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Major DON'T in the interview proccess?


Susieq22
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Hi!

I'm currently a senior in Undergrad, and will be applying to psychology graduate programs within the next year. I'm wondering any 'don'ts' for the interview process (in-person, online or phone call). Feel free to share any horror stories or just helpful tips. Thanks so much! 

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Just be prepared to talk about what your research interests are, career goals, and reasons you are attracted to that program. There may also be chances to interact with other prospective students and also current students. Make sure you are personable and yourself. If you get to the interview stage, it's because you're a qualified candidate. The interview is largely to assess if you're someone they would like to work with for the next 4-6 years. Make sure to have lots of questions prepared for faculty and current students, as a lot of the interview time is spent on them answering your questions. The whole idea is to assess fit for you, the faculty mentor, and the program as a whole. 

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I will echo @PsyDuck90 - the important (and more difficult) part is getting to the interview. The "don'ts" are pretty typical of any interview - try to listen to others, be personable, avoid contradictory discussions (unless that is encouraged or a safe space), don't go overboard in showing off/ drinking too much alcohol during social events, etc. This guide may help: https://mitch.web.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4922/2017/02/MitchGradSchoolAdvice.pdf Altough it's targeted at clinical psych (and I'm not sure if that's relevant for you) it still has valuable advice and examples for interviews and writing research statements.

What does help is preparing a small "elevator pitch" - besides your POIs, you will meet many other people that might not know a lot about you, so it is useful to have a quick description about yourself and your interests. Also, having lots of questions helps - they show you did your research on the program and they help you get a good sense whether it matches your needs as well.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/26/2022 at 2:09 PM, Susieq22 said:

Hi!

I'm currently a senior in Undergrad, and will be applying to psychology graduate programs within the next year. I'm wondering any 'don'ts' for the interview process (in-person, online or phone call). Feel free to share any horror stories or just helpful tips. Thanks so much! 

Just so you know where I'm coming from: I'm a student who has participated in group interviews for clinical psychology Ph.D. applicants. I'm a mentor for incoming first years as well as for potential grad students through the APA mentorship programme. I'm not an expert, but like everyone else, I have an opinion.

I tend to favourably rate interviewees who can speak thoughtfully about their area of interest and certain trends in psychology overall. Interviewees who restate all their previous accomplishments and/or name drop, appear disinterested by not participating beyond promoting themselves, or act as if the programme would be lucky to be graced with their presence don't come across well. They don't seem like students that people might want to be around, even if they are highly accomplished. It communicates a lack of maturity.

Don't hide who you are. Don't act as you think they want you to act. Relax as much as you can. Be a fully present and developed person. You're more than just your work and interest in psychology. Respond to other students with grace and curiosity.

Remember, you need to know if you'll enjoy being yourself around them as much as (if not more than) they want to know if they want to be around you.

Edited by Psyche007
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  • 3 months later...

Hi All! Below is information about a great opportunity to hear from current clinical psychology PhD students about how to interview for grad school. Details are posted on the CU Boulder website: https://www.colorado.edu/clinicalpsychology/graduate-program/prospective-students

 

Join a zoom panel/Q&A on how to interview for clinical psychology PhD programs on Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. MST. Current CU Boulder clinical psychology PhD students will be providing interview tips before opening it up to Q&A.

You can join at this link: 
https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/91000748976

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