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Lea0919

Denied interview after interview offer?...

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Hello!

So I have a weird situation.  I was offered an interview at a School Psych PhD program on the same weekend as another program.  I had already RSVP'd to the other program, so I had responded inquiring if they had an alternative interview option (skype, phone, in person on a different day, etc.). After several weeks of following up to get my email answered, I received an email today updating me that they do not have another interview day, and that they "wish me the best" in my future endeavors.

I have so many feelings about this.  I went back and read through the language in their offer letter and it does not indicate that the interview is required for consideration.  It states that they "appreciate in-person meetings" (which is why I had offered to come a different date).  Their website does not indicate that either.  I'm shocked, confused, and feel like I am being punished for something I'm not sure how I could have prevented.  

Anyway, this post is part rant and part- what do I do?  Has anyone else had this happen before?

I have never had a problem getting a different interview option.  This cycle alone I have rescheduled two- with one resulting in an admission offer!  It's so bizarre. After all, we are all in the same boat- everyone is applying and has to juggle/balance between a handful of weekends.

I am unsure if I should say anything.  Of course, I am disappointed for my own selfish reasons, but more than that this could be an easily preventable situation for future applicants if they were more explicit in their letter about their interview attendance expectations.  I would hate to have someone else feel this disappointment in the future.  While I want to reach out, I also don't want to be looked at like I am being "dramatic" or "difficult" just because I had the interview option retracted. I also know that programs/professors do and can talk to one another, and I would really hate if that was the tone they perceived and then shared.  Maybe I am over thinking things, but its a risk nonetheless.  And I am sure we all know that getting accepted is a daunting and terrifyingly delicate road...

Anyway, any thoughts are appreciated.  

 

 

Edited by Lea0919

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I'm not really sure what updating the language in the letter would gain. 

They have one interview day, and you can't make it. If you're willing to cancel your other interview and interview with this program instead, I'm sure you could email and tell them that. Otherwise, does it really matter?

This is a sad reality of both job searches and grad schools- sometimes you have to choose, and it's frequently impossible to go everywhere you want. So prioritize your acceptances of interviews based on your personal ranking of the school, and be prepared to either back out of one or more.

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I think that unless something states otherwise, it is reasonable to expect candidates to know that if you do not attend the interview, it means you are no longer interested in the program. I am sorry that you and the school seemed to have a misunderstanding, but like any other job search etc. not interviewing rarely leads to receiving an offer!

I think it is too bad that after you asked for an alternate date, you didn't hear anything back for weeks and the only response after several weeks was that you were rejected from the program. This is poor communication on the school's part and if they should improve anything, it is that they should have told you sooner that no other date was possible so that you could decide whether or not to cancel other commitments. 

In the future, or for other candidates, my advice would have been to follow up in other ways (phone calls) if you don't hear back about your alternate date request sooner. Also, one cannot assume that any request for alternate dates would have been entertained. It is possible that when you request an alternate date, you might get a response right away wishing you "best of luck in other endeavours" as they might rightly assume that because you are committing to the other school instead of their program, you are not as interested and therefore they are no longer interested in you. I personally think this is a poor practice for a school to have so you might even consider yourself dodging a bullet here. I think schools should have a little more two-way communication on scheduling dates. That said, I think it is reasonable for a school to de-prioritize applicants who chose to attend another school's interview date over theirs because it is an expression of interest. 

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