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Author Topic: Internal Candidates  (Read 51098 times)
weathered
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« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2012, 3:18:26 PM »

Oh, well. I hope I don't get called into internal hire situations again. I avoided one before, but this time, I didn't see it coming. I knew the guy was adjuncting there for more than a decade with no publication and his advisor was looking after him. But I thought he was clearly out of the game. Even graduate students complained of having to take classes with him. But there it goes.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 3:20:09 PM by weathered » Logged
galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2012, 10:45:11 PM »

Oh, well. I hope I don't get called into internal hire situations again.

There's nothing you can do about it.  People will choose what jobs to apply for and the SCs will choose who they want to interview.  You do your best to convince the SC that you're the person for the job.
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bud04
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« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2012, 11:03:08 PM »

I found out that the position that I last interviewed went to an internal candidate. I don't quite understand the logic behind this hire. The guy is just too weak to be considered as a current candidate in this market. He's been on the market for more than a decade with no publication, but worked in the department for a long time and his advisor also happens to be department chair. During my interview, the chair said, I would need at least two books from top university presses to get tenured there. Hmm...I don't know what the department gains by hiring someone who didn't publish anything during the last ten-fifteen years post-phd. Strange logic.

Yes, you do understand the logic. I have bolded it above.

+1

I've seen the same thing happen this year. It still pisses me off. All the other candidates were more qualified.
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We ain't all that perceptive. If it's a problem, we go out to the woods and shoot it.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #63 on: April 26, 2012, 12:06:24 AM »

I found out that the position that I last interviewed went to an internal candidate. I don't quite understand the logic behind this hire. The guy is just too weak to be considered as a current candidate in this market. He's been on the market for more than a decade with no publication, but worked in the department for a long time and his advisor also happens to be department chair. During my interview, the chair said, I would need at least two books from top university presses to get tenured there. Hmm...I don't know what the department gains by hiring someone who didn't publish anything during the last ten-fifteen years post-phd. Strange logic.

Yes, you do understand the logic. I have bolded it above.

+1

I've seen the same thing happen this year. It still pisses me off. All the other candidates were more qualified.

Yes, there are departments that are dysfunctional enough to hire internal candidates who are not tenurable, or who are so less-qualified as to render the hire nonsensical. But there are also departments who will hire from outside rather than hire a well-qualified internal candidate, just because they love the novel more than the familiar. You simply cannot know in advance; you have to go in, do your best, and see what happens.

I have now been hired over the internal candidate twice, and lost to a candidate who was a familiar colleague from a related institution once. In the first case where I was hired, I was clearly better-qualified: I had more relevant teaching experience and better pubs. This was enough, in the eyes of the SC, to override the inside candidate's experience in the department. In the second case, it was more interesting: the inside candidate was better-published and had a far better academic pedigree, but no real qualifications in one specific aspect of the position that the SC and admin deemed vital. So yeah, I got lucky.

You never know, and cannot hope to guess. Sometimes coming from outside will be an insurmountable disadvantage, and other times it will work to your advantage--and sometimes some other factor will come into play. Just do your best, and try to let go.
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paulsa
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« Reply #64 on: April 27, 2012, 11:35:24 AM »

I always find it interesting when people say they've gotten the job over internal candidates more than once. I've seen that many times in these forums.

It suggests impressive professional qualifications that are hard to say no to... it's also, I suspect, what some departments are afraid of (impressive candidates who won't stay stay put) and why they may gravitate toward  internal candidates who have demonstrated an interest in staying at the institution.   
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niceday
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« Reply #65 on: April 27, 2012, 12:35:09 PM »

Internals sometimes have an advantage; sometimes they are discriminated against in favor of the shiny unknown object. Which one is the job ad you are considering? Applying is the only way to find out.
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schoolmarm
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« Reply #66 on: April 27, 2012, 12:47:10 PM »

In my last two jobs, I beat out an internal candidate mostly due to my clinical work and international work, as my publications are not that strong yet. 

I have also gone up against internal candidates and lost.  One year it seemed as if I was the sole external candidate brought in to make the search legit.

Once I called a friend who was on the faculty of a great school with a vacancy in my specialty to see if the apparently internal candidate (chair's wife) would be applying.  He said yes, and I decided to pass on a really plum job.  Chair and his wife took jobs at a different institution and the person hired for the vacancy was not as qualified as I.  I learned my lesson from that and since AFTDJ.
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westcoastgirl
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« Reply #67 on: April 29, 2012, 10:44:36 AM »

There was an internal candidate where my husband interviewed this year. The entire search failed. So not only didn't the internal get it, I'm guessing that he won't bother trying for it again next year when the position goes up (or goes up in flames).
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rhynie
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« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2012, 10:55:32 AM »

I lost out to internal candidates two years in a row at two different places. Both places, each one had fewer pubs, one still does not have his PhD a year later, no grants either. I was clearly better qualified but when there is an internal candidate the playing field is NEVER level. Either everyone is biased for OR against the internal person. Its the luck of the draw. I happened to be on the wrong side each time. I am almost tempted to ask to be withdrawn the next time if there is an internal candidate but that can't be done either because they won't divulge that information. It is definitely a waste of time and money and causes emotional distress if you happen to be amongst the final three in what is otherwise a pre determined "fake" search, which in my experience it often is.
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canuckois
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« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2012, 6:40:43 PM »

I lost out to internal candidates two years in a row at two different places. Both places, each one had fewer pubs, one still does not have his PhD a year later, no grants either. I was clearly better qualified but when there is an internal candidate the playing field is NEVER level. Either everyone is biased for OR against the internal person. Its the luck of the draw. I happened to be on the wrong side each time. I am almost tempted to ask to be withdrawn the next time if there is an internal candidate but that can't be done either because they won't divulge that information. It is definitely a waste of time and money and causes emotional distress if you happen to be amongst the final three in what is otherwise a pre determined "fake" search, which in my experience it often is.

For every anecdote like this, there is another that contradicts it.  Like in the post directly above your own.  There is no "usual" or "normal" when it comes to these hires because every institution (and every position) is different.
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leobloom
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« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2012, 6:54:11 PM »

How does one learn that there's an internal candidate in the running anyway?
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2012, 7:42:13 PM »

How does one learn that there's an internal candidate in the running anyway?

Haruspexy.
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leobloom
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« Reply #72 on: May 02, 2012, 8:00:10 PM »

Quite a few (haru)specious theories presented here lately, indeed.
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rhynie
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« Reply #73 on: May 04, 2012, 8:34:33 AM »

A matter of chance for me; I learned that there were internal candidates because people told me. I happened to meet someone at a party who was faculty at University #1 (1.5 hour drive from where I live) and as for University #2, a whole bunch of my friends knew the IC and they told me. Once your field gets really narrow and you have been in it for a while, you kinda know people and find out these things inadvertently. Also, it is very useful to look at the departmental website and see if there are lecturers, adjuncts, or VAPs who fit the job description. That can give you an idea if there might be an IC.
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janewales
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« Reply #74 on: May 04, 2012, 11:12:45 AM »

A matter of chance for me; I learned that there were internal candidates because people told me. I happened to meet someone at a party who was faculty at University #1 (1.5 hour drive from where I live) and as for University #2, a whole bunch of my friends knew the IC and they told me. Once your field gets really narrow and you have been in it for a while, you kinda know people and find out these things inadvertently. Also, it is very useful to look at the departmental website and see if there are lecturers, adjuncts, or VAPs who fit the job description. That can give you an idea if there might be an IC.

But the things you find out from friends and friends of friends often aren't reliable. I once chanced to overhear someone describing a recent search in which I happened to have been involved; the process described was nothing at all like what actually happened.

It's important to remember that confidentiality with respect to hiring processes will often leave people to speculate, and that uninformed speculation isn't always correct. The people who know what really happened often can't say anything, precisely because of confidentiality rules.
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