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Need Hope: Bad Interview But Still Accepted?


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Yes, I do. I was so upset after my Skype interview with one of the top programs in my field (my second choice/maybe a tie for first depending on the day you ask). I started crying uncontrollably right after it finished. Couldn't sleep, was going crazy, posted about it on social media just to get it out because I was so distraught. Tons of people were comforting me, etc. A week later I got an offer from them including a fully funded assistantship and a nomination from the department for an additional fellowship for top applicants. So, really, what do we know? BUT I am super duper extra preparing for my upcoming interview next week because my nerves cannot possibly handle a repeat of that experience! Anyhow, I really wish you the best.

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41 minutes ago, Cats&Coffee said:

Yes, I do. I was so upset after my Skype interview with one of the top programs in my field (my second choice/maybe a tie for first depending on the day you ask). I started crying uncontrollably right after it finished. Couldn't sleep, was going crazy, posted about it on social media just to get it out because I was so distraught. Tons of people were comforting me, etc. A week later I got an offer from them including a fully funded assistantship and a nomination from the department for an additional fellowship for top applicants. So, really, what do we know? BUT I am super duper extra preparing for my upcoming interview next week because my nerves cannot possibly handle a repeat of that experience! Anyhow, I really wish you the best.

What made the interview so bad in your eyes? Do you think you actually did bad or retrospectively you were just really hard on yourself? Great ending though :) 

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I just found myself rambling a lot and not able to focus my thoughts. Actually, the last few questions went much better, but in response to the first few, which were not particularly difficult or unexpected, I just couldn't seem to finish a thought. I was particularly concerned because I didn't feel that I had explained my research interests very clearly. I was thinking they would ask more specific questions about my research and that I would be able to build on what I had written in my SoP. But instead, they just asked a very broad, "tell us about your research interests." And suddenly I didn't know where to start! None of the interviewers were in my particularly area (I had spoken with POI previously in a Skype call I had requested with her) so I also wasn't sure how much background to include or if I should refer to specific theories/scholars, etc. So I kind of fumbled around. At one point I just said, "I'm not doing a very good job of explaining this right now. Let me take a step a back and come from a different angle." Or something like that. It's possible that it wasn't as bad as I thought, but it truly felt terrible. And the more I rambled, the more nervous I got. I'm not even sure what I said for a lot of it! For the next one I'm recording myself practicing answering very broad and very specific potential questions. I won't do it too many times because I don't want to sound rehearsed, but I clearly need better prep.

What happened in your case?

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