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Telephone Interview


Pencil75
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Hi everybody,

I received an email yesterday regrading one of my phd applications. It briefly says that one of the professors would call me next week for a telephone interview.

I haven't done it before! Any idea about the kinds of questions, formality/informality of the interview, and also chances of admission is appreciated. :wub:

Edited by Ali Yousefi
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Hi everybody,

I received an email yesterday regrading one of my phd applications. It briefly says that one of the professors would call me next week for a telephone interview.

I haven't done it before! Any idea about the kinds of questions, formality/informality of the interview, and also chances of admission is appreciated. :wub:

Dear Ali

I had the same experience last month most of professors want to know about your communication skills and your objective of applying for PhD the first question will be about your goal of applying for PhD and why you choose this university. then they ask you explain your past academic activities experiences research you have done and you field of interest. I hope you can got a good admission.

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I've had 2 interviews; 1 in person and 1 phone interview, and there are pros and cons to both. The great thing about the phone interview is you can have your notes right there in front of you without needing to worry about looking at them too much and maintining eye contact with your interviewers. The bad thing is it can be a little awkward at first over the phone since you can't see the interviewer(s) and may not know when to speak. Likewise, the interviewer may not know when you are finished with your answer so there can be some awkward pauses.

I was asked a variety of questions in both my interviews:

1. Describe a challenge you've had to overcome.

2. Name 3 attributes that would make a grad student successful in this program.

3. Tell us about something in the field that has peaked your interest and why.

4. What books have you read recently?

5. Why this profession? Why this specific program?

Make sure your answers are in-line with what was written in your SOP and application. Also, have several questions prepared for the interviewers that will show your interest in the program. You don't have to ask them all since they may answer some in your conversation beforehand, but it is good to be prepared. Just make sure they are thoughtful and show you've done your research. The question portion was the best part of my phone interview. It gave the faculty a chance to speak about their area of knowledge and 'sell" the program. You can really tell how much enthusiasm they have for the profession during this time and the what type of mentor they would be.

Most of all, just be yourself. I received some great advice before my phone interview and I'm glad I took it. I also really wanted the spot and was told to let that come through and to not downplay my interest for fear of coming off as "too excited." They want people that are passionate and determined. Last thing- make sure to send thank you emails (and follow up questions if you have them) to everyone you speak with.

Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had several phone interviews or phone meetings with potential professors when applying to grad school. The key thing is to just relax, which I think you can do easily because you can be at home and wearing whatever you want! Make sure you're some place when you won't be disturbed. If you're relaxed and in a comfortable place, you can be yourself.

Also, you can (and should) have a list of things that you either want to remember to say or questions you want to ask them in front of you. Almost everyone asked "Do you have any questions for me?" and someone told me beforehand that if you say "No" this shows you are unprepared and haven't thought enough about the program. Also when I'm nervous I tend to forget everything I wanted to say so this is why having a list in front of you can be great.

The biggest thing for me was that I speak really fast, so I had to remember to slow down and to let them talk as well. Don't be afraid to take a few seconds before you respond back. It won't be an awkward silence unless you're taking 10 minutes to respond... don't do that lol.

Good luck. I actually prefer phone interviews because you don't have to "get ready" and look the part like you do in a regular interview.

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My best advice: Pace.

Seriously - it helps. You will have a lot of nervous energy and pacing helps get that out. Plus, you speak clearer and more articulately when you are standing up.

That, and I would recommend dressing up a bit. If I'm in pj's, I feel like I'm not serious about what I'm talking about as much as if I'm in khakis and a nice top.

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