I applied for a job last January. I had a preliminary interview, which went OK. I was asked to do a series of skills tests. I think that impressed them and they took me seriously. I had another interview meeting everyone at top-level. The whole process took 2 months. After the final interview, after not hearing back for 2 weeks, I reached out, and got the following reply a couple of days later: "Michael, We should have a conversation tomorrow. The comments from your visit were damned interesting. One of the guys you met said "Smartest guy of the three". I would concur, in that you have the best background of anyone we talked to. That said, I am going to hire someone else for the immediate position. I promised you honest feedback, and you'll get that. Everyone agreed that you came across as very bright and very skilled, but as nervous. You will overcome nerves, given the chance, but you also need some time to do that. If you are able, we should speak tomorrow. My hope, and I can't promise that plans will stay on track, but my hope assuming that you are still amenable would be to bring you into the firm in mid- to late-Q3 of this year. And then give you something between six months and a year to learn the ropes, come out on meetings with me, present some things to our desk and to clients, and get very comfortable in the role before we throw you into the arena. Hope that helps. I am sorry that I couldn't be writing with better news, but I found two very strong candidates in this search, and I want to hire both of you as soon as possible. Regards" Next day, he did indeed telephone me, and spoke to me for 20 minutes. He basically re-iterated the above comments. He also said he would be reaching out to me periodically over the summer, and said I could do the same if I wished. My question is this: 1. What do you make of this? Do I believe this guy? He came across as sincere...if he wasn't he had me fooled. Did they hire someone else, to try this person out for 3 probationary months, and are keeping me in the wings if it doesn't work out with that person? 2. I have been admitted to a Masters program, to start August 20. I applied to the Masters as a backup in case I didn't get a job in the meantime. I will forego the Masters if I get this job, but I am not sure how the timing will work, since the Masters also starts middle to late Q3. The Masters will involve substantial payments which are non-refundable, if I choose to quit after a few weeks. Do I tell this job that I am unavailable after August 20, because I will have committed to the Masters by then? Any advice gratefully appreciated!