirable location. I have friends whose experiences were not dissimilar. You might be wasting your time, but you certainly don't have enough evidence to be confident that you are. Chin up!

visiting treadmill

Unsurprisingly, I feel a bit perplexed by the market. This is my fifth year on the market but I’ve held a visiting position every year. On the VAP market last year I had four interviews and two offers. I thought that maybe the VAP market buzz I experienced might be some evidence that I would have better luck on the TT market this year. But so far on the permanent market this year I’ve only had one first round zoom interview, which did not advance. It looks like that’s all I’m going to get, which needless to say is really disappointing. Anyone else have a similar experience? Is there such a thing as a VAP treadmill? Why would multiple departments (and I’m not talking R1 here) see a candidate as good enough for a visiting position but not a permanent position? Also, what’s the number to that truck-driving school again?

keepinmind

@JJ and @ Wasting Time

Be careful for survivor bias! Maybe 99 out of 100 in your situation don't end up in academia, but we are likely to hear from the 1 that does.

another under-interviewed year-fiver

@visiting treadmill, I’m sorry to hear it and have no real advice, but for what it’s worth, your story is eerily close to mine (except I’m non-TT fac, not VAP). This is my year five on the market. Over the previous two years I had a lot of interviews (I think 11 total?), but no TT offers. This year projected to be good since I’ve added good publications and an uncommonly large number of places are hiring in my area, but I seem somehow to have gotten only one first-rounder that didn’t progress. This does not feel good.

processing

Quick Q here for folks who have been on the other side of the job market... What is the process like when it comes to extending fly out offers?

I ask because someone posted in the reporting thread a few days ago that (a) a certain department had initiated invites and (b) that they were inviting X number of people. I assumed that since I didn't get one of those invites, I should take the silent PFO and move on with my life... But then last night, I got an email (bcc'ed it seems to a group of applicants) from the department saying that the invite process was taking longer than planned and they'd let us know soon.

I guess I'm struggling to imagine what that process could be. Isn't it just emailing the relevant folks? The only thing I can think is that they offered a campus visit to someone who had another opportunity lined up, and that person wanted more time to accept / reject the invitation, meaning that the department has to wait to know if they're going to their backup list.

Any insight would be super appreciated. My heart strings are frazzled and I can't bear much more of the back and forth.

also processing and confused

@processing: thanks for asking this question! I am in the same boat as you (presumably for the same job/department) and it has been an emotional rollercoaster.

Marcus Arvan

@processing: here is something that happens quite a lot. The committee invites N people to campus. A few weeks later, one of the candidates invited to campus backs out before the on campus because they have a job offer. So, the committee now gets to invite another person in their place. This may be why you have not received a PFO. You may not have been in the first group invited to campus, but you’re still in play because the committee would want to invite you if anyone backs out. They might just not tell you because they don’t want you to think you’re their backup. Hence, the “the process is taking longer than expected” note.

placement person

This doesn't sound like the kind of situation Marcus describes to me--or if it is, the department is being very very dishonest and you probably don't want to work there, or at least want to get clear on why this happened first. If it is what Marcus describes, they are straight up lying to you and that is not okay!

I would guess they had an inside or favored candidate, that they wanted to tell that candidate they had a fly out, that they told them how many others there would be, and that they haven't decided on who the others would be yet.

Marcus Arvan

@placement person: actually, now that I think about, I guess I’m inclined to think that @processing’s original theory is more likely. Sometimes candidates stall because they get offers and are trying to figure out whether to accept the offer or go with the flyout. Or maybe they’ve gotten a verbal offer but are waiting on a formal contract and don’t want to turn down the invite until they’ve signed a contract and everything is official.

East Coaster

@processing: Also, there are administrative steps at work. It is very often the case that the department makes a decision (let's invite out A, B, and C), but then the department has to get administrative approval before passing along those invitations. And, given the time of year, that administrative approval might take a while. So, an insider might well report that the department has made its flyout choices well before any of those choices hear.

Wondering and waiting

Does anyone have any insight about whether departments send interview requests all at once or do they space them out typically?

interviews scheduled all at once, i’d say

@wondering and waiting, anecdotally from five years on the job market, it seems to me that in the overwhelming majority of cases, interviews are scheduled all at once. There seem to be rare, occasional exceptions. But my rule of thumb is to assume that once someone reports getting an interview, the rest of us should take it that we won’t be getting one.

Where are the rejections?

Echoing @jan's question: I have applied to nearly 40 positions, many of which have appeared in the reporting thread. I have received three outright rejections and one rejection from the long list. That's only four schools out forty this late in the job season. Does anyone know why I would have heard so little at this point?

sad but true

@where are the rejections, the rejections often come long after the regular job cycle. Some schools have regulations that restrict HR from sending PFOs until after they make a hire. Some search committees are negligent. Some HR systems are so backed up that they take over a year to send rejections to job candidates. And I’ve applied to dozens of jobs that never even bothered to send a rejection, even years later.

So four responses out of 40 at this point in the job cycle is, unfortunately, quite standard.

RT

This seems like too small a question for the 'how can we help you' thread, but can anyone with experience shed light on the difference between interviews at research focused and teaching focused institutions (or point me to where it's been discussed previously--sorry if it's a repeat)? Are there times when interviews don't start with the standard 'tell us about your research' q? Thanks for any insight!

Where are the rejections?

@sad but true Thanks, that helps. I suppose what still confuses me is that others have reported rejections from some of the positions I haven't heard from yet. Why would they send rejections to some and not others? It makes me paranoid that a swathe of my applications didn't go through or something.

anonymouse

@RT: some teaching-oriented schools will still open with "tell us about yourself" or "tell us about your research," but in my experience the opening questions can vary quite a bit. Openers I have gotten more than once from teaching-oriented schools include "why do you want to work for us, specifically?" and "how would you teach X class listed in the ad/as your specialization?" Even if they *do* open with a research question, "How does your research inform or affect your teaching?" is a question I have gotten more than once as a follow-up.

At SLACs there is an expectation that you have done your homework: know a little bit about the mission (and be prepared to talk about how you align with it), the population they serve (but don't make too many assumptions!), the kind of courses you might teach (especially core courses), and the colleagues you'd be working with (especially any whose research interests are close to your own). "How would you fit into and help grow our departmental specializations?" is a closer I have gotten more than once. The "Do you have any questions for us?" at the end is an opportunity for you to show off specific knowledge you have about the institution and indicate interest in getting involved with campus life: the Honors program, the service learning program, the Institute for Whatever.

I usually give myself an hour or so before the interview to re-read the job ad and my cover letter, click around on the website, browse the course catalog and any departmental social media, and jot down a few notes. You need a good enough picture so that you can make a convincing case for why you would be the perfect fit for them as a teacher and a community member.

sad but true

@Where are the rejections, yes, not receiving rejections from searches from which others have reported rejections is confusing.

On the one hand, it could very well be an HR glitch, e.g., that only applicants with last names beginning with A through L have yet gotten rejections, or applicants that applied before certain dates have been rejected while others haven't. (This has happened to me or my partner at least a few times over the years.) On the other hand, you could be on some kind of longlist or list of alternates for the search that those reporting rejections here were not.

Not knowing can drive one crazy, to be sure, but this is where we find ourselves, I'm afraid. Good luck and I hope you get some good news soon.

Zoom Interview Advice?

Q about Zoom Interviews: Is there a good rule of thumb for how long to respond to a given question when you don’t know how many will be asked? I know my interview is scheduled for a certain time window, but I don’t have the questions in advance. (I couldn’t get much info about the format.)

In person, it’s easy to tell when the interviewer is ready to move on, but on Zoom with a panel (where it’s unclear who is asking the next Q), it’s not clear when an answer is going on for too long or is too short.

Is short and sweet always best? Any thoughts or advice?

I haven't had THAT many interviews so take this with a grain of salt

@Zoom Interview Advice
One strategy is to first give a short answer (e.g., 3-4 minutes on your future research or w/e) and then wait to be prompted to add details and give a more elaborate answer. You could signpost in your initial answer to indicate that you're prepared to say more.

Inverse VAP Trap

Does having a VAP make it easier to get another VAP? That's my uninformed impression. Would like some insight from someone more informed.

RT

@anonymous Thank you, that's super helpful!!

Rewatching Clerks

On the reporting thread, someone said NCSU only got 37 applicants. How is that possible??!

not even supposed to be here today

@Rewatching Clerks: I was surprised by that, too. Not a lot of people specializing in phil law...?

H

Anyone hear back from Rice (history of modern) after first-round interviews?

Questions are a Burden to Others; Answers are a Prison for Oneself

Zoom Interview Advice?,

It depends on the question. "Have you experience of teaching X?" should be answered quickly. "What is your plan for impact outside of academia?" should be answered extensively and with lots of detail.

However, a good strategy is to answer the question as such really quickly, then elaborate. People will remember your first sentence or two most vividly. This also means that, if you go on too long for an interviewer's liking and they interrupt you, it doesn't really matter: you gave them the key information. So "get to the point, provide some details, and then recapitulate at the end" is a good strategy for most questions.

How many candidates?

Wondering if folks have any thoughts on the Seattle U on campus visits. They are running one search but hiring two people. The search is open/open (with preference for folks who can do a handful of things). I am just trying to get a sense of they will be inviting a full six people or only three to the on campus portion. Again, it is only one search and I know each search only has so much of a budget they can spare.

Thanks!

spam refresher

At what point is it OK to inquire about the status of a search after the zoom interview? I had one a little over a month ago and have heard zip since then. (I've inquired in the reporting thread and it appears nobody else who got an interview has heard heard back either.) I don't want to appear rude or desperate? But if another silent week goes by I feel like my head is going to explode!

set it and forget it

@spam refresher - I have come to think that it's not so much about time to inquire as it is about why you inquire. If you have a competing offer or are scheduling flyouts, this is a reason to get in touch.

If you just want to keep your head from exploding, how would an inquiry, with an answer of "we're still working on it" help you? It is highly unlikely they have forgotten about the interviewees.

It's hard, but I think the practice of interviewing and then mentally moving on is a good habit to try to cultivate (I say this with 7+ years on the market). That's my two cents, at least.

not helpful but true

@spam refresher frustrating situation for sure, but if they wanted you, they'd tell you. I'd default to considering this bad news and move on.

looking cloudy

@set it – if you don't mind me asking: is 7+ years on the market a result of not necessarily being satisfied with the position(s) you are getting or bumping around the VAP/limited contract circuit? the latter is somewhat terrifying. i'm at 43 apps this round with zero interviews. i realize 43 is not all that much in the big picture but i can't pigeonhole myself into a lot of the AI and other ethics-specific AOS and am not trained analytically.

@spam refresher. the last two posts seem to hard-to-swallow but good advice. i've sought application feedback on positions I got PFO'd for and haven't got it. it'd be useful, given it is sometimes really hard to know what people are looking for – both in first impressions (construction of cover, etc.) and interviews.

like many people, i've had at least one friend who has sat on hiring committees review and criticize my materials. but i've revised so many times that i don't know how i can make them better at this point. i get that there is a standard format for covers, for example, but it's also doesn't seem to be a one-size fits all.

really frustrating process overall, but the ratio of philosophy phds to jobs is kinda insane so. just venting a bit here, but also constantly trying to reassess what the actual state of things is.

pleasegod

Hey friends. Any insiders have any idea whatsoever of what's going on with SUNY Oswego? The last minute / urgent seeming job posting has been a head scratcher for me.

moneybureacracyphilosophy

@pleasegod

Could be a result of bureaucracy. My department, on more than one occasion, has posted jobs in January for this reason.

Also, on the philjobs ad, they explicitly say: "Unfortunately, our funding was not approved until January 2023."

Bob

Interview invitation for Magdalen College, Oxford JRF

set it and forget it

@looking cloudy- two-body problem.

Well I Would Walk 1000 Miles to Not Have to Fly 4000 Miles

looking cloudy,

I'm afraid that it is terrifying. I am in my 6th year after my PhD, in my nth postdoc, and still having had to apply for a lot of postdocs this year as well as TT jobs. Despite a very good publication record and teaching feedback, I had 1 interview this year, for a postdoc in a remote (from my POV) part of the world. Fortunately, I got the job!

I'm actually among the lucky ones, in that I have always managed to be in jobs that gave me at least some time for research and which enabled me to teach a wide range of different courses. Most people on the job market that I know have not been so lucky. I also know people who have been on the postdoc/VAP treadmill for longer than me and who have much more impressive publication/teaching/funding records.

That said, I am somewhat more geographically picky than many people: I have only applied to TT jobs within 4000 miles of my family, because I decided that this was the maximum distance that I would tolerate for the next few decades. It's somewhat easier if you are willing to take a job anywhere in the world.

looking cloudier

@ 1000 Mile Walker,

Appreciate the reply tho it is difficult to say whether or not it's useful. I've only got two publications, an article and a monograph, together with a handful of translations. Which I guess makes me even a less desirable candidate than most even on the vap circuit. Currently in a position teaching 5/5 so research is not really an option.

I love teaching, truly, but your post tells me I need to suck it up and test the job market outside of academia - whatever that even means. The self-flogging approach of sucking it up and having your effort and value unappreciated seems counterintuitive to the art and profession, allowing it to be undermined to some degree. Not saying I'm out, but certainly leaning away from holding out hope for 'luck'.

The sad thing is students suffer from this situation too.

I'm happy you got a position you found satisfactory! And to all others who do this round. Spread a little love at the end here.

Well I Would Walk 1000 Miles to Not Have to Fly 4000 Miles

looking cloudier,

For what it's worth, of the people I know well enough to determine how they are doing after leaving the job market, EVERY last one is doing a lot better. EVERY last one ended up in an interesting and stable job. EVERY last one suddenly found that their mental health problems either disappeared or became much more manageable.

That's only a bunch of anecdotes, and the plural of "anecdote" is not data, but I think that a lot of people on the academic job market underestimate the opportunities in the non-ac job market. In my limited experience of the latter, I had to turn down unsolicited offers of employment, something that (naturally) has never happened to me in academia.

Sometimes I wonder about my choice to go into academia rather than take up those offers. And, to repeat, I'm one of the luckier people (though certainly not in the upper tier of luck) in this generation of philosophers. It does suck and it does feel like being underappreciated.

However, the latter feeling is illusory: the problem for getting jobs is not bad candidates, but too many good candidates. The only exceptions to this rule are in countries that struggle to attract good candidates, due to the standard of living, political oppression, civil wars etc.

Spreading love, to others and even more importantly ourselves, is really important.

Yat?!

Does anyone know about Tulane's Murphy fellowship process in past years? What was the schedule? Did they do interviews?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

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

Working...
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.

Working...

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

Categories