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Interview Tips!

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Hi everyone! i kind of wanted to start a thread where current grad students or those who have gone through the interview process before give us first-rounds some tips for interviews! Can be things like 

-what to expect (general questions, etc)

-how to prepare

-do's and dont's

etc! Anything you find helpful. If there is already a thread for this, you can also post it. I just wans't able to find one. 

I know personally I am only going to get interviews at a few schools, so I want to nail it when I get the opportunity!

Thanks in advance!

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Just now, andhowdoesthatmakeyoufeel said:

You're gonna be asked way less than you expect. Prepare yourself to ask a LOT of questions of the people you talk to. Don't run out of questions. 

Wow, thanks for this! I am planning on asking current students questions about campus and petra, environment, etc during the student-run social. 

As for faculty during the actual formal interview, should I ask questions about internships, where students end up, PI's studies, etc? 

Thanks so much again!

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I'm a PhD student and have interviewed applicants to our program the past few years. Here are the specific things that come to mind from interviewing people:

  • Try to remain calm and use coping skills to control your anxiety. Nerves are expected, but if you're literally shaking with fear, it raises doubts on how you're going to be able to handle stressful clinical interactions in grad school. 
  • Have an idea for a research project (e.g., research questions, population, etc.). But be careful about proposing something super expensive that isn't feasible (e.g., fMRI research if your PI doesn't have access to that). 
  • Don't advertise (even to grad students!) that you already got in somewhere and think you'll choose that school because you love it. It's rude. 
  • Don't steal your host's research idea and then propose it as your own to the PI during the interview (yep, one of the applicants I hosted did this...and my PI saw through it quickly). 

So basically - if you remain relatively calm, have a feasible research idea, and don't do anything blatantly rude/unethical, you should be good! :) 

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7 minutes ago, catmom92 said:

I'm a PhD student and have interviewed applicants to our program the past few years. Here are the specific things that come to mind from interviewing people:

  • Try to remain calm and use coping skills to control your anxiety. Nerves are expected, but if you're literally shaking with fear, it raises doubts on how you're going to be able to handle stressful clinical interactions in grad school. 
  • Have an idea for a research project (e.g., research questions, population, etc.). But be careful about proposing something super expensive that isn't feasible (e.g., fMRI research if your PI doesn't have access to that). 
  • Don't advertise (even to grad students!) that you already got in somewhere and think you'll choose that school because you love it. It's rude. 
  • Don't steal your host's research idea and then propose it as your own to the PI during the interview (yep, one of the applicants I hosted did this...and my PI saw through it quickly). 

So basically - if you remain relatively calm, have a feasible research idea, and don't do anything blatantly rude/unethical, you should be good! :) 

Oooooooof can't imagine being that bold and rude as to steal the idea.....wow

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Adding to this thread... how do you handle campus visits where you've already been admitted, instead of visits where you are still in the selection process?  I'm told it's going to be mostly getting to know the current grad students and potential cohort members, and I assume we will meet faculty as well. Any suggestions?

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18 hours ago, sendhelp said:

What are good questions to ask faculty who are interviewing you but are not the mentor you applied to work with? 

i second this! I don't want to *just* be interacting with my PI

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18 hours ago, sendhelp said:

What are good questions to ask faculty who are interviewing you but are not the mentor you applied to work with? 

This is a great opportunity to ask more questions about the atmosphere of the program, collaborations between professors, (if the rapport is good) ask how they feel students are doing under the PI you are interviewing with, life in the city, classes they teach, ask about their research interests. Ask about strengths/ weaknesses of the program. If they supervise practicum students, you could discuss clinical work, etc. 

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To flip sendhelp’s question, what are some questions you can expect to be asked by faculty that are not your chosen mentor? I’m really nervous about those ones in particular.

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4 minutes ago, teenygreeny said:

To flip sendhelp’s question, what are some questions you can expect to be asked by faculty that are not your chosen mentor? I’m really nervous about those ones in particular.

From my experience, it will be things along the line of "tell me about yourself", "what are your research interests," "why this program," et cetera. 

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14 hours ago, teenygreeny said:

To flip sendhelp’s question, what are some questions you can expect to be asked by faculty that are not your chosen mentor? I’m really nervous about those ones in particular.

Of the 3 faculty I interviewed, only 1 really asked me questions and the big one was the classic “if you had all the money and resources and IRB approval, what study would you design?”  The interview process is really about YOU interviewing them once you make it to the weekend (some programs even call it a recruitment weekend because now they’re trying to recruit you). As others have said, never run out of questions to ask. You’re trying to assess your fit with the faculty and program. 
Also, treat grad students/admin etc with the same amount of respect as you would faculty. Some applicants let their guards down more around current students and it can be a kiss of death if they say anything inappropriate. My PI asks that we spend as much one on one time with the applicants for our lab for this very reason. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:47 AM, andhowdoesthatmakeyoufeel said:

Of course! 

 

For example questions and such, I strongly recommend Mitch's guide:

http://mitch.web.unc.edu/files/2017/02/MitchGradSchoolAdvice.pdf

This guide is amazing. God bless the man who wrote it and thank you SO much for sharing it! I have a feeling this will be my only interview, so I really want to make sure that I nail it.

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Hi everyone, starting to get the vibe that this will be my only interview, so I really want to nail it. Could anyone please tell me some general questions that are normally asked (i.e. research interests, personal background, etc).

The program i'm applying to has a really big focus on community and diversity which i LOVE, so I'm assuming they'll ask some questions about that. 

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Hi everyone,

So I have an interview to one of the counseling Ph.D. programs in March. When looking more into the program, I noticed that their EPPP pass rates for the 2015–2017 time frame are not great (61.11%; only first-time takers). The program itself looks good (pre-interview at least), so I'm not sure what prevented their students from achieving higher pass rates. Do you think it's a fair question to ask during the interview, or will this come off as confrontational/not knowledgable ? 

Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, NogitsuneX said:

Hi everyone,

So I have an interview to one of the counseling Ph.D. programs in March. When looking more into the program, I noticed that their EPPP pass rates for the 2015–2017 time frame are not great (61.11%; only first-time takers). The program itself looks good (pre-interview at least), so I'm not sure what prevented their students from achieving higher pass rates. Do you think it's a fair question to ask during the interview, or will this come off as confrontational/not knowledgable ? 

Thanks!

That is definitely a fair question. What are their APA-accredited internship match rate and licensure rate?

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13 minutes ago, PsyDuck90 said:

That is definitely a fair question. What are their APA-accredited internship match rate and licensure rate?

Overall for the 2011–2019 period the internship match rate is 81%, although it has been 100% since 2017 (all accredited for that time period). Their self-reported licensure rate is 79%, although it seems that at least some of the students and faculty continue with research while engaging in clinical practice under their counseling license acquired during a Master's degree that they received before Ph.D.. Of course I might be wrong.

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2 minutes ago, PsyDuck90 said:

Is this a Counseling PhD or Counseling Psychology PhD program?

Counseling Psychology Ph.D., sorry for misleading information in the first comment

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39 minutes ago, NogitsuneX said:

Counseling Psychology Ph.D., sorry for misleading information in the first comment

It's ok. Those other stats seem fine. The licensure is still a little low, even with that argument. Especially since that brings up some ethical concerns for me (are they billing themselves as a doctorate level provider while operating on their master's because that goes against APA ethics codes). That's a separate issue entirely though and not necessarily related to the school's training. 

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Current grad students//anyone with insight into this: does anyone have a general idea of how many prelim phone interviews turn into in person interview invites? 

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Does anyone know how soon after interviews they begin sending out offers? I've been stalking the results page for previous years, and it looks like some of them were offered a spot as soon as 10 days after the interview..is this customary? Is there a typical timeline?

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2 minutes ago, psychologygeek said:

Does anyone know how soon after interviews they begin sending out offers? I've been stalking the results page for previous years, and it looks like some of them were offered a spot as soon as 10 days after the interview..is this customary? Is there a typical timeline?

I think it varies school to school. My interview they said they'd reach out "in the next couple weeks," I have heard of others waiting until late March. But they volunteered that info to me, so maybe it's something they tell you? 

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Just now, andhowdoesthatmakeyoufeel said:

I think it varies school to school. My interview they said they'd reach out "in the next couple weeks," I have heard of others waiting until late March. But they volunteered that info to me, so maybe it's something they tell you? 

Ah, this is good info, thank you!

 

Since you've already had an interview, any way you can give a general synopsis of questions asked? I know each school is different, but if i could get a flavor of what is asked so I can draft some talking points, it would be much appreciated!

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