PhD interview help! Watch

donutaud15
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So I applied for an advertised studentship and today I found out that I've been shortlisted for an interview. I have no experience of academic interview, does anyone have any tips?

It's in museum studies, specifically digitizing collections. I have not written any research proposal and beyond the information that was provided in the advertisement I don't know much about the project. Just written the covering letter and personal statement for the application.

I literally just have this weekend to figure this interview so I'm worried.
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marinade
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I think you said it was a skype interview. I would say these are a little different.

Advice I got just before was basically shut up, you're talking to 'experts'. On the skype interview I found that the time just runs away, I think this is especially true if there are multiple supervisors.

The interview may have quite a 'low bar' where the questions may not end up as technical as you think (not saying this will definitely happen).

You may find quite a few 'fishing' questions in there deliberately designed to irritate a reaction e.g. why do you want to do a PhD, so you don't want to do one because... all right so you did xyz, how come... The skype one it's more difficult to read as it's delayed screen and you haven't had other information to read such as interactions before or with each other.

It's a nicey nicey for people to meet and think all right so I have glanced over their app and it's good, but do they really want this, do they really know what it's about. Some of it may be a blurb about this is a PhD, you have to just sit and listen and watch the clock fly away on that one I'm afraid. Then it may be bam, bam, bam question on xyz.

Read up, but they won't be expecting you to know specifically about the digitizing collections. So I would say on that one have two or three questions planned about the PhD about the roadblocks or problems you think you may come across. I have no idea what they are but you do, I don't know something like are some of the collections stored far away around the world with transportation and logistical problems, what do you do about the bits that fail to digitize and so on. Don't ask those questions they are daft, but you get the idea.

I would also think about software. So the department almost certainly has a bit of software they used that they are obsessed by or they want you to write your own - either of these are important things.

See if you can find info about the project off academics' twitter feeds or other sources. I had this problem for my current PhD where the department forgot to send me the blurb before interview and there is very little info on-line about it (really) and I was quite sceptical, perhaps too so, but my supervisors I think thought that as I'd asked that I was serious about it.

Having sat in the office with an administrator since I started, there's a lot of gossip about PhD/postdoc candidates about how nice/nasty they are.
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donutaud15
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(Original post by marinade)
I think you said it was a skype interview. I would say these are a little different.

Advice I got just before was basically shut up, you're talking to 'experts'. On the skype interview I found that the time just runs away, I think this is especially true if there are multiple supervisors.

The interview may have quite a 'low bar' where the questions may not end up as technical as you think (not saying this will definitely happen).

You may find quite a few 'fishing' questions in there deliberately designed to irritate a reaction e.g. why do you want to do a PhD, so you don't want to do one because... all right so you did xyz, how come... The skype one it's more difficult to read as it's delayed screen and you haven't had other information to read such as interactions before or with each other.

It's a nicey nicey for people to meet and think all right so I have glanced over their app and it's good, but do they really want this, do they really know what it's about. Some of it may be a blurb about this is a PhD, you have to just sit and listen and watch the clock fly away on that one I'm afraid. Then it may be bam, bam, bam question on xyz.

Read up, but they won't be expecting you to know specifically about the digitizing collections. So I would say on that one have two or three questions planned about the PhD about the roadblocks or problems you think you may come across. I have no idea what they are but you do, I don't know something like are some of the collections stored far away around the world with transportation and logistical problems, what do you do about the bits that fail to digitize and so on. Don't ask those questions they are daft, but you get the idea.

I would also think about software. So the department almost certainly has a bit of software they used that they are obsessed by or they want you to write your own - either of these are important things.

See if you can find info about the project off academics' twitter feeds or other sources. I had this problem for my current PhD where the department forgot to send me the blurb before interview and there is very little info on-line about it (really) and I was quite sceptical, perhaps too so, but my supervisors I think thought that as I'd asked that I was serious about it.

Having sat in the office with an administrator since I started, there's a lot of gossip about PhD/postdoc candidates about how nice/nasty they are.
thanks!
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