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Clinical Psych PhD GROUP Interview?


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I did once. From what I recall it was 4-5 of us applicants meeting with 2 faculty at a time, and there were 3-4 of these group interviews. Some were just conversations about a research topic to look at how we shared ideas & listened in a group setting, others were "get to know you" questions, and finally there were some standard interview questions that we took turns answering (strengths & weaknesses, career goals, etc).

The most awkward question was, "Why should we pick you instead of the other people in the room?" Hard to answer that when those people are listening.

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35 minutes ago, JacobW83 said:

I did once. From what I recall it was 4-5 of us applicants meeting with 2 faculty at a time, and there were 3-4 of these group interviews. Some were just conversations about a research topic to look at how we shared ideas & listened in a group setting, others were "get to know you" questions, and finally there were some standard interview questions that we took turns answering (strengths & weaknesses, career goals, etc).

The most awkward question was, "Why should we pick you instead of the other people in the room?" Hard to answer that when those people are listening.

Were there a lot of non-answer answers or did people go full out?

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25 minutes ago, 8BitJourney said:

Were there a lot of non-answer answers or did people go full out?

For that awkward question I think most of us tried to be gracious about it. I know I didn't want to assume anything about the other applicants and I didn't want to appear presumptuous or rude, so I tried to avoid any specific contrasts.

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I had a group interview where they asked the 6 of us to solve problems as a group. It actually turned out pretty fun, and everyone was very non-threatening and agreeable. I will be interviewing in my group for the whole day this week. I will let you know how that goes!

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I heard some of them are terrible (someone correct me here). They will ask questions like "how does everyone feel about this aggressive environment?"

WHY do they do this? It seems unnecessarily sadistic to me. There are other ways to gain valuable information about applicants without damaging a person's dignity.

I'm actually thinking of canceling some clinical ones because I don't want to go through this although I'd like to meet the faculty.

Edited by buttercup8d
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6 hours ago, buttercup8d said:

I heard some of them are terrible (someone correct me here). They will ask questions like "how does everyone feel about this aggressive environment?"

WHY do they do this? It seems unnecessarily sadistic to me. There are other ways to gain valuable information about applicants without damaging a person's dignity.

I'm actually thinking of canceling some clinical ones because I don't want to go through this although I'd like to meet the faculty.

Its probably to see how well an applicant plays with other and how they handle themselves under pressure (like when a doctoral student has to keep calm during group supervision). Its not entirely pleasant particularly when there are conversation hogs/obnoxious applicants. but most other applicants are usually civil and will be willing to play off each other to make the entire thing less awkward. And for that aggressive environment question just spin it into a positive like: "its great to meet so many other exceptional applicants who could be my future colleagues and network" or "I'm sure everyone has brought a unique mix of experiences and perspectives that I'd love to hear" etc etc. So don't cancel those schools yet, you won't know if its bad till you get there and even then remember you made it to the interview stage so you're just as qualified as other people at that table :) 

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