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Prospective PI flew out multiple recruits?


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Hi all,

I am trying to analyze my fit with a prospective PI. I really like him and I am totally compelled by the research he is doing, but I have heard he can be a little intense and I want to watch out for red flags. I flew out to interview last weekend and when I got to the first recruitment event I found out he had invited three people to interview for a position in his lab. When discussing it with his current students later on, it appears he only has one position to fill. Does this strike anybody as odd? He had each of us give a short presentation at his lab meeting and, upon reviewing my email threads with him, he sort of deliberately avoided mentioning that I would be presenting along with two other recruits. I even asked him who the audience for the presentation would be and he didn't mention it. Is this normal? Am I presumptuous for believing there wouldn't be other recruits there?

Thanks!

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38 minutes ago, dragon-slayer said:

Hi all,

I am trying to analyze my fit with a prospective PI. I really like him and I am totally compelled by the research he is doing, but I have heard he can be a little intense and I want to watch out for red flags. I flew out to interview last weekend and when I got to the first recruitment event I found out he had invited three people to interview for a position in his lab. When discussing it with his current students later on, it appears he only has one position to fill. Does this strike anybody as odd? He had each of us give a short presentation at his lab meeting and, upon reviewing my email threads with him, he sort of deliberately avoided mentioning that I would be presenting along with two other recruits. I even asked him who the audience for the presentation would be and he didn't mention it. Is this normal? Am I presumptuous for believing there wouldn't be other recruits there?

Thanks!

A given candidate is not necessarily going to accept a position even if offered so it makes sense to invite more people than you actually need (especially if you really want to fill the position). Almost all programs will interview more students than they will actually accept because they know some won't be looking for when they interview them, some won't accept an offer, etc.

This doesn't mean I agree with being evasive about the circumstances.

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While in my field it is not typical to give any sort of presentation at interviews, and I think it would have been nice for the POI to be a bit more explicit that you would be presenting in front of other applications, it is very typical to bring out 3 candidates for a single spot. I have seen as many as EIGHT for one spot.

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