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Bio Sciences Interview at WSU

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Hello! First post here...

Has anyone ever had an interview at Washington State, especially for the biological sciences program? What was your experience like?

I was invited to fly out to Washington for an on-site interview all expenses paid (airfare, hotel and meals) by the university. I fly out March 21st from the East Coast and have a full day of interviews and tours scheduled for the 22nd. I am getting super nervous, especially since my POI informed me today that not only will I be interviewing with him and my other POI for the program I applied to, but also the Graduate Student Advisory Committee, the department chair, and all other members of his team (current grad students, faculty and staff). Talk about pressure! I have gotten together a list of questions I have for them, as well as a list of questions they might ask me that I am drafting answers for.

Anything else I should prepare for? Any tips from anyone who has gone through this kind of interview process? Were you ultimately accepted to the program?


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I think this is pretty common in the sciences, where you will be working as a team with your POI's lab, not just one on one with the POI. This was very much how my interview was set up. I interviewed with my POI in the morning, several other faculty in the department, his other PhD student, and his lab staff over the course of the day. The next day I interviewed with the dean of graduate enrollment, the department chair, and some other faculty. I was just offered admission on Thursday. I have not received a funding offer yet but the program is pretty well funded and they seem pretty invested in their graduate students so I am hopeful and very excited.

Try to relax and enjoy this. You are meeting people you are interested in working with over the next several years, and hopefully you just hit it off all the way around. I was very nervous too, but immediately felt a good connection and rapport with most of the people I met and actually ended up enjoying it a lot. Read up on the types of projects they are involved in and be ready to ask them questions about their research, and answer questions about your own work and anything that might stand out on your CV and SOP. No one quizzed me on my knowledge about the specific academic areas of the program, but they all asked me a lot about what I am doing now. I think my ability to describe and explain my current work was very beneficial for me. I didn't get any of the kind of generic interview questions, but it can't hurt to be prepared for those. It was mostly structured where first they asked me about my experience and research interests, and then told me a bit about what they were doing and I asked them questions.

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I got interview with the School of Molecular Bioscience on March 2. Is that the same program you are interviewing on March 22nd? Yes, the interview is very informal and you just have to tell them about your current research. I like the program a lot, but the weather in the winter is very harsh. I am from Cali. Is this your first choice school. Did you apply to UCR as well. What do you think of the school compare to UCR.

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@Hillary Emick - Thanks for the encouragement! I am trying to relax and just mentally prepare myself for the long three days I have ahead of me next week. Hopefully, I can keep it together long enough just to be myself and show them how interested I am in their program!

@OldGrad2014 - No, I'm not interviewing for Molecular Bioscience. It's just for Biological Sciences/Zoology. I am hoping the structure is very informal, but I suppose I will be prepared either way (I think!). I am from Virginia, but I have lived in central New York for the last four or five winters, so I am VERY familiar with the cold and several feet of snow at a time. WSU is definintely one of my first choices simply because of the program that I am interviewing for! I didn't apply to UCR, so I can't say too much about that. Sorry.

Edited by jaylizzle9
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  • 2 weeks later...

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