Jump to content

Cambridge interview


Recommended Posts

I just had a professor contact me about a phone interview. He's not from my specialty area so I'm slightly unsure what this interview will consist of.

 

Anyone done one of these?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you search the forum here, you will find that if prof. that interviews you is not from your specific area of interest, than probably you are an "almost" candidate and the admissions committee is not sure whether to admit you or not.

If a prof. from your research area interviews you, than you are on paper a good match and are considered for funding via fellowship.

 

The above are general assumptions, and it could also just be that the prof that will interview you is accepting students and wants to talk to you if you would be interested joining his research, even that you specified other interests.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had a professor contact me about a phone interview. He's not from my specialty area so I'm slightly unsure what this interview will consist of.

 

Anyone done one of these?

 

Heard sometime back that cambridge forums provide better insights on these (I guess we will get access to these once submit application or something like that).

 

Other than that - there are several formats  - some might give you a paper(s) to read and the interview surrounds this. But in your case, it might be a technical interview from the professor's area of interest (may be there is some intersection somewhere). Usually the interviews are known to be grueling.

 

My 2 cents. Good luck! and do let us know how it went.

Edited by Nita
Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume by "Cambrige Forums" you probably mean the graduate union's forum - this indeed used to be a decent resource a while ago but has been closed due to lack of legitimate users and excessive spam postings. I don't know of any other (publicly available) forums from Cambridge itself. There's a British website called thestudentroom though, that might provide some more UK centric advice.

 

Generally my (limited) experience with UK interview would suggest that they are slightly more focused than their US counterparts, but still usually in a fairly relaxed atmosphere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, interesting, thanks for the feedback guys.

I should have mentioned, this isn't for a PhD application, but rather a research focused MPhil (I still had to submit a research proposal).

 

I've only had interviews with companies so far so, just to make sure, I am correct in assuming that these sort of interviews are nothing like the first stage interview you'd have when applying to Google or something like that, right?

I mean, I'm not gonna need to revise my knowledge of red black tree balancing procedures, am I?

 

Anyway I set it for Monday, I'll let you know how it went.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Student Room is indeed where most British students tend to go. 

 

I'll find out about the MPhil course and admissions from a friend who studied it.

 

Out of interest, who's the professor who's interviewing you? I might remember him/her from my undergraduate course :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

MPhil friend says that it most likely doesn't matter.

 

As for interview content, no, they're most likely not going to ask you obscure questions about 1st year data structures and algorithms... You should know a reasonable amount about your proposed research area though, and be able to back up / validate anything from your application.

Link to post
Share on other sites

MPhil friend says that it most likely doesn't matter.

 

As for interview content, no, they're most likely not going to ask you obscure questions about 1st year data structures and algorithms... You should know a reasonable amount about your proposed research area though, and be able to back up / validate anything from your application.

 

Yeah, that's what I figured, cheers.

 

Prof is Alastair Beresford

   
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, in case anyone is interested, I just had the interview. It wasn't too bad.

 

There were the usual questions: Why did you apply here; what are your plans; talk about your research; etc

 

There were also a couple technical questions that weren't too hard but that I still fumbled with because I hadn't thought about stuff like that in quite a while. They covered stuff like the basic functioning of the stack, heap, garbage collection, memory allocation, that sort of stuff.

I think I got there in the end and showed that my transcripts are not actually forged, but I'm not sure how much the fumbling will hurt me. Guess we'll see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, in case anyone is interested, I just had the interview. It wasn't too bad.

 

There were the usual questions: Why did you apply here; what are your plans; talk about your research; etc

 

There were also a couple technical questions that weren't too hard but that I still fumbled with because I hadn't thought about stuff like that in quite a while. They covered stuff like the basic functioning of the stack, heap, garbage collection, memory allocation, that sort of stuff.

I think I got there in the end and showed that my transcripts are not actually forged, but I'm not sure how much the fumbling will hurt me. Guess we'll see.

 

Great to know! Like I mentioned in one of the posts above, one of the applicants I knew found the interview to be thoroughly technical and gruelling (ofcourse he was asked to read a paper and the discussion centered around it). Maybe his stars were bad. But that was for D.Phil anyway.

 

By cambridge forums I mean that till some couple of years back, an applicant will get access to read/write some topics of the cambridge internal forums (some resource page I forgot). Looking back they have now removed it. Such a good resource, what a waste :(

 

 

Out of curiosity, did you actually propose a thoroughly planned research project in your application for M.Phil? I  am just wondering if we have to stick to it once we join the program.. Any insights in this?

 

And, yea good luck to you :-)

Edited by Nita
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to know! Like I mentioned in one of the posts above, one of the applicants I knew found the interview to be thoroughly technical and gruelling (ofcourse he was asked to read a paper and the discussion centered around it). Maybe his stars were bad. But that was for D.Phil anyway.

 

By cambridge forums I mean that till some couple of years back, an applicant will get access to read/write some topics of the cambridge internal forums (some resource page I forgot). Looking back they have now removed it. Such a good resource, what a waste :(

 

 

Out of curiosity, did you actually propose a thoroughly planned research project in your application for M.Phil? I  am just wondering if we have to stick to it once we join the program.. Any insights in this?

 

And, yea good luck to you :-)

 

Yeah, I expect the PhD interview would be tougher.

 

You don't have to stick to your planned project at all, it's just used to give them a sense of your interests/knowledge and to find a potential supervisor for you(who will probably interview you). As I understand it, the first quarter at Cambridge is when you actually have to commit to a supervisor and a project and the 2nd and 3rd quarters are when most of the research work gets done.

 

And thanks. I notice that people who had their interview last week are getting their results about now. So hopefully there shouldn't be too long of a wait left (I'm getting sick of checking CamSIS 1-2 times a day)

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Haggis, I see one admit in Cam MPhil comp science. Is that yours?

 

Yeah, I got a conditional offer. (have to get a first, if you're familiar with the british degree types)

 

Here's the timeline in case anyone checks this thread next year.

 

Last reference sent: 12 December

Contacted about interview: 20 February

Interview: 25 February

Accepted by department and moved to BOGS: 28 February (degree committe approval seems to have happened simultaneously with department approval)

Official offer: 1st March

 

They moved really fast after that interview.

 

Guess the fumbling didn't hurt me too much. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I got a conditional offer. (have to get a first, if you're familiar with the british degree types)

 

Here's the timeline in case anyone checks this thread next year.

 

Last reference sent: 12 December

Contacted about interview: 20 February

Interview: 25 February

Accepted by department and moved to BOGS: 28 February (degree committe approval seems to have happened simultaneously with department approval)

Official offer: 1st March

 

They moved really fast after that interview.

 

Guess the fumbling didn't hurt me too much. :)

 

cool! congrats :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.