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Interview Advice

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On 1/31/2019 at 9:25 AM, FreudEgg said:

Oh interesting. I haven't, however I did read a tip about asking your POI to send their most recent articles/ submitted articles for review pre-interview. I'm kind of tempted by that, but also am unsure if it's appropriate (I'm also not currently a student so I don't have access to some of the larger academic search engines). IMO that would give a lot of insight into their lab.

Curious what other people think! My first thought is that I wouldn't ask for "tips" if I were going to ask... but maybe specific questions to help guide your prep? I also think it depends on if you've had previous contact with your POI. 

This is basically the question that I have in the other thread 

 

But I figured it would be more work to ask for copies of each recent article/preprint vs just asking for their CV and digging up each PDF on my own. You make any headway on answering that question? I have an interview in less than 2 weeks and I want to do more homework before it

Edited by 21n14l

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36 minutes ago, 21n14l said:

 

This is basically the question that I have in the other thread 

 

But I figured it would be more work to ask for copies of each recent article/preprint vs just asking for their CV and digging up each PDF on my own. You make any headway on answering that question? I have an interview in less than 2 weeks and I want to do more homework before it

I know!! I’ve been following your thread haha! I haven’t, I keep going back and forth about it and stalking these threads for some insight. I mean, my initial thought is if you have done a legit search, can’t find anything recent, then asking for an updated cv so you can familiarize yourself with current projects to prep for your interview is probably not a bad thing, as you’re being proactive and showing true interest. I go back and forth too though, but that’s mostly because I overthink everything. 

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So last night my SO and I were practicing "interview" questions and they hit me with the stereotypical: "If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?"

My immediate answer was "Chris Harrison, so I can ask about all the juicy Bachelor/Bachelorette gossip." 

So, my advice to you all if you get this question is don't answer with "Chris Harrison"...

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On 1/31/2019 at 9:25 AM, FreudEgg said:

Oh interesting. I haven't, however I did read a tip about asking your POI to send their most recent articles/ submitted articles for review pre-interview. I'm kind of tempted by that, but also am unsure if it's appropriate (I'm also not currently a student so I don't have access to some of the larger academic search engines). IMO that would give a lot of insight into their lab.

Curious what other people think! My first thought is that I wouldn't ask for "tips" if I were going to ask... but maybe specific questions to help guide your prep? I also think it depends on if you've had previous contact with your POI. 

I wasn't a current student when applying last cycle, so I looked up certain articles on Google Scholar and asked a few friends who were still in academia if they can pull them for me. If you don't have access to anyone, you can usually read the abstracts at least. Also, as a current student, if I got an email from a perspective student, I would be happy to answer any questions and help someone out. You reaching out shows your enthusiasm and commitment, which, to me at least, is a good thing. 

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54 minutes ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

I wasn't a current student when applying last cycle, so I looked up certain articles on Google Scholar and asked a few friends who were still in academia if they can pull them for me. If you don't have access to anyone, you can usually read the abstracts at least. Also, as a current student, if I got an email from a perspective student, I would be happy to answer any questions and help someone out. You reaching out shows your enthusiasm and commitment, which, to me at least, is a good thing. 

Thanks, this is really helpful!! 

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18 hours ago, FreudEgg said:

Friends. How common is it to be asked about what you want to do for your dissertation or master's thesis etc? How much detail were  you asked about? Thanks!! 

I have been asked it twice so I would definitely recommend to have an answer ready in case it comes up!

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One school I was invited to interview at is having two separate Fridays that interviewees can choose from. Not long ago I picked mine and received a schedule. It involves an orientation,  three one-on-one interviews with faculty members, and two faculty presentations -- altogether from 9 to a meeting with graduate students at 2:30. Does that seem short or given that they are doing it two separate days is that about right? Also how long do the one-on-one interviews last? I have been preparing but still honestly have no clue what to expect given how differently schools do it.

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4 hours ago, Matt12345 said:

One school I was invited to interview at is having two separate Fridays that interviewees can choose from. Not long ago I picked mine and received a schedule. It involves an orientation,  three one-on-one interviews with faculty members, and two faculty presentations -- altogether from 9 to a meeting with graduate students at 2:30. Does that seem short or given that they are doing it two separate days is that about right? Also how long do the one-on-one interviews last? I have been preparing but still honestly have no clue what to expect given how differently schools do it.

That seems about right. The two interviews I have had went from about 9 until mid-afternoon and optional social events in the evening. I think the two separate days just means that they'll accommodate/interview half of the invited candidates each Friday, so you won't meet all of the invited applicants. 

The one-on-one interviews were 30 minutes for me, with one school having the potential advisor's interview one hour long. Good luck!

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What should I expect from a 45 minute in-person interview with the faculty I already skyped with in December? I.e., since we already discussed both of our research interests, mentor/mentee style fit, etc., will the in-person interview be redundant? Or will it be more casual...or will they expect me to have grown impeccably in the two months since we last spoke and completely blow them away with new information??

My interview is in two days and I'm just now starting to worry about this HELP

 

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1 minute ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

What should I expect from a 45 minute in-person interview with the faculty I already skyped with in December? I.e., since we already discussed both of our research interests, mentor/mentee style fit, etc., will the in-person interview be redundant? Or will it be more casual...or will they expect me to have grown impeccably in the two months since we last spoke and completely blow them away with new information??

My interview is in two days and I'm just now starting to worry about this HELP

 

The same thing happened to me... my POI just asked me what questions I had for them and we talked about those questions for the whole time. I think it will be more on you to prepare what you would like to talk about versus them preparing. They also might ask any last minute questions they have. 

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Hey there! For those of you who have been housed with other graduate students while on your interview or visit:

What have your sleeping arrangements been like? Have you gotten your own bed, or slept on the couch? 

My concern is the latter. I don’t want to book my own housing, because I know the extra time with grad students may be invaluable. However, I have this connective tissue disease, and I worry that sleeping on a couch or the like would just obliterate my body for the days of interviews. I’ll be at the interview for 3 nights total. Either way, I’m going to stay with the student. Part of me just figures if I can prep to be uncomfortable maybe I’ll be okay ?

Any insight?

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8 minutes ago, petitebiscuit said:

Hey there! For those of you who have been housed with other graduate students while on your interview or visit:

What have your sleeping arrangements been like? Have you gotten your own bed, or slept on the couch? 

My concern is the latter. I don’t want to book my own housing, because I know the extra time with grad students may be invaluable. However, I have this connective tissue disease, and I worry that sleeping on a couch or the like would just obliterate my body for the days of interviews. I’ll be at the interview for 3 nights total. Either way, I’m going to stay with the student. Part of me just figures if I can prep to be uncomfortable maybe I’ll be okay ?

Any insight?

If I could do it all over, I wouldn't stay with a grad student unless the host is part of your lab you're applying to. That grad student likely has little say in the admissions process. All the questions that you would ask your host, you can ask another grad student whether it's in an interview, or during a social event -- in front of someone who may actually have say in whether you're admitted.

I personally do not like repeating the same questions even though there's value in seeking other perspectives, so if I depleted my question list on my host, it might look off if I don't have the same energy/curiosity that likely reveals itself when I ask the question the first time.

Just a personal preference, but many people will usually suggest staying with the host regardless of how difficult it may be for you logistically/physically/emotionally/etc.

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11 minutes ago, 21n14l said:

If I could do it all over, I wouldn't stay with a grad student unless the host is part of your lab you're applying to. That grad student likely has little say in the admissions process. All the questions that you would ask your host, you can ask another grad student whether it's in an interview, or during a social event -- in front of someone who may actually have say in whether you're admitted.

I personally do not like repeating the same questions even though there's value in seeking other perspectives, so if I depleted my question list on my host, it might look off if I don't have the same energy/curiosity that likely reveals itself when I ask the question the first time.

Just a personal preference, but many people will usually suggest staying with the host regardless of how difficult it may be for you logistically/physically/emotionally/etc.

The school I’m visiting doesn’t have you apply to a specific lab, actually. You have one advisor, that you’re welcome to change at any time, but they prefer you work amongst several labs. So I’m not too concerned with redundancy.

What were your sleeping arrangements like?

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12 minutes ago, psychhealth101 said:

What has been some of the hardest questions you have been asked during interviews? Just trying to get a sense of what to prepare for. Thanks!

So I wasn’t personally asked this question, but one of my fellow applicants was asked by their POI what they would consider doing for their dissertation and how they would go about constructing it. If I was asked that question I would be extremely perplexed because that’s something I haven’t even finalized thinking about yet and even the other grad students were confused as to why it was asked. In any case, at least be prepared for that. 

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39 minutes ago, petitebiscuit said:

The school I’m visiting doesn’t have you apply to a specific lab, actually. You have one advisor, that you’re welcome to change at any time, but they prefer you work amongst several labs. So I’m not too concerned with redundancy.

What were your sleeping arrangements like?

I stayed with a grad student who had a futon that pulled out into a bed. It was super comfortable and I slept very well! I think they try to be as accommodating as possible, but I think it's best to expect that it'll likely be their couch and *hopefully* a very comfortable one.

If you have a medical condition that requires special accommodations, I would totally feel OK getting my own space and a proper bed if you feel that is absolutely going to affect the outcome of your interviews. 

In regards to the earlier response, I think it can still be valuable to get to know the grad student host, even if they don't have a say in your admissions. This particular grad student I stayed with was extremely helpful and has even taken the liberty to volunteer information to me (updates in their decisions cycle, she put in a good word with my potential advisor when she really didn't have to and she doesn't work in  her lab, etc.) that I definitely would not have known otherwise. She was very kind, and your host could potentially be a familiar face in the future if you get admitted and decide to attend! Just my two cents :)

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7 minutes ago, ilobebrains said:

I stayed with a grad student who had a futon that pulled out into a bed. It was super comfortable and I slept very well! I think they try to be as accommodating as possible, but I think it's best to expect that it'll likely be their couch and *hopefully* a very comfortable one.

If you have a medical condition that requires special accommodations, I would totally feel OK getting my own space and a proper bed if you feel that is absolutely going to affect the outcome of your interviews. 

In regards to the earlier response, I think it can still be valuable to get to know the grad student host, even if they don't have a say in your admissions. This particular grad student I stayed with was extremely helpful and has even taken the liberty to volunteer information to me (updates in their decisions cycle, she put in a good word with my potential advisor when she really didn't have to and she doesn't work in  her lab, etc.) that I definitely would not have known otherwise. She was very kind, and your host could potentially be a familiar face in the future if you get admitted and decide to attend! Just my two cents :)

Thank you so much! This was a very helpful response. 

I went ahead and emailed the visit coordinator/my graduate student buddy and asked what I should expect in regards to housing, and why I was inquiring. I have one interview and its at my first choice school. I want to feel 100%!

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1 hour ago, petitebiscuit said:

Hey there! For those of you who have been housed with other graduate students while on your interview or visit:

What have your sleeping arrangements been like? Have you gotten your own bed, or slept on the couch? 

My concern is the latter. I don’t want to book my own housing, because I know the extra time with grad students may be invaluable. However, I have this connective tissue disease, and I worry that sleeping on a couch or the like would just obliterate my body for the days of interviews. I’ll be at the interview for 3 nights total. Either way, I’m going to stay with the student. Part of me just figures if I can prep to be uncomfortable maybe I’ll be okay ?

Any insight?

I've stayed w grad students at several programs and it has ranged from sleeping on the floor next to another applicant to a bed in a private room that was fully more comfortable than my own at home. I think it's totally reasonable to ask what to expect, especially given the fact that you have a medical condition. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 3:52 PM, Keyz said:

So I wasn’t personally asked this question, but one of my fellow applicants was asked by their POI what they would consider doing for their dissertation and how they would go about constructing it. If I was asked that question I would be extremely perplexed because that’s something I haven’t even finalized thinking about yet and even the other grad students were confused as to why it was asked. In any case, at least be prepared for that. 

I knew a question like this would come up so I prepared for it.

A professor asked where I applied. Then asked about a specific school. Then whether I was invited to the school.

It was uncomfortable

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1 hour ago, petitebiscuit said:

So I asked, and they were 100% understanding why I’d be curious and asked what they could do to assured I was comfortable!

Thanks for the advice!

Yay! Never hurts to ask :)

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Hi everyone! Just wanted to revive this thread because I saw another thread for advice was brought up again... but that thread is from 2016 :) I think it would be more helpful if we all just stuck in one place! But, of course, you're free to do what your heart desires

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I had an interview last weekend for a cog psych/neuro program and it was far less intense and way more fun than I thought it might be. Don't get me wrong - it was exhausting (I spent all day meeting for 30 minutes each with different people), but in general I didn't feel like I was being looked at under a microscope or anything. The goal was just to have a good conversation with each professor and I just ran with that. I feel like the framework that we're going to be asked a bunch of job interview-esque questions is problematic, or at least not universally applicable. As long as you're ready to talk about your projects/experience and understand enough about your interviewer's work to ask interesting/well-informed questions about it, you're probably quite well-prepared for the interview.

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1 hour ago, paraent said:

I had an interview last weekend for a cog psych/neuro program and it was far less intense and way more fun than I thought it might be. Don't get me wrong - it was exhausting (I spent all day meeting for 30 minutes each with different people), but in general I didn't feel like I was being looked at under a microscope or anything. The goal was just to have a good conversation with each professor and I just ran with that. I feel like the framework that we're going to be asked a bunch of job interview-esque questions is problematic, or at least not universally applicable. As long as you're ready to talk about your projects/experience and understand enough about your interviewer's work to ask interesting/well-informed questions about it, you're probably quite well-prepared for the interview.

This made me feel so much better. 

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