In my upper-level courses, it became clear that any idea or theory is up for debate and critique. Equally, don’t feel that you have to want to be a scholar to be accepted for a PhD. Academic questions are those questions specifically related to the kinds of scholarship that you have done already and that you will be doing, if accepted. Note: if you haven’t done this by the time you get the invitation to interview, then you need to do so prior to the interview, if at all possible!)? 7. Interview Questions for the Volunteer Here are a few good questions to considering asking at your PhD interview. If other departments or laboratories are undertaking related work, mention that. They’re offering an icebreaker to help ease you into the rest of the interview. Tell them how you are working past (or how you have worked past) such limitations. Do you wish you’d been more active and engaged during your first and second year of undergrad? If you’re in Science, Medicine or Engineering you’ll hope to provide economic benefits to industry or to healthcare. Moreover, you need to be able to explain it with a non-specialist. Their financing can depend on the quality of the student they attract, so your panel will be very keen to make sure you’re going to be ‘Dr Right’. What faculty member(s) would you like work with, and why do you want to work with them? This is the university’s chance to further assess your suitability for an advertised PhD position, or the likely fit between your planned project and the expertise it has available. This will help you determine what qualities they seek to foster, what kinds of research they tend to support, and the direction they’re looking to go. Here’s a great video on “Tell Me About Yourself”, if you’d rather watch. Having an idea of what to expect will allow you to put your best self forward on interview day. To be honest, over the past month, I’ve been handling a heavy load at school, so my recreational reading time has been spent more on fiction than non-fiction. 6. I know that this won’t be an easy road – academically or personally. What systems have you put in place to manage your data? Obviously your response should be relevant to the occasion. Ensure you can break down key concepts, unpack complex jargon, and explain the things you’ve done as if you were speaking to someone with no specific knowledge in the area. List as many uses for a baseball bat as you can think of. This is the dreaded, classic, open-ended interview question and likely to be among the first. You’ll also want to re-iterate what makes your project distinctive. Regardless of your subject area, you need to be the kind of person who can dedicate themselves to a three-year project. Get ready with sample answers. In some cases, however, interviewers will pepper the meeting with unexpected questions to see how students respond under pressure. How do you deal with the stress of academia? There isn’t necessarily a hard-and-fast rule for students that are answering difficult questions in a PhD interview, but the best thing for you to do is to remain confident, relaxed and attentive. How do you stay on top of your school and other work, and how will you continue to do so as a graduate student? Typical Academic Interview Questions These questions have been collected from feedback about real-life academic job interviews. Also try to avoid asking for information that’s readily available elsewhere. While you should feel comfortable enough to speak in a collegial way with your interviewer(s), you still need to be attentive to the fact that you are being evaluated at all times. If you’re applying to a graduate program, particularly (though not exclusively) to a doctoral program, you may face an interview, and you need to be prepared for the kinds of questions you may be asked. (MUN) Is it difficult to represent countries or resolutions you don’t personally agree with? Your accomplishments are valid and worthy and you should absolutely be proud of them. Resilient people are often more likely to take risks, are determined and can motivate those around them. You’re in competition with the same people you grow close to over the course of your degree (your cohort – the other students accepted the same year as you). But, you may be asked about training needs more specifically. Your application materials and statement of purpose have piqued the review committee’s attention, and now, they want to see if you’re as awesome as you seem on paper – that is, if you’re both someone with promising ideas and someone they’ll be interested in bringing into their departmental community. For the more common questions, we’ll provide you some tips or pointers to help you think carefully about your own responses. You’ll also need to make it clear that this is the right university, department, research group or laboratory for you. If you already have some possible research trajectories in mind, by all means, speak about this; but, don’t panic if you’re not yet 100% certain where you’ll go with your research. Compare it to similar opportunities (if appropriate) and explain your particular choice. If you’re in the Social Sciences you may already have some idea of the ‘outputs’ from your project. Q. Here are some of the toughest interview questions that employers ask, along with advice on how to respond and sample answers. That’s awesome! ", Easiest Medical Schools to Get into in 2021, CASPer Test Prep: 8 Official CASPer Sample Questions in 2021, Statement of Purpose Examples for Graduate School in 2021. ... Now they want to assure themselves that you’ve got the motivation and drive to see you through three or more years of hard work on a PhD project. That said, this school would be one of my top choices, particularly because of the work Dr. Singh is doing is doing in his [Research Lab]. Meet with and set up a mock interview with an MD/PhD student who is a resident or non-resident tutor at your House. Be honest about the things you find challenging, but identify them as training needs and say how you expect to improve upon them as part of your PhD. I’ve obtained the solution from various sources. In general, you want to think of this as your “opening statement”, the introduction to the story of you as an aspiring grad student. If an undergraduate module on gothic literature inspired you to propose a PhD on an under-researched aspect of eighteenth-century culture, say so. If you enjoy fiction, non-fiction works outside your field, graphic novels, etc., that’s great, of course! It is very important that you reflect on such questions in advance, and do some probing to gain insights into who you are, how you’ve grown, and how you overcame such drawbacks. I am up-to-date on his work and have been following it for some time now; working with him as I complete my degree would be ideal, due to my interest in this particular area. Do you have a potential supervisor in mind (and, if so, have you reached out to them yet, to ensure they’re taking on students and interested in your intended course of study? A. Typical Academic Interview Questions These questions have been collected from feedback about real-life academic job interviews. What Qualities Make You a Good Candidate for This Project? So, if that thing you’d change has to do with the institution, avoid naming names and discuss why the issue was concerning or disruptive enough to leave you wishing it were different, and explain how you succeeded despite this. They know what their “ranking” is; they don’t need applicants to tell them that. Meet with and set up a mock interview with an MD/PhD student who is a resident or non-resident tutor at your House. Or those who like blue things and ice cream. They can point you to the most influential journals in your area, and you can look through the past few issues to see what issues are being addressed by scholars right now. 14 Oxford University PhD Student interview questions and 13 interview reviews. All rights reserved. Now they want to assure themselves that you’ve got the motivation and drive to see you through three or more years of hard work on a PhD project. We corresponded by email, and they sent me some of their syllabi and reading lists, which added supplemental material to the courses I was already taking. General questions are the kinds of questions you will almost certainly face, usually asking for basics about you, your intentions, and your interests. Yes, that tired job-interview question will appear here as well. Indeed, it may be one of the most obvious. You should absolutely talk about this in the interview, of course! America's Admissions Experts Medicine Parents Other Programs Residency Dentistry Pharmacy Law Graduate Nursing Physician Assistant. You also need to have a think about any questions that you wish to ask the interview panel. *. Why are you leaving your current job? Remember too that some of these projects aren’t automatically funded. If you’re asked a question about this, take the opportunity to sell yourself a little. Putting some thought into your project and your choice of institution can make answering PhD interview questions quite simple. In such cases, there is no excuse not to have answers prepared. However, enthusiasm will only get you so far. Usually the interviewer will invite you to be bold in recommending yourself for the program by outlining your positive qualities and aptitudes in a persuasive manner. What do you love about the field? 3. FindAPhD. difficult interview questions. As such, the push toward a mental wellness model in academia is underway, but it’s slow-going. This suggests you haven’t done your research – which is never a good sign when applying to do research. Your panel will be happy to talk about library resources and lab facilities. If you’re proposing your own project, this is your chance to show some passion and enthusiasm for it. I want to understand how the candidate works through a real-world case. Free interview details posted anonymously by University of Montreal interview candidates. There are two primary directions this answer could take, assuming there is something you would change (and almost everyone would change something): something you found unsatisfactory in terms of the academic institution, or something you found unsatisfactory in terms of your own performance as a student. Check out this blog, which asks, "Does a Master's or PhD help your med school chances?". Don’t be afraid to identify problems you aren’t yet certain how to solve (the best way to organise some data, the authors to include in your initial survey of texts, etc) but suggest how you might go about investigating them. The 20 Hardest Questions to Be Asked in an Interview Post author By Sophie Deering We’ve all been there, you spend hours preparing for an interview and set off to your appointment satisfied that there couldn’t possibly be a question that you haven’t mentally prepared a genius answer for. On the other side of things, don’t come in with some grand plan that you think will shake the discipline to the core with its revolutionary ideas. We start by looking at the most basic interview questions and answers and then work our way through to some more tough interview questions and answers. Show that you know about them and are interested in using them (as relevant). Your interview panel isn’t trying to catch you out here. These are the kinds of questions you likely already have in mind, and to which you have hopefully given some thought already. Asking about uncomfortable things from our life history – failures, limitations, weaknesses – is very common in any interview. It’s not the responsibility of your university to ask for a complete breakdown of your finances (or for you to provide one). In other words, you should ask questions during your academic job interview. Remember those “unknown-unknowns”? They are all an immense source of support, and I always have a loving ear when I need to vent. As you stand up post interview and engage in … If asked to give examples of personal limitations, again, be honest. That is the foundation on which I hope to begin building my own project, particularly with regard to indigenous-settler histories. Sometimes, seemingly innocuous questions – questions that seem simple, and that you could answer “off the cuff” – have a deeper meaning behind them. Atwood is also renowned for the research that goes into her novels, so seeing her explore the possibilities – both beneficial and terrifying – of the technological advances of the present really helps me think through some societal and personal anxieties about where the world is heading. I actually take my books and laptop there frequently, sitting at a picnic table in the shade of a massive tree, looking out across the lake – it’s one of the best places to get work done. It’s a given that your PhD will have an effect on future work in your field. Equally though, answers like ‘my only downfall is excessive perfectionism’ can sound a bit contrived. Your PhD interview will probably end with an invitation for you to ask your own questions of the panel. Focus on the things that would concern you as a student actually doing the PhD in question, but avoid trivial topics. The same advice goes if the thing you’d like to change about your academic experience so far is something you yourself did or didn’t do. Confess. As noted before, passion and genuine interest are a must, if you’re going to get through grad school. Ph.D. Interview freaks out a lot of candidates. You don’t have to lose yourself and your enjoyment to pursue graduate studies. While you absolutely must go through these questions and consider how you might answer them, note that we do not advise constructing some kind of script or completely pre-drafted answers. Students who ‘sleepwalk’ into a research project are much more likely to come unstuck or lose motivation when the going gets tough later on. Preparing for an interview is a good chance to reexamine yourself. Graduate school is a whole different beast – graduate school is as different from undergraduate as undergrad was from high school. This PhD interview advice can help you prepare well for PhD interview questions to ask during your presentation. Free interview details posted anonymously by University of Amsterdam interview candidates. Interview questions on resilience and how to answer them. However, you’re about to enter an arena where everyone is at least as accomplished as you are. Usually the interviewer will invite you to be bold in recommending yourself for the program by outlining your positive qualities and aptitudes in a persuasive manner. Most Difficult—Be Bold In fact it is not the questions but rather finding opportunities to represent yourself fully that is the greatest challenge. No one’s going to debate the succulence of my peach pie. 4. (Particularly if you’re applying for a professional doctorate). Following are some of the toughest questions you will face in the course of your job interviews. Finally, show an awareness of any relevant research facilities, resources or collections. I want to understand this more deeply and explore the ways in which contemporary social media similarly collapses boundaries between past and present. Tell me about yourself. A well-worn question, but a great opportunity to reflect on your abilities - and opportunities for further development during your PhD. I think a good thing to do is to take a sheet of paper for every interviewer and write a few short bullet points about them - what they're doing, where they got their PhD, specific questions you want to ask them. However, at the stage of applying to graduate school, you will likely not have a clear research agenda yet, and that’s okay! The MD/PhD Interview There are a number of ways in which the MD/PhD interview process is different. Why? This can be the easiest yet the most difficult question in the interview. It’s so common, in fact, that we’ve already addressed it in multiple blogs and videos! You need to demonstrate that your research interests are viable, that you have the discipline necessary to follow through with the degree, and that a doctorate is needed for the kind of work you want to do. This is also an opportunity to reiterate your awareness of the wider research context for your project. If you can throw out some key names and some current ideas or theories in your area, you’ll impress the interviewer(s). Why should we accept you?/How will you contribute to our program? If you are asked this question – and are prepared for it – this is a great chance to get a leg up on the competition. And graduation is at least three years away in any case; should you really have thought that far ahead? There are 4 panelists from the department, two directors who are in charge of general recruitment and they lead the interview and asked some very general questions, such as why did you choose this course, what are your career goals, how your experience in the past qualify you for the … Instead, think about your own experiences and all the ways in which you can highlight certain qualities via those experiences. PhD candidates are more than just students. She also just weaves deeply rich and incredibly elaborate worlds that I love spending time in and pondering, even if they are rather unsettling, at times. Just as there’s more to doing a PhD than research and writing, there’s more to a prospective student than their academic record. We’ve also explained why the university might be asking each question, with some tips on what to cover in your answer. How to Prepare for PhD Interviews; Top 10 PhD Interview Questions; 1. Scroll through to review all of our questions, or use the links below to navigate to specific sections, if you prefer: This is almost certainly the most common interview question, regardless of where or to what you are applying. Or you might be invited to speak more specifically about the challenges involved in your project. If there’s something that’s attracted you to this city as well as the university, say so. They know you’re not a grad student – yet. Some of them also overlap with each other. Your research will run up against a dead-end. However, your response needs to go further than that, especially if you’re applying to a PhD program. If you didn’t have a strong relationship with your supervisor, if you found institutional support lacking, or something like that, this would be an institutional issue. What changes did you implement, and what did you learn from that experience? While I immensely value the education I received, the courses I took, and the professors who supported me, the diversity of perspectives was not as expansive as I wish it could have been. If proposing your own project you’ll be asked about the fit between your research aims and the expertise of the department you’d be entering. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? The purpose is generally two-fold: to see how you handle being asked about such things in a high-pressure situation (because we all just LOVE talking about our failures, right?! Click here to search our database of PhDs. In a working environment, these are great skills to have. Graduate school is – ideally – more about working collaboratively and collegially with your peers and professors than it is working for your profs in undergrad. Think about the ways in which you could take part in public engagement (teaching people about local history or archival resources they might not be aware of) and ways you could partner with local schools, or even media companies producing documentary work. Say what attracted you to this university in particular and what you hope to achieve as one of its students. We use cookies to give you the best online experience. 5. Be sure to use that to your advantage. Or you might just meet your supervisor in the campus coffee shop and chat about your research interests. While you’re likely to interview with someone in the department to which you are replying, they may still be from a very different area of specialization than the one you’ve pursued so far. This shows that you have done your research and that you are serious about the position. Asking about your future plans is a great way to check this. Is there a cause that you feel particularly strong about? 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