I applied for a tenure-track faculty job at a well-located university in early February, submitting my application on the deadline. The university is top-75 overall, and has one well-known researcher whom I read for my quals, but not much directly relevant to me. Now they're expanding.
The department is one to which I have very little connection: the project I'm working on this year ties into the department, but it's not an area where I've any past experience. My past research does fit into the job description, so I did some research and wrote a fairly decent research statement proposing a plausible research agenda that I'd never contemplated before seeing their job posting. Naturally, I figured my fabrications had gone the way of all b.s. and long ago become compost.
Yesterday, May 7, I got a voice mail asking me if I was free for a phone interview on a date over 3 months after their application deadline. What were they doing for the past 3 months?