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47 minutes ago, 21ny14 said:

Tell us more. What was it like?

Luckily this specific interview was facilitated by two graduate students. It was still extremely nerve-wracking to answer their questions in front of two other applicants for the same PI, but I didn't feel the same pressure as I would in a faculty interview. 

All questions were asked round-robin with Person A, Person B, and me answering and the rotation did not change for the entire 35ish minutes. I doubt that was purposeful either, but that taught me to always shake up the order sometimes. ? Not a big deal if you're in the middle, but I felt significant pressure to come up with something *distinct AND insightful* after two highly qualified people already answered and I'm sure the first person was feeling pressure to set the bar high. By the third question, my brain couldn't keep playing the comparison game and think of something thoughtful. Instead, I just focused on making eye contact with everyone (including the other applicants) when I answered, referencing some of their answers within my own (giving them credit of course) if it was a particularly good point but weaving it into a larger point about my fit/interest/whatever, and remembering that there was no way to keep a running tally of points we s"cored". It was clear in that space and time being overly competitive would've been not both obvious and unnecessary. It felt much more natural to just listen to them and respond in a way that still allowed me to bring my original thoughts to the table without performing the role of "best grad applicant in the room!!!!". Still, it wasn't easy then and is still not easy to in a group setting since most of the advice is typically about 1:1 interactions with interviewers. 

Quick side note. While meals/whole group meetings with the PI, their lab and all of their other prospectives aren't technically the same kind of interviews, they matter and dynamics can be really similar. It's a group of people with similar specific interests sitting around a table talking about everything from research to city life with different things at stake. It's very cool, but also stressful. I remember sitting at a dinner and even a "normal" question from the PI about our experience traveling to the school/staying felt like some weird way to evaluate my enthusiasm and ability as a grad student to go there. Not helpful thinking, and not true unless I complained or something equally atypical. In those situations and in group interviews, I'd say just breathe and remember you can to be quite impressive without being the wittiest/quickest/most interesting person at the table. You got to the interview for a reason that won't be dashed by not having the most comprehensive answer every time, but can easily be dashed by a lack of preparation, rudeness (to ANYONE- not just PIs/students), and letting this topsy-turvy/unpredictable process get too much into your head. 

Hopefully this helps, and feel free to PM me with more questions/concerns.

Edited by psykick

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11 hours ago, checkingmyemail said:

I considered applying to a couple of programs that were in the "process" of accreditation (like OHSU), and my director/PIs/mentors immediately said "Absolutely not." 

I'm curious why "absolutely not"? I can see why you would want to refrain from programs that are not APA accred and do not plan on getting it, but programs that are in the process usually will have the accred (unless they're complete shit) by the time you graduate. Obviously you would have to cultivate your list appropriately, but for example, UHCL was "in the process" two years ago and I applied (then) anyways because it's a reputable school and had very little chance of NOT being accred. There's a time barrier between a program's inception and applying, which is why a lot of good programs are still "in process" during their first few years.

Edited by dancedementia

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11 minutes ago, dancedementia said:

I'm curious why "absolutely not"? I can see why you would want to refrain from programs that are not APA accred and do not plan on getting it, but programs that are in the process usually will have the accred (unless they're complete shit) by the time you graduate. Obviously you would have to cultivate your list appropriately, but for example, UHCL was "in the process" two years ago and I applied (then) anyways because it's a reputable school and had very little chance of NOT being accred. There's a time barrier between a program's inception and applying, which is why a lot of good programs are still "in process" during their first few years.

It's definitely a gamble. There may also be difficulty at the beginning while the program is trying to establish credibility. At the same time, serious programs are usually "on their best behavior" so to speak while going through the self-study process. Also, programs can get accreditation on contingency before any class graduates. In order to get full accreditation status, programs do need to have outcome data. And APPIC now doesn't allow students from unaccredited programs to apply for APA accredited internships. So, if you are interested in a program seeking accreditation, you want to do a little more homework and maybe study the handbook and look at course outlines a bit more closely than with more established programs. 

Also, make sure the program is actually looking for accreditation. I know someone in a program that has said they are applying for accreditation and they haven't actually taken steps for several years. This person is in a blind now because the program was just dishonestly stringing students along. 

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11 hours ago, dancedementia said:

I'm curious why "absolutely not"? I can see why you would want to refrain from programs that are not APA accred and do not plan on getting it, but programs that are in the process usually will have the accred (unless they're complete shit) by the time you graduate. 

For the reasons @Hk328 mentioned above, esp. the uncertainty regarding internship. Definitely a gamble with my career I wasn’t going to make. 

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Hi! I've had a couple interviews and wanted to share some details that may be helpful to some. As far as dress goes, these were clinical psych phd interviews, and every single person in attendance was in a pantsuit. For women, most wore flats and a wide assortment of blouses.

One interview experience was full of more structured interview questions including:

1. Why should we pick you personally over other qualified candidates

2. What are your greatest strengths and room for improvement

3. Describe a time you had conflict at work and what you did, if anything, to resolve it

4. Describe what role you play in a team

as well as the usual questions to describe my research experiences, what I am interested in, and how I became interested in the field.

 

For the next interview day, nearly every single interview was almost entirely just a back-and-forth dialogue in which I asked most of the questions. 

Some of the few actual interview questions included:

1. What are my research experiences, and in what way do I think these tie into my mentor's research

2. What accomplishment am I most proud of

3. What do I do to cope when I am in over my head

4. What do I think would be the biggest challenge for me in graduate school

5. What would my dream project be if I did not have to worry about funding, resources, etc.

6. Why did I apply to this specific program

7. What experiences do I have with scientific writing (I do not have any publications, so they wanted to know about other experiences such as class papers)

 

 

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So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

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17 hours ago, psychizkool said:

Hi! I've had a couple interviews and wanted to share some details that may be helpful to some. As far as dress goes, these were clinical psych phd interviews, and every single person in attendance was in a pantsuit. For women, most wore flats and a wide assortment of blouses.

One interview experience was full of more structured interview questions including:

1. Why should we pick you personally over other qualified candidates

2. What are your greatest strengths and room for improvement

3. Describe a time you had conflict at work and what you did, if anything, to resolve it

4. Describe what role you play in a team

as well as the usual questions to describe my research experiences, what I am interested in, and how I became interested in the field.

 

For the next interview day, nearly every single interview was almost entirely just a back-and-forth dialogue in which I asked most of the questions. 

Some of the few actual interview questions included:

1. What are my research experiences, and in what way do I think these tie into my mentor's research

2. What accomplishment am I most proud of

3. What do I do to cope when I am in over my head

4. What do I think would be the biggest challenge for me in graduate school

5. What would my dream project be if I did not have to worry about funding, resources, etc.

6. Why did I apply to this specific program

7. What experiences do I have with scientific writing (I do not have any publications, so they wanted to know about other experiences such as class papers)

 

 

I've had very similar questions! I think this is a great list of common questions that everyone should prep for!

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21 minutes ago, spookycat said:

So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

Some interview questions that have been posted in this thread as well as in Mitch's handbook are a good start. Make sure you have answers to these questions. Also, be familiar with your POI's recent work (read a few of the most current/most seminal of their work). And be prepared to talk about your own research: what you've done and what you hope to do. Lastly, remember to breathe. The programs decided you're great on paper, so they know you have some competency/skill. Just try to be confident. You belong there, even if the jerky voice in your head is giving you doubts. 

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25 minutes ago, spookycat said:

So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

First off, congrats on making it to the interview round!--that should already be a testament to how capable you are. Take a deep breath and acknowledge that you are entirely capable of nailing that interview! :) 

Personally, (1) I started by looking at my potential POI's research--really, really know their research. They will most definitely bring it up/potentially ask you which research stream you are most interested in. (2) Know the program. Download the psychology graduate handbook if there is one. Read it. Wow them if they start bringing up program specifics and you know them already--it makes you look well-informed and enthusiastic. (3) Know your application. This includes being able to talk about your specific experiences (be it research, mentoring, extracurriculars), and if you wrote a research proposal as part of your application, READ THE ARTICLES YOU CITED, they test you! (4) Know what questions you want to ask. (Check out the first couple posts of this thread--sample questions are posted). ALWAYS ask questions. 

Take a deep breath, and walk in. You got this. Show them what you've got :)

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On 1/12/2019 at 9:22 AM, checkingmyemail said:

I considered applying to a couple of programs that were in the "process" of accreditation (like OHSU), and my director/PIs/mentors immediately said "Absolutely not." If you do not get any more interviews this application period, I would strongly recommend for you to think about the implications of this important decision.

I've read in other doctoral-level forums that this limits your options in so many ways you can't even imagine, and by the time you graduate, you may mostly likely look back and regret this decision (vs. waiting to apply the next application round). Many employers (state hospitals, private hospitals, VAs, government-funded jobs, etc) will not hire individuals who did not graduate from APA-accredited programs. This will also affect insurance reimbursements, liability, etc. Also, the type of "license" you receive will most likely require some type of supervision, even after graduation from this type of program, and you should begin thinking about what agencies would be willing to supervise/commit to your training.

I recommend you to check out SDN and get perspective from experts in the field, I'm pretty active on that forum and have seen this type of concern raised on there in the past. Best of luck to you!

Thank you for the insight and for the SDN resource (I actually hadn't heard of that forum). I have been doing more research and talking to more people about the APA accreditation and I just hope they admit me into the dual clinical and IDD program at OSU which is APA-accredited! Either that or that I hear back from the other schools I applied to (at least the ones that I haven't seen anything posted for on the results page).

Now that I have interviewed for a program, I find the waiting time to hear back from them even more anxiety provoking than waiting for an interview invitation ? 

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24 minutes ago, spookycat said:

So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

Step 1: Breathe ;) You got this.

I posted a link to a PDF at the beginning of this thread. Begin at Section 3 of the document, you already achieved the first two milestones. Unless you're very anxious, read the whole dang thing (I did LOL).

Begin by creating documents with the questions/answers to each program. Try to narrow down specific answers for each question, in writing first, if it helps you gather down your thoughts/ideas. Then, begin practicing. Lots. Have your top questions/answers memorized (What are your research interests? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Why this program?) Repetition until it feels natural and it is not so anxiety-producing is my approach. I've read that recording yourself is also useful. Also ask your mentors/letter-writers to coach you/provide you feedback with your answers, if at all possible.

After that, the fun part(!), begin creating questions you'd want answered for each of the programs/POIs you're interviewing with. And then questions for the graduate students. Again, your entire prep should be school-POI specific, so it's not so overwhelming!

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12 minutes ago, ASDadvocate said:

Now that I have interviewed for a program, I find the waiting time to hear back from them even more anxiety provoking than waiting for an interview invitation ? 

Lots of positive vibes your way. Hang in there ❤️ 

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1 hour ago, spookycat said:

So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

 

40 minutes ago, Mickey26 said:

First off, congrats on making it to the interview round!--that should already be a testament to how capable you are. Take a deep breath and acknowledge that you are entirely capable of nailing that interview! :) 

Personally, (1) I started by looking at my potential POI's research--really, really know their research. They will most definitely bring it up/potentially ask you which research stream you are most interested in. (2) Know the program. Download the psychology graduate handbook if there is one. Read it. Wow them if they start bringing up program specifics and you know them already--it makes you look well-informed and enthusiastic. (3) Know your application. This includes being able to talk about your specific experiences (be it research, mentoring, extracurriculars), and if you wrote a research proposal as part of your application, READ THE ARTICLES YOU CITED, they test you! (4) Know what questions you want to ask. (Check out the first couple posts of this thread--sample questions are posted). ALWAYS ask questions. 

Take a deep breath, and walk in. You got this. Show them what you've got :)

This is a great list of steps to take to prepare for interviews! I would add that one way to keep it all organized is to create a "guideline" or sorts. I did this on a word document where I included questions I would likely be asked (taken from TGC and other sources) with the response I would like to provide, questions I would like to ask (for this I made the longest list possible which really came in handy when I interviewed with one particular POI who had no structure during the interview and had me ask all the questions), and a review of all of the POIs research articles and interests. I then printed this and had it with me throughout the day- this was extremely helpful!! I also wrote a paragraph with my research interests and goals post grad school. I was asked this so often that I found it very helpful to "study it" until it became second nature. DO NOT MEMORIZE obviously as it will not sound natural but make sure that you can easily talk about it. 

Also, it's all about perspective! If you walk in thinking that you are going to learn about cool research and meet potential colleagues, as opposed to an interview where you will be drilled, you will go in more confident and relaxed. PS. I read this last advice from someone here on TGC and it truly helped me the day of.

Best of luck!

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On 1/14/2019 at 10:39 AM, spookycat said:

So I have interviews in February, and honestly I have absolutely no idea what to do to prepare. I'm definitely in that (super healthy) headspace of "this task is so daunting that the best way to solve it is to never ever think about it until it goes away or I die". It's so frustrating because we've all work so hard to get here, and now I'm having this complete mental block. Has anyone else had this problem?

How did you guys go about starting to prep? I know I need to break things down into small manageable tasks but the question is - which step first? 

I am right there with you except to make matters worse, my POI has been wanting to email with me about potential research before I come to the interview. Every time I sit down to respond I feel like all the knowledge I have slips right out of my brain and I’m struggling to say something other than that it’s interesting. I am supposed to send a little blurb about myself and I have nothing to say!

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I've been really struggling when faculty ask me whether I have any non-research-related questions for them. I'm a neurotic who has scoured every inch of the department websites so I feel like I already know everything there is to know about the program, and I'm seriously struggling to come up with questions. What are some that y'all like to use?

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1 minute ago, dancedementia said:

I've been really struggling when faculty ask me whether I have any non-research-related questions for them. I'm a neurotic who has scoured every inch of the department websites so I feel like I already know everything there is to know about the program, and I'm seriously struggling to come up with questions. What are some that y'all like to use?

I like to ask their experience living in the area, what they think my role in their lab would be, any new projects they have been working on, how the community is like, stuff like that

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Hi everyone, for those who have gone through interviews/are prepping for interviews, how are you planning on answering questions like "Why should we accept you over other equally qualified candidates?" As I know that there will be many qualified candidates interviewed, I don't want to seem presumptuous and say something that other people have going for them as well. 

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15 minutes ago, rainydaychai said:

Hi everyone, for those who have gone through interviews/are prepping for interviews, how are you planning on answering questions like "Why should we accept you over other equally qualified candidates?" As I know that there will be many qualified candidates interviewed, I don't want to seem presumptuous and say something that other people have going for them as well. 

I would also love insight on this!! 

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For those of you who have had interviews already: How's the wait at the airports??? TSA check points??? Anyone experience any problems??

Just booked my 5th roundtrip, have 2 more to book (but waiting to do so because I'm broke LOL), and I'm very worried about the gov. shutdown and waiting times at the airport!!!!!

Edited by checkingmyemail

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52 minutes ago, checkingmyemail said:

For those of you who have had interviews already: How's the wait at the airports??? TSA check points??? Anyone experience any problems??

Just booked my 5th roundtrip, have 2 more to book (but waiting to do so because I'm broke LOL), and I'm very worried about the gov. shutdown and waiting times at the airport!!!!!

I have not experienced anything out of the ordinary at airports. Actually, I was able to get through much faster than usual this past weekend O___o

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31 minutes ago, dancedementia said:

I have not experienced anything out of the ordinary at airports. Actually, I was able to get through much faster than usual this past weekend O___o

My connections are in huge ass airports (Atlanta, Washington, etc) so I am praying this is the case for big airports as well!!!!!!

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Just now, checkingmyemail said:

My connections are in huge ass airports (Atlanta, Washington, etc) so I am praying this is the case for big airports as well!!!!!!

I was at Boston, Chicago, and Houston. I think you'll be okay!

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:56 PM, rainydaychai said:

Hi everyone, for those who have gone through interviews/are prepping for interviews, how are you planning on answering questions like "Why should we accept you over other equally qualified candidates?" As I know that there will be many qualified candidates interviewed, I don't want to seem presumptuous and say something that other people have going for them as well. 

This is a good chance to tie in your personal experiences to the lab you're applying to. For example, maybe you have lots of experience with a certain technique or approach they use, or experience working with a specific population. Something similar in essence to your personal statement about how your experiences have shaped you into a great match for them. I'd focus more on how those personal experiences of yours make you a great match for the lab and not worry about the comparison aspect of it.

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What do you all recommend wearing for socials/dinners with grad students the night before interview day (for men and women)? For those that have already attended interviews, what did most people wear to the socials? Thanks!

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