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Interview Formalities etc

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Posted

Are there any formalities unspoken or otherwise you should do before/during/after an intervew? I've heard people saying you need to send thank yous to everyone involved in interview day(s) set up and stuff. Is there anything else I should do? Read papers? Ask questions about these papers during interview day? Help is appreciated.

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Posted

There's a lot of debate around whether you should send thank-you notes - I'm definitely in the pro camp; it shows you care about the program and appreciate the time of those interviewing you/helping you with the process.

In terms of reading papers, it doesn't seem so much a formality as a good investment of your time. You want to be as prepared as possible for your interviews, right? And if you have read papers, then it seems wise to indicate that you have taken an active interest in the PI's research. You don't HAVE to, but doing so will only reflect well on you :)

Past that, I'd say regular formalities apply - your pleases and thank-yous, being polite to EVERYONE, not getting too drunk in front of profs, etc. :P

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Posted

For my most recent visit, I sent a quick thank you note to the POI I interviewed with, and the grad secretary (who was also really helpful during the application process). The e-mails were only a couple sentences, "thank you for having me...the weekend was really fun/informative/helpful/enjoyable/etc...I look forward to keeping in touch". I was aiming for appreciative, but not brown-nosing.

I read a handful of my POI's most recent papers before the visit, just to get an idea of the direction he was headed. But I also skimmed papers of potential faculty during the application process. Don't ask questions about them just to impress the prof, but if there's something you're genuinely curious about then go ahead!

Like coonskee said, everything else should be common sense. Please/thank you, chew with your mouth closed, and if there's alcohol present at an event you're attending with the "adults" keep it to one or two drinks. If the grads take you out you can have a little more fun, but don't get sloppy :)

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Posted

I also read articles by some of the faculty before the interview. If they ask you why you want to go to X University, it helps to mention the excellent faculty, but not to the point of "sucking up" lol. I forgot to send thank you notes though :o

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Posted

I've been sending thank you emails to my POIs after interview days. It's definitely worth doing-- you might get a really nice response!

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Posted

I sent thank you cards to all the professors who interviewed me and hand wrote them (just my personal preference), and I did also email my primary POI. I also read up on each of the professors in the department; I was advised that we'd be interviewing with ALL the cultural faculty so I wanted to know what kind of theoretical preferences they had etc so, if the questions: "In what ways can our dept be an asset to your research?" or "How do you think you will fit into the program?" came up, I could have a good answer.

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Posted

Question - what would you do if you got asked to dinner with the PI at a bar and are under 21? Is there a polite way to say "Hey, I can't get into that place" without making a big deal of your age?

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Posted

Question - what would you do if you got asked to dinner with the PI at a bar and are under 21? Is there a polite way to say "Hey, I can't get into that place" without making a big deal of your age?

Wow, under 21 and going to grad school? That's awesome :) ...I'd say it's OK to let them know you're underage... that's a whole better than getting turned away at the door.. But it seems a little odd that you'd be meeting at a bar? Or is this a restaurant with a bar? Are there other students there - if this is a group dinner, then you should be fine.

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Posted

Question - what would you do if you got asked to dinner with the PI at a bar and are under 21? Is there a polite way to say "Hey, I can't get into that place" without making a big deal of your age?

I'd just be honest--it'd be more embarrassing to show up and be refused access. I'm in the same boat, age-wise, and from my experiences thus far I can tell you that people don't really care.

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