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Interview Tips!

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I just finished my first interview. I can't speak for all programs, but this one made visiting day so easy. It was relaxed yet professional and informational. If you haven't been to any interviews yet, just know that it's not anywhere near as scary as you are thinking it is. You've got this! 

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13 hours ago, Psych1st said:

I just finished my first interview. I can't speak for all programs, but this one made visiting day so easy. It was relaxed yet professional and informational. If you haven't been to any interviews yet, just know that it's not anywhere near as scary as you are thinking it is. You've got this! 

Me too! Not sure if we were at the same visit :), but everyone was so friendly and welcoming and even though it was a LONG day they were all so supportive and made sure we were totally taken care of! Still waiting to hear about the final decision, and still waiting on two more visits, but I think I could be really happy in that program! Good luck everyone!!

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Does anyone have any advice for answering questions that assess clinical suitability? I'm most nervous for those, because while I have a decent amount of research training, I don't really have much clinical training to speak of (which I imagine is the case for most people like me who don't have a master's). What kinds of responses are they looking for?

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3 minutes ago, teenygreeny said:

Does anyone have any advice for answering questions that assess clinical suitability? I'm most nervous for those, because while I have a decent amount of research training, I don't really have much clinical training to speak of (which I imagine is the case for most people like me who don't have a master's). What kinds of responses are they looking for?

If you don’t have much clinical training, be honest about that and how you hope to grow in that area. They may ask about what skills you have that may help you clinically, regardless of not having that training. 

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21 hours ago, teenygreeny said:

Does anyone have any advice for answering questions that assess clinical suitability? I'm most nervous for those, because while I have a decent amount of research training, I don't really have much clinical training to speak of (which I imagine is the case for most people like me who don't have a master's). What kinds of responses are they looking for?

I just got a really positive response on interview for being honest and saying that while I seek a research career I do find the idea of clinical work to be exciting, but that I had never done anything of the sort so I wasn't sure what my skills would be like or how I would find it in practice.

I was explicitly told that this was a good answer and they were very skeptical when clients came in talking about how good they'd be at clinical work and how much they were going to like it unless they had explicit experience providing treatment before.

Note: This was a program on the Clinical Science model so others may be better for advice for more balanced or clinically-oriented programs.

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hi guys!  a school i am interviewing for has explicitly asked us if there are any other faculty members (aside from our PI) that we are specifically interested in interviewing with. do you think it looks bad (or maybe not bad but perhaps underprepared) if I don't indicate any preference? there isn't much overlap between my interests and that of the other faculty so I'm not fully sure on what basis to pick other faculty I'd like to interview with but I don't want to sound like I don't care what happens.  definitely overthinking this haha but just wondering what others have done :~)

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2 minutes ago, k0909 said:

hi guys!  a school i am interviewing for has explicitly asked us if there are any other faculty members (aside from our PI) that we are specifically interested in interviewing with. do you think it looks bad (or maybe not bad but perhaps underprepared) if I don't indicate any preference? there isn't much overlap between my interests and that of the other faculty so I'm not fully sure on what basis to pick other faculty I'd like to interview with but I don't want to sound like I don't care what happens.  definitely overthinking this haha but just wondering what others have done :~)

Are there any faculty that provide stats consultation to grad students? Other faculty could be the DCT or other faculty that your PI collaborates with. 
 

I always indicated additional faculty when asked to but I don’t know if it’s viewed as “underprepared” if you don’t. 

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7 hours ago, k0909 said:

hi guys!  a school i am interviewing for has explicitly asked us if there are any other faculty members (aside from our PI) that we are specifically interested in interviewing with. do you think it looks bad (or maybe not bad but perhaps underprepared) if I don't indicate any preference? there isn't much overlap between my interests and that of the other faculty so I'm not fully sure on what basis to pick other faculty I'd like to interview with but I don't want to sound like I don't care what happens.  definitely overthinking this haha but just wondering what others have done :~)

I had the same dilemma when I was asked if I wanted to meet any other faculty besides my POI. I didn't know if it looked like I wasn't that interested in my POI if I mentioned others and if it looked I was unprepared if I didn't mention anyone else. Fortunately, there were other faculty  whose work interested me. Can you find few whose work you atleast find interesting? Then you can write something like, 'If possible, besides <your POI>, I would love to meet with other faculty whose work on <topics you find interesting> intrigue me: Prof. X, Prof. Y....'

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8 hours ago, k0909 said:

hi guys!  a school i am interviewing for has explicitly asked us if there are any other faculty members (aside from our PI) that we are specifically interested in interviewing with. do you think it looks bad (or maybe not bad but perhaps underprepared) if I don't indicate any preference? there isn't much overlap between my interests and that of the other faculty so I'm not fully sure on what basis to pick other faculty I'd like to interview with but I don't want to sound like I don't care what happens.  definitely overthinking this haha but just wondering what others have done :~)

As far as I understand, it is important for some programs to be able to collaborate with other faculties. Because sometimes as a requirement you should in a different lab at least for a semester to gain experience. I would name a professor if I were you.

Good luck!

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When you're asked "What is an obstacle you've had to overcome and how did you overcome it?", what sort of obstacle are they looking for? I have a difficult interpersonal situation that I'm planning on talking about, but I'm afraid it'll come off as shallow in comparison to someone who has had to face legitimate, personal obstacles in life.

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20 minutes ago, teenygreeny said:

When you're asked "What is an obstacle you've had to overcome and how did you overcome it?", what sort of obstacle are they looking for? I have a difficult interpersonal situation that I'm planning on talking about, but I'm afraid it'll come off as shallow in comparison to someone who has had to face legitimate, personal obstacles in life.

I think these type of questions typically look more at how you responded to the obstacles and less so on the severity of the issue. Obviously, you wouldn't want to present any trivial obstacle but interpersonal situations are completely valid 

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I was talking about my upcoming interview to some clinical psych graduate students I know, and they recommended that I bring a padfolio to my interview. Just wanted to mention this in case this was something you guys hadn't already considered! I wouldn't have thought about it if the grad students hadn't mentioned it. 

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1 hour ago, MadiB said:

I was talking about my upcoming interview to some clinical psych graduate students I know, and they recommended that I bring a padfolio to my interview. Just wanted to mention this in case this was something you guys hadn't already considered! I wouldn't have thought about it if the grad students hadn't mentioned it. 

What is one supposed to carry in it? I just found out we should have a few copies of CVs. Do we need to have anything else?

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3 minutes ago, LanternTrinity said:

What is one supposed to carry in it? I just found out we should have a few copies of CVs. Do we need to have anything else?

Tbh I've never owned a padfolio so anyone can correct me if I'm wrong! A grad student is going to give me an extra one he never used. But I think a padfolio comes with a notepad inside to take notes in, and it will look more professional than just carrying around a spiral notebook. You'll want to have something to take notes in, although according to one of the grad students I talked with, he didn't take much notes. I figured I'd use the padfolio to bring my written-down questions I don't wanna forget to ask my POI during our interview. I don't think you need to bring anything else other than copies of your CV. 

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6 hours ago, MadiB said:

Tbh I've never owned a padfolio so anyone can correct me if I'm wrong! A grad student is going to give me an extra one he never used. But I think a padfolio comes with a notepad inside to take notes in, and it will look more professional than just carrying around a spiral notebook. You'll want to have something to take notes in, although according to one of the grad students I talked with, he didn't take much notes. I figured I'd use the padfolio to bring my written-down questions I don't wanna forget to ask my POI during our interview. I don't think you need to bring anything else other than copies of your CV. 

Yep, this is spot on! One of my mentors from my post bac gave me a padfolio for my interviews and it was really nice to have. 

Edited by hopefulgrad2019

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Hi guys,

Would you recommend taking anything with you to the interview? I was thinking maybe a notepad and a folder, but didn't know if it would be weird.

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29 minutes ago, merpppy said:

Hi guys,

Would you recommend taking anything with you to the interview? I was thinking maybe a notepad and a folder, but didn't know if it would be weird.

The messages right above you talk about this and bringing a padfolio. 

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2 minutes ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

The messages right above you talk about this and bringing a padfolio. 

Yes, this! I have a black leather one and it's so great for any kind of interview (and sometimes conferences). You can keep CV's there, pens, notes, it looks great and you have something to do with your hands. Can't go wrong if you opt that route.

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On 1/25/2020 at 9:46 AM, teenygreeny said:

Does anyone have any advice for answering questions that assess clinical suitability? I'm most nervous for those, because while I have a decent amount of research training, I don't really have much clinical training to speak of (which I imagine is the case for most people like me who don't have a master's). What kinds of responses are they looking for?

If you don't have any clinical experience but have some volunteer experience, I would touch on that. For example, I haven't done any clinical work, but i've done therapy dog work at a memory care facility for years and have been volunteering at a respite program for developmentally/neurologically impaired children for the past year. It shows that you have had some exposure to the field. If you haven't, just discuss your excitement to learn more in that area!

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16 hours ago, merpppy said:

Hi guys,

Would you recommend taking anything with you to the interview? I was thinking maybe a notepad and a folder, but didn't know if it would be weird.

Bring copies of your CV printed on resume paper (it looks more professional and i have gotten compliments on it every time), a pad folio or leather folio, and some pens! It looks professional, and gives you a space to jot down info and potential new questions 

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On 1/29/2020 at 5:36 PM, teenygreeny said:

When you're asked "What is an obstacle you've had to overcome and how did you overcome it?", what sort of obstacle are they looking for? I have a difficult interpersonal situation that I'm planning on talking about, but I'm afraid it'll come off as shallow in comparison to someone who has had to face legitimate, personal obstacles in life.

I wouldn't be worried. Any obstacle that was hard for you to overcome is something notable that makes you who you are! I haven't had my interview yet, but the overwhelming majority of people have really called it a "personality check" so just be yourself!

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On 1/19/2020 at 4:25 PM, CoffeeShop said:

Hey everyone, 

Congrats and good luck on your interviews.

I have been through this process before so here is a video of my advice for interview tips.


https://youtu.be/GcKT7678J74

Again, good luck!

This was so helpful, thank you! My first interview is in a few weeks- I'm pretty nervous! This program is a perfect fit for me, so I'm hoping they feel the same about me :) 

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I have a question about potential PI's

My interview coming up is at UT Southwestern- there is research involved ofc but this is a VERY clinically oriented school. there are clinical rotations etc all before the interview. On the application, it asked me to list two professors who I might be interested in working with. However, the website doesn't say much about wether its a mentorship model or if you work with the whole department. Has anyone had interviews at a clinically-based program before? What should I expect? Thanks!

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