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Interviews with different profs than POIs


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Hi everyone,


Long time lurker, first time poster here! I hope you don't mind me asking a question.


I just received my schedule for the interviews and I was surprised to find that none of the 5 profs that I will be talking to are the ones that I have listed as the profs that I am most interested in -the school sent us a form before to list our top 5. Interestingly, one of my scheduled profs is a Professor Emeritus.


Does this happen often? I don't mind a single bit to talk to these professors (they all do cool work), but I just can't get my head around the fact that all 5 of my listed profs are busy.

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Maybe several other students listed them too and they submitted their list sooner? Also teaching courses potentially--possible time conflicts that way.

I had to list 12 for UNC and got 4 of them and 1 not on my list for my fifth (but I'm betting that one is on the admissions committee not that my other 8 have conflicts)

That's actually another thought. My current school wants to know who you're interested in doing research for but only adcom members actually meet potential students. The adcom is well aware of who is taking students and who isn't. You don't interview with POIs until after acceptance in order to line up rotations or such. So maybe where you applied does the same?

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Woops, I somehow forgot to reply to your post.. in my head I totally did.


Anyways, thanks for your response BiochemMom! You were partially right on the second part. The program I interviewed had 3 co-chairs and all students were interviewed by at least 2 of them. The program also consisted of 2 collaborating departments and really little profs in the one department conducted interviews; of course I had to select all professors of the department that played a smaller part in the interview process  :P

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I wouldn't worry too much about it. For my interview, both of my POI's were out of town, so I just got members of the adcomm for my interview and ended up getting accepted! Although IsleofBlue's experience is probably more typical and indicative of what you'll experience, mine was actually the opposite. One of the people on the adcomm was near my area of research, though not close enough to be a POI, but knew extensively about secondary works in my field and grilled me on them. So I'd say if one of your interviewers is somewhat close to your field, be prepared to talk specifics about research plans. But if not, then it will probably be more like IsleofBlue said: general questions. Best of luck! 

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