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Interview Tips!

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12 hours ago, k0909 said:

hi all :~) for those of you who have had interviews already, I'm wondering how in depth you were expected to go for the typical if you had to design your masters thesis etc/or just related questions on what kind of research you want to do..... I definitely can talk about my interests but I'm worried I'll come up short on details and seem ill informed or under prepared 😓I've been doing some reading just trying to formulate something concrete to talk about, but I'm just wondering how much detail professors expected from others regarding like specifics of study design for the research you want to do. thanks in advance!!!!!! 

What I've done is familiarized myself with the methods the mentor seems to use frequently and the types of measures they typically use (survey, psychophys, interview, fMRI, cognitive tasks, etc) and come up with a couple of ideas synthesizing my research interests with those methods. I'd air on the side of thinking about a couple of broad study ideas and being willing to think on the fly or riff on ideas your PI might bring up. Most probably won't expect you to have all your measures sorted out, but you should probably have somewhat of an idea what you could use if they ask. For example, if you wanted to look at anxiety symptoms, would you want those assessed via interview, self-report, by gathering physiological measures like heart rate, or some other way? If self-reported, would you want to look at EMA or retrospective report? As long as you have a baseline knowledge of what you're talking about and are familiar with their research style (which you should have already if you made it to an interview!) you should be fine after a little bit of prep. Some people don't ask this question at all! But if they do, I've found it helpful to have a couple loosely fleshed-out questions prepared and to be willing to be creative in the moment. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 1:08 PM, Aghhhhh said:

Hi all! I had my interview recently and I'm looking for some insight!

The interview I had with my POI felt SUPER casual. To the point where I'm not sure if they really got to know me and my research interests well. I mean, I talked briefly about my experiences and how I got interested in the field, but other than that, we had a conversation that was tangential to my interests. I wasn't able to ask them many questions. It felt like a positive conversation but I left the interview wondering if I was able to sell myself enough. Does anyone else have experience with this? I mean, I figure they have my CV and personal statement & maybe it was just an interpersonal skills/personality check?

Additionally, I really felt like I hit it off with the grad students and was able to articulate my research interests & have intellectual discussions with them (as well as fun discussions, too!). They pretty much told me they'd love to have me in the lab, I'm their favorite applicant, the POI really likes me, etc. Of course, I feel like I should take it with a grain of salt & not get my hopes up too much, but is this a good sign? Is this common for grad students to say?

I do hope I get in because I really loved the program! Just want some objective opinions on all of this!

This is exactly what happened to me too and I was also very concerned but ended up receiving an offer!

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4 hours ago, ps2020 said:

This is exactly what happened to me too and I was also very concerned but ended up receiving an offer!

I actually ended up receiving an offer as well, so it must be a good sign!! 😀

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19 hours ago, Aghhhhh said:

I actually ended up receiving an offer as well, so it must be a good sign!! 😀

It's a great sign! Because you're absolutely right, interviews are more about assessing for interpersonal skills and personality fit with the POI than anything else. If you've been invited to an interview it's because you're qualified and now they just want to know what you're like as a person :) 

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Heading into interviews tomorrow and Tuesday. Couldn't make the official weekend so I'm here a few days early. Really worried that I'm already at a disadvantage since I'm not here for the "official" visit because they might misinterpret my schedule conflict as lack of interest in the program (which it is not). Has anyone else been in this situation? Does anyone have any advice to share?

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1 hour ago, PsychPhdBound said:

Heading into interviews tomorrow and Tuesday. Couldn't make the official weekend so I'm here a few days early. Really worried that I'm already at a disadvantage since I'm not here for the "official" visit because they might misinterpret my schedule conflict as lack of interest in the program (which it is not). Has anyone else been in this situation? Does anyone have any advice to share?

I wouldn’t worry about it. I think the fact that you made an effort to still visit shows that you’re interested, since you could have requested a Skype interview instead. They’re interviewing you because you’re a strong applicant and they know that strong applicants will often have multiple interviews and scheduling conflicts. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:26 AM, thelonelypuppet said:

I suppose this is more for PsyD programs than PhD programs: is anyone else getting questions about your "theoretical approach"? I've been hesitant to answer, given that I don't specifically adhere to behaviorism, humanism, etc but I get the feeling that they want you to say *something* other than "I don't have one but I'm willing to learn." 

Think about how you might conceptualize a patient's presenting problems.

An eclectic approach, as in having various 'tools in the toolbox', is almost expected in terms of interventions and psychotherapy but case conceptualization is something that comes up in discussion in pre-prac, practica interviews, and Clinical Competency Exams. 

It's offering insight into your world view, your value system, and how you see yourself and others. 

 

Edited by Psyche007
Removed extraneous word for clarity.

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Hi friends- 

So I am trying to prepare for a clinical psych PhD interview, but I am having trouble knowing how to prepare for the research aspect of it. My POI just transferred from one university to another this past year and said he is moving his current research to this university, but his lab website doesn't have any updates on current projects and such. I have read his lab's major publications from the past 2-3 years, but I don't know what questions to ask given that I don't know his current projects, only his previous ones from the other university. Should I build research questions off of his previous work? Am I overthinking?

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31 minutes ago, clinicalpsych.2020 said:

Hi friends- 

So I am trying to prepare for a clinical psych PhD interview, but I am having trouble knowing how to prepare for the research aspect of it. My POI just transferred from one university to another this past year and said he is moving his current research to this university, but his lab website doesn't have any updates on current projects and such. I have read his lab's major publications from the past 2-3 years, but I don't know what questions to ask given that I don't know his current projects, only his previous ones from the other university. Should I build research questions off of his previous work? Am I overthinking?

You need to figure out the research interests and go from there. It is totally fine to ask during the interview what your POI currently has planned or what’s the 5 year plan for his or her research.

also, I’m if you have time with anyone in the lab you can totally get all the research details from them and be prepared for the interview

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Hi everyone,


Does anyone have any questions they would ask to the director of clinical training? I have some ideas, but most of them are very general. 

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17 minutes ago, merpppy said:

Hi everyone,


Does anyone have any questions they would ask to the director of clinical training? I have some ideas, but most of them are very general. 

I liked asking what they felt were the areas of growth for the program, what they thought set it apart, if they had ever worked with my POI (and their thoughts), etc. 

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52 minutes ago, merpppy said:

Hi everyone,


Does anyone have any questions they would ask to the director of clinical training? I have some ideas, but most of them are very general. 

I asked about the support system / resources that students can take advantage of if they need help. Students in the clinical program face the unique problem of not really being able to use on-campus services because your peers / mentors may be working there. Other things I heard being asked were related to internship/externship opportunities, funding, healthcare, and the career outcomes of previous students.

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I actually got an interview in 2 weeks and found this thread super helpful! The one thing I'd love insight on, if anyone happens to know what it could entail, is a case discussion. I'm not sure how that is set up or what that process looks like. Like what are you suppose to discuss exactly. The school I'm interviewing with, has a segment in the day for Case Discussion and Abstract Thinking Skills. I believe they will break us up into groups and the admissions committee will be observing our case discussion. I'm not too sure what that means in regards to clinical psychology. If anyone could clarify and provide any advice I'd love that. Also if anyone has any online resources I can check out about this, I'd appreciate it. Thank you guys!

Edited by psychedoncafe

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