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what went wrong in your first interview?


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Hi everyone,

I have been hearing people saying their first interviews went less than ideal. As someone who only has one interview, I am concern about this since I won't have further interviews to improve myself. Could people share what they think why their first interview was not as good as their other ones? 


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I applied to work with one professor (X) and then got invited by a different professor (Y). I didn't realize that this meant that X was not interested in my application even though Y was. I proceeded to tell all the people I met at the open house that I wanted to work for X, and they got confused and asked, "But isn't Y hosting you?" It was more awkward than I realized at the time.

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  • 10 months later...

My first-ever interview was awkward on all accounts. During my first conversation with the grad students I was staying with, we were talking about crisis line work and tricky cases. I mentioned that I had a suicidal consumer who smoked weed to relax, and I couldn't tell him to do it or not do it - who was I to say yes or no if it helped him. So I said to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. At this point, the grad students looked at each other so as to say "this candidate is talking about something risque". I guess it wasn't yet legalized medicinally here. Ironically, literature now suggests that alcohol is a risk factor for suicide and marijuana may be somewhat protective. Anyway, it gets worse. One girl who I stayed with had a pet rat, and it had a "medical emergency" at 2am and had to be taken to an emergency vet. My thought: "it's a f***ing rat". Finally, when things couldn't get any worse, I got stuck on an elevator for over 2 hours with 6 other applicants during a clinic tour. We missed most of the social reception that was the closing event to the interview (i.e., networking and sealing the deal). The fire department had to come and get us out. It was literally the worst interview experience ever. On top of that,  a couple current doctoral students I spoke to were a bit full of themselves. When I look back now, I just laugh. I wasn't supposed to go to this program, and nothing worked in my favor from the very beginning.

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