Ralph Hawkins, a Buffalo Bills assistant, was interviewed for the Maryland head coaching job on Thursday by Athletic Director Dick Dull. He is believed to be one of only three candidates being given serious consideration for the job.

Besides Hawkins, a Washingtonian who attended St. John's High School and played on Maryland's 1955 Orange Bowl team, sources say Dull is considering two other Maryland graduates, Joe Madden, a Detroit Lions assistant, and Dick Nolan, a Houston Oilers assistant.

Nolan, a member of Maryland's 1953 national championship team and a former head coach at New Orleans and San Francisco, still is the leading candidate, according to sources close to the athletic department. All three have indicated they would accept the job if it were offered.

Dull, whose choice must be approved by University Chancellor Robert L. Gluckstern, said yesterday he wants to hire the new coach by Wednesday or Thursday.

"I will have narrowed it to five people after I interview one more person this weekend," Dull said. "In my own mind, of those five, three are slightly above the other two, but I have not excluded the other two."

Hawkins said, "I am definitely interested in the job, but that's all I want to say about it right now."