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    Hey,

    I've been offered an interview for an MRC DTP PhD 4 year programme in Biomedical Sciences. There are 4 themes and I've chosen my top 3 lab projects I'd want to do and they're all in the theme of neurosciences. I have to give a 5 minute presentation about something that excites me. I'm just not sure what sort of questions to expect in the interview. Does anyone have any advice?

    Laura
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    Why this program, why this uni, why a PhD, why these projects, why you. Make sure you know your application and previous projects well. Be polite, confident and smile. Ask lots of questions and do your homework about the place and scheme. Remember that you never know who is assessing you so always have your game face on.
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    Good advice above.

    I'd particularly echo the last point - you're not just being assessed when you're in the interview or giving your presentation. People will be looking at how you interact with other candidates and staff in an informal environment. The uni wants someone who, as well as being a good researcher, can talk about themselves and their research confidently, learn from others in a range of settings, network (key for academic progression) and be an effective ambassador for the uni e.g. at conferences. Your game face needs to be on from the moment you walk up to Reception, to the moment you leave the building.

    Don't make the classic mistake of spending waiting times glued to your phone or isolated from other people. One of my cousins was shortlisted and only lost out because he made a fifteen minute phone call to his g/f during a coffee break, rather than sitting down to chat to other candidates. Some PhDs are so competitive that this level of detail will matter, so it's always best to assume that it does and act accordingly.
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    Passion. Whatever the topic may be, as long as you can generate an interest from the people to whom you are giving the presentation you will be fine.

    I love my PhD topic, but that doesn't mean that you will. Contextualise your presentation in something that is universal. Then you will be fine.
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    Hey Laura,

    I'm applying onto a number of MRC schemes over the next couple of weeks. Is there any advice, seeing as you went through the process (and I hope got the place!) that you'd give to a prospective student? What kind of questions did they ask and how specific to the programme (e.g. about the projects that have been going on or something more 'in the grand scheme of things' based)?

    I understand this post is a little old but any help would be great!
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    Why this program, why this uni, why a PhD, why these projects, why you. Make sure you know your application and previous projects well. Be polite, confident and smile. Ask lots of questions and do your homework about the place and scheme. Remember that you never know who is assessing you so always have your game face on.
    Hey alleycat, I know this is off topic but it might help OP as well.

    Was you PhD funded? If it was, how was the stipend paid? Quarterly? Monthly?
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Don't make the classic mistake of spending waiting times glued to your phone or isolated from other people. One of my cousins was shortlisted and only lost out because he made a fifteen minute phone call to his g/f during a coffee break, rather than sitting down to chat to other candidates. Some PhDs are so competitive that this level of detail will matter, so it's always best to assume that it does and act accordingly.
    Wow glad I did a Skype interview for my one and avoided all that! Did they actually tell your cousin that as feedback?
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    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Wow glad I did a Skype interview for my one and avoided all that! Did they actually tell your cousin that as feedback?
    Yes they mare a point of telling him. The candidates were all good and very closely matched, so apparently small things like that were what made the difference.
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    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Wow glad I did a Skype interview for my one and avoided all that! Did they actually tell your cousin that as feedback?
    It's a job interview at the end of the day. Making private phone calls instead of interacting with others makes you appear uninterested (or at least less interested and less enthusiastic than others you are competing with).

    They inspect and critique a lot worse than that in assessment centres for graduate jobs, such as whether you are using people's names when you talk to them, how you dress, making eye contact, having a suitable personality, etc. My PhD interview was a breeze compared to that process.
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    ljsmith, I am currently in the same position as you and I was wondering how the interview went and if you have any tips ?
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    What uni is this for? I'm still waiting to hear from my application
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    The one I've got an interview invitation for is Cambridge. Where did you apply?
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    Kings for the MRC DTP
 
 
 
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