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starkid

So this interview thing...

Question

Do people get like, rejected after interview weekend? 

Like, if they don't fit with anybody, or are just a real asshole?

What if you can't go? Will that negatively impact you?

Do some schools just do POI interviews and some do like, party weekends?

 

Hopefully these are silly questions, I just had to ask.

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@starkid I haven't gone to an in-person interview yet (being hopeful I will be invited!!). Nonetheless, I think I have some answers for you!

Getting rejected after an interview weekend depends on the school. Some schools only invite you to interviews if you are accepted. Other don't, and with those, there is still a chance you get rejected. Some of the schools may have lab rotations, so that will allow room for you to establish a connection with a PI even after being accepted. However, you want to make those connections as soon as you can, in my opinion. If you are an asshole, I am unsure. If you are asshole to one of faculty members that are on the admissions committee, then you probably have a good chance of getting rejected. Probably best to just be good person in general. I am sure you are a good person, I am only suggesting that as a rule of thumb for everyone.

I would highly suggest going, if you are accepted or not, but especially if you haven't been accepted. Not going might hurt your chances of getting accepted, unless you have a really good excuse for not going. There are no guarantees that the admission committee would care about the excuse, though. Additionally, going will allow you to connect with faculty and graduate students, let you see the campus in person, and help you figure out if you could spend 5+ years there.

I have never heard of schools doing party weekends. I have only heard of having visits for PI interviews. They might have additional activities, like ice breakers or going to a local bar, you will get to do, but expect to do interviews for sure.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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10 hours ago, Moods said:

 I have never heard of schools doing party weekends. I have only heard of having visits for PI interviews. They might have additional activities, like ice breakers or going to a local bar, you will get to do, but expect to do interviews for sure. 

Thanks Moods. I think accounts I've heard about interview weekends may have been exaggerated. I guess I was wondering why it sounds like some people are contacted directly by POIs and some are invited to official interview weekends/multi-day-happenings.

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1 hour ago, starkid said:

Thanks Moods. I think accounts I've heard about interview weekends may have been exaggerated. I guess I was wondering why it sounds like some people are contacted directly by POIs and some are invited to official interview weekends/multi-day-happenings.

I suppose some people get invited directly by POIs, but I feel like that’s rare. Most invitations are weekend/multi-day things were you tour the campus, meet grad students, and get to talk to multiple POIs, I believe. 

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FWIW, I have seen a couple of people get rejected after interview weekend, not by being assholes to professors, but to current students. We report back to our PIs about whether we want that person in our lab or not, and they take our perspective into account.

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Yeah, I was rejected after interview weekend from a fairly prestigious school. I don't want to scare you, but the POI and I were on the same page and the fit was really good. We both really enjoyed each other and the current students in the lab all liked me too and gave me good marks from what I was told. However, there was someone they liked just a little bit more due to slightly more experience. So I got waitlisted without ever being told that was the case. Eventually, I got rejected, but it really didn't matter since I personally liked another school far better as the fit and culture was closer to what I was looking for.

Long story short, yes you can still get rejected even after doing a phone/virtual interviews and them inviting and paying for you to come do an in-person interviews. I did go to the happy hour for students and faculty that they had as that was part of their culture after the interviews had finished. I wouldn't say it was a part atmosphere, but it was far more relaxed. I can almost guarantee that we were still being evaluated at that point too, so keep that in mind.

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16 minutes ago, Sandmaster said:

I did go to the happy hour for students and faculty that they had as that was part of their culture after the interviews had finished. I wouldn't say it was a part atmosphere, but it was far more relaxed. I can almost guarantee that we were still being evaluated at that point too, so keep that in mind.

Hmmm... I've been through something similar, I went to a weekend at UD that was all really a veiled competition for scholarships, and there were outright interviews/monitored conversations, as well as mingling with professors, and I came out okay, but I will have to watch it and maybe not drink bc I just turned 21 so I don't really know my limits... (also exactly 1/2 half of a goody two-shoes... I love some rules, and I also love the feeling of hacking the system. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Thanks for the advice. I will probably be my regular self to everyone, but in 'regular self around people I want to have like me' mode.

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