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What to bring to grad school interview?

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Posted

So I've looked everywhere but can't seem to find a thread on items that should be brought to a graduate school interview. I thought resume and maybe transcript, but this isn't a job interview so I'm not sure if they are necessary. Any other suggestions?

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Posted

Some resume/CV copies maybe, if you meet with a prof you haven't contacted previously. However, your file should be electronic, and most profs will look at it before they meet with you.

All you really need is confidence and good conversation skills!

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Posted

Agreed!

I interviewed during a weekend conference, and I didn't bring anything with me. All the professors (who were the interviewers) had some kind of background information on us -- where we did undergrad, what we studied, etc. One of them even mentioned something I had written in my statement of purpose (which was surprising, and completely caught me off guard.)

Just speak confidently, and don't be easily shaken. If they get in your face, remember they're just testing how interested you are in the discipline and how well you can stay focused.

Two quick pieces of advice: if you know ahead of time who will be doing the interview (this particular school gave us 24 hour notice), it'd be good of you to look up some basic information on them. It's definitely not necessary, but in case you fall in a rut or have awkward silence, you can always ask questions about some of their research or previous positions they've held. Secondly, and this kind of goes hand-in-hand, but make sure you DO ask questions. They want to know that you're interested. And that you'd be a good fit for the school.

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes it's helpful to bring a laptop, if you have some kind of writing test or want to show a digital project or web page.

For my interview, I brought two copies of my résumé and some writing samples. It's a good time to bring in anything you wanted but didn't get to include in your application.

Edited by Jae B.

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Posted

The only thing I brought with me was a notebook in which I'd listed questions I wanted to ask (so I would remember to ask them all, and some extras to fill up any awkward silences with professors totally outside my subject area). This was also useful for noting down bits of information: papers or professors people mentioned, specific numbers, quick synopses of each conversation after it happened. If you do several interviews, everything starts to mush together in your brain so it's good to have something written down afterward to jog your memory.

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Posted

The only thing I brought with me was a notebook in which I'd listed questions I wanted to ask (so I would remember to ask them all, and some extras to fill up any awkward silences with professors totally outside my subject area). This was also useful for noting down bits of information: papers or professors people mentioned, specific numbers, quick synopses of each conversation after it happened. If you do several interviews, everything starts to mush together in your brain so it's good to have something written down afterward to jog your memory.

The notebook idea is a good one!

I'm curious, what do you mean by professors totally outside your subject area?

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