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Visiting Day is making me nervous


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Hello,

So I have an upcoming interview/ visiting day. The interview is with my undergraduate institution so I probably shouldn't be so nervous but I am. I'm kinda shy. Right now I am scheduled to talk with several faculty members during the morning and that is what is making me nervous. I know I will be talking to my POI which is fine since I've worked in his lab and known him for quite a while but I'm also meeting with several other professors. I'm unsure what to talk to them about because I applied to the social psych program but I am also meeting with professors who specialize in areas such as cognitive psych. I've been mainly focusing on preparing for my POI but now I feel really unprepared to meet with the other faculty since I don't know their research. I have taken classes from these professors but I don't know what they specifically do in their lab. What kind of things should I prepare to talk about?

Thanks I'm kinda freaking out if you couldn't tell.

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Social interviews are fairly relaxed. Be prepared to talk about what your research interests are, and what kind of things you've worked on in the past. Have questions ready (you can repeat them to different faculty), things like "how much collaboration across labs/areas happens?" or "what kinds of methods do you use to study that?". I'd just know the basic area of research for the faculty you're interviewing with, they aren't there to quiz you.

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I'm not in psych, but speaking generally I am a very reserved person who attended a rather social visiting event. My faculty sponsor (and POI) arranged for me to meet with other faculty, and I didn't find out who until arriving at the event. These faculty were chosen as potential collaboration connections, though their research methods were unfamiliar to me and of course I did not have time to read up on their labs.

The meetings ended up not being stressful at all because they seemed to be more of a show and tell by the faculty. They did first ask me about my experience and my interests for grad school, so I briefly described my senior thesis project and post-undergrad positions and explained how the interests I developed through those positions led me to my sponsor's current research projects.

The rest of the time they described recent projects in their labs, and I felt I understood well enough to ask basic things like "Do you think <method/approach used in their lab> could be used to <explore some question related to the work done in my prospective lab>?"

I think most professors want to talk about their research and many will do so without being asked. Just listen well and be engaged: ask them to elaborate on aspects that are unfamiliar or interest you, and if you can chime in with connections between their work and your experience/interests then all the better.

I agree with watson that the point of the meeting is not to quiz you. I'd imagine only a few professors would make it their duty to test your knowledge and see how you react when put on the spot, and in my opinion, professors who would do that likely have personalities that would make some applicants not want to work with them anyways...

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