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Fall 2020 Interview Tips/Experiences!


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Hi all,

Since January has started...interview season is about to commence! I thought it'd be nice to have an easy place to see interview tips for Anthropology students specifically (especially since there are so many threads about interview tips to read through on GradCafe).

Feel free to post questions/tips/your upcoming interviews!

Best of luck to all of us! ❤️

--

Here are the questions I got from my POI from UCSD Anthro. She asked a few questions I didn't anticipate so I thought this would make a great heads-up for folks!

1. Tell me about yourself and your work. How did you become interested in this topic?

2. I can see the continuities between your last research work and your current proposed research, but they're still different. Can you explain your shift and why? 

3. Your work reminded me of X author. How does your work relate to them? How does it contribute to the broader __ studies? 

4. Does this X current event happening in your region of interest change your project? (in my case, intense protests that suddenly erupted in my country of interest.)

5. Why Anthropology? (It seems like you could do well in different fields.) 

6. What's the most inspiring piece of ethnography/anthropology you've ever read?

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Congratulations on the interview call ! This is a very useful topic and could be an extremely important thread. I am an international applicant and this is my first cycle  (applied to 6 schools). I have not heard back from any of the Universities yet, which is understandable. But I would love to know more about the kinds of questions that shortlisted applicants can expect during interviews. 

In your case @masthanaif I may, how long did the interview go on for? In your experience, how do you think POIs respond to the transition from earlier work to the proposed project? You mentioned the continuities between the two that was brought up for discussion during your interview but in my case, there is a complete empirical shift which I have tried to justify in my own way in the SoP.

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14 hours ago, I Dont Know what I'm doing said:

 

Congratulations on the interview call ! This is a very useful topic and could be an extremely important thread. I am an international applicant and this is my first cycle  (applied to 6 schools). I have not heard back from any of the Universities yet, which is understandable. But I would love to know more about the kinds of questions that shortlisted applicants can expect during interviews. 

In your case @masthanaif I may, how long did the interview go on for? In your experience, how do you think POIs respond to the transition from earlier work to the proposed project? You mentioned the continuities between the two that was brought up for discussion during your interview but in my case, there is a complete empirical shift which I have tried to justify in my own way in the SoP.

My interview went on for an hour (longer than I expected!). But we built some great rapport and ended up chatting tangentially for a bunch of questions so this could be longer than other interviews.

I don't remember exactly my POI's response to my answer but along the lines of what you've done - I think if you're able to authentically explain why you've shifted and then most importantly justify your topic's relevance, necessity, and contribution to the field, they should understand and support you.

Good luck @I Dont Know what I'm doing ! We're going to do great :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/21/2020 at 7:31 AM, FingersCrossed_2020 said:

Has anyone had a Duke interview yet and can share what it was like? Am having my interview with Duke tomorrow and am feeling confused and unprepared! 

@FingersCrossed_2020 How did your interview go?! I hope it went great!

Do you mind sharing what questions they asked so we can all learn? :)

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Thank you @masthana, your tips helped a lot!

I also want to share some questions from the interview with UCSC anthro. :D 

1. Why PhD in anthropology?

2. How did your research interest shift from your past research?

3. What are some big questions that can be drawn from your research?

4. Why UCSC?

Then I was asked about the scholarship I'm receiving and also to ask them questions. 

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9 hours ago, Waltzfordebby said:

3. What are some big questions that can be drawn from your research?

 

This question is really good. I will definitely have to think on this and prepare to answer this if it comes up!

Good luck with UCSC Anthro, @Waltzfordebby :D

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@masthana I think it went... ok... hahaha. These are the questions they asked:

1. Tell us more about your project? (then they had a few follow up questions) 

2. What theorists do you find helpful/have you engaged with?

3. What do you read (or watch) outside of your main areas of interest?

4. Do you have any questions for us?

I mostly found that the questions were used just as a starting point for a longer conversation because most of the interview was based on their follow up questions to my responses and also some questions about the SOP itself. Hope this helps, and good luck to all! 

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I had my Michigan interview (sociocultural Anthro) a few days back. The allotted time for the interview was 20 mins as my two POIs mentioned right at the very end but it overshot by another 20. Strangely enough, I wasn't asked a single question. Instead, they encouraged me to pose questions to them and the conversation meandered from that point, touching upon various things. I found that quite relaxing but very strange given the experiences posters have shared on this very thread itself. This was my very first interview. I am not sure what counts as a good interview and what doesn't so I am not sure how helpful this response would be. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 12:24 PM, I Dont Know what I'm doing said:

 

I had my Michigan interview (sociocultural Anthro) a few days back. The allotted time for the interview was 20 mins as my two POIs mentioned right at the very end but it overshot by another 20. Strangely enough, I wasn't asked a single question. Instead, they encouraged me to pose questions to them and the conversation meandered from that point, touching upon various things. I found that quite relaxing but very strange given the experiences posters have shared on this very thread itself. This was my very first interview. I am not sure what counts as a good interview and what doesn't so I am not sure how helpful this response would be. 

Wow that is pretty interesting...I've never heard of that. It sounds like it went well, though so at least it was promising!!

I guess we should be prepared for anything then LOL.

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Did any of your interviewers ask about what theories you will use in your project? I got that question and completely bombed it. I felt so ashamed. 

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Just completed my interview with University of Florida, which included some standard questions like 1. Why Anthropology 2. Tell us about your previous research 3. Tell us about your proposed dissertation project 4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years.

Unfortunately due to the strict time limit, I failed to mention more than 1 potential supervisor and i'm kicking myself for it. I want to really sell the fact that the University of Florida is a really strong fit, beyond just having 1 supervisor that matches my research interests.

Does anyone know the etiquette around sending a follow-up email, thanking the committee for their time and adding a sentence that covers what I left out of the interview?

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4 minutes ago, DumbBeanJuice said:

Just completed my interview with University of Florida, which included some standard questions like 1. Why Anthropology 2. Tell us about your previous research 3. Tell us about your proposed dissertation project 4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years.

Unfortunately due to the strict time limit, I failed to mention more than 1 potential supervisor and i'm kicking myself for it. I want to really sell the fact that the University of Florida is a really strong fit, beyond just having 1 supervisor that matches my research interests.

Does anyone know the etiquette around sending a follow-up email, thanking the committee for their time and adding a sentence that covers what I left out of the interview?

Was this an interview for admission to the program? Or for funding? I'm just curious because I got my acceptance letter to UF last week, but received a request for a short 10min interview yesterday and I am a little confused. 

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50 minutes ago, MolaMola said:

Was this an interview for admission to the program? Or for funding? I'm just curious because I got my acceptance letter to UF last week, but received a request for a short 10min interview yesterday and I am a little confused. 

This was for admission! They requested an interview Monday evening! I did not receive any acceptance letters or any notification from UF other than the interview request before this.

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:51 AM, gls2814 said:

Did any of your interviewers ask about what theories you will use in your project? I got that question and completely bombed it. I felt so ashamed. 

Don't feel ashamed! That is so specific...

Whatever happens will happen. ❤️

From the Fall 2020 thread, I see we both applied to UCSD (both rejected, /cries) and Stanford! What else did you apply for?

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On 1/30/2020 at 12:02 AM, masthana said:

Don't feel ashamed! That is so specific...

Whatever happens will happen. ❤️

From the Fall 2020 thread, I see we both applied to UCSD (both rejected, /cries) and Stanford! What else did you apply for?

I applied to about 9 anthro programs and 2 religious studies. I applied to UCSD, Stanford, NYU, Boston, Brandeis, Chicago (which I know I stand absolutely no chance with), Penn, Harvard, and UTexas Austin all for cultural anthro. 

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