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Strange Interview Call; How to prepare for it?


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Hi, I just received an interview call from one of the schools I applied to but the strange thing is the professor who mailed me works on a totally different field and I never mentioned his name on my SOP. But he is the Director of Graduate Studies there and said he wants to learn more about my experiences and answer any possible questions I have in mind, by having a brief 20 minutes Skype char with me.


Now I am utterly perplexed as this is totally different from the other interviews I have had till now. What does this mean and how to prepare for this? Is this a simple speaking test? Or should I expect technical questions from his side?

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Hmm. 20 minutes is pretty short for an interview, even if the professor is not a POI.  It sounds like it could be speaking test, as you say.  Regardless, I would recommend that you be prepared to discuss your work and interests, and to ask questions about the program.  I think it's always a good idea to be ready to ask about the work of the person interviewing you -- even when that work is way outside your interests, it's important to show that you can be an interested member of the department, and that you can discuss and show interest in the work of others.  Good luck to you!

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It seems like you are at an advanced stage in their process...as long as you do not come across as completely crazy, you should be good !


More than technical knowledge, I think at this stage they are trying to assess your fit and interest in the program - so make sure you are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the research agenda at the department, and have plenty of questions about how the department functions, research methodologies, etc. 

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