Ava1234567
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Hello, I have a Skype interview for a phd studentship. I’m very nervous can someone please give me some idea of what they may ask and how the interview will go?? Thank you!
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Keele University
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(Original post by Ava1234567)
Hello, I have a Skype interview for a phd studentship. I’m very nervous can someone please give me some idea of what they may ask and how the interview will go?? Thank you!
PhD interviews can vary greatly so it's difficult to give concrete advice about what you should expect. As a general rule of thumb though, interviews come in two types - the more structured interview, where you can expect to be asked a series of formal questions, and the unstructured interview, which can feel more like a chat.

In either case, you're not going to be expected to regurgitate your application form/letter - the interview is designed to build on that and, usually, is more about finding out whether you'll be a good fit with the research culture of the university and have the passion/dedication to see the project through than assessing whether you have the necessary expertise to undertake the PhD.

My number one tip with interviews is BE YOURSELF. Think about why this particular PhD studentship excites you and demonstrate your passion and interest in the subject - don't be afraid to be enthusiastic, or to say what you want to get out of your PhD studies.

It's also helpful to remember that an interview is a two-way process - don't forget that you're allowed to ask questions too. So think about what you want to know - how does supervision work? What are the universities plans in terms of teaching in the next year - will it be virtual/face-to-face etc? How does the academic school support postgraduate research activities?

My final tip is don't race to answer questions. It's okay to take a little time to think about your answer and phrase it correctly. You can always stall for time by saying things like 'that's a really interesting question, let me just think about that for a moment...'. It's also okay to admit what you don't know, or what skills you don't possess - a PhD is a learning process so it's good to demonstrate that you've thought about what you will need to learn to complete your proposed project and how you will go about gaining that knowledge.

Hope that helps and good luck with the interview!

Amy
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Ava1234567
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Thank you that is so helpful! I
(Original post by Keele University)
PhD interviews can vary greatly so it's difficult to give concrete advice about what you should expect. As a general rule of thumb though, interviews come in two types - the more structured interview, where you can expect to be asked a series of formal questions, and the unstructured interview, which can feel more like a chat.

In either case, you're not going to be expected to regurgitate your application form/letter - the interview is designed to build on that and, usually, is more about finding out whether you'll be a good fit with the research culture of the university and have the passion/dedication to see the project through than assessing whether you have the necessary expertise to undertake the PhD.

My number one tip with interviews is BE YOURSELF. Think about why this particular PhD studentship excites you and demonstrate your passion and interest in the subject - don't be afraid to be enthusiastic, or to say what you want to get out of your PhD studies.

It's also helpful to remember that an interview is a two-way process - don't forget that you're allowed to ask questions too. So think about what you want to know - how does supervision work? What are the universities plans in terms of teaching in the next year - will it be virtual/face-to-face etc? How does the academic school support postgraduate research activities?

My final tip is don't race to answer questions. It's okay to take a little time to think about your answer and phrase it correctly. You can always stall for time by saying things like 'that's a really interesting question, let me just think about that for a moment...'. It's also okay to admit what you don't know, or what skills you don't possess - a PhD is a learning process so it's good to demonstrate that you've thought about what you will need to learn to complete your proposed project and how you will go about gaining that knowledge.

Hope that helps and good luck with the interview!

Amy
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Ava1234567
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(Original post by Keele University)
PhD interviews can vary greatly so it's difficult to give concrete advice about what you should expect. As a general rule of thumb though, interviews come in two types - the more structured interview, where you can expect to be asked a series of formal questions, and the unstructured interview, which can feel more like a chat.

In either case, you're not going to be expected to regurgitate your application form/letter - the interview is designed to build on that and, usually, is more about finding out whether you'll be a good fit with the research culture of the university and have the passion/dedication to see the project through than assessing whether you have the necessary expertise to undertake the PhD.

My number one tip with interviews is BE YOURSELF. Think about why this particular PhD studentship excites you and demonstrate your passion and interest in the subject - don't be afraid to be enthusiastic, or to say what you want to get out of your PhD studies.

It's also helpful to remember that an interview is a two-way process - don't forget that you're allowed to ask questions too. So think about what you want to know - how does supervision work? What are the universities plans in terms of teaching in the next year - will it be virtual/face-to-face etc? How does the academic school support postgraduate research activities?

My final tip is don't race to answer questions. It's okay to take a little time to think about your answer and phrase it correctly. You can always stall for time by saying things like 'that's a really interesting question, let me just think about that for a moment...'. It's also okay to admit what you don't know, or what skills you don't possess - a PhD is a learning process so it's good to demonstrate that you've thought about what you will need to learn to complete your proposed project and how you will go about gaining that knowledge.

Hope that helps and good luck with the interview!

Amy
Can I ask, how many people on average are invited to interview for one phd post? This is a fully funded studentship and know they are very competitive
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mnot
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(Original post by Ava1234567)
Hello, I have a Skype interview for a phd studentship. I’m very nervous can someone please give me some idea of what they may ask and how the interview will go?? Thank you!
Short answer is they can ask anything.

But they’ll probably try to keep it more of a conversation.

You should be prepared to talk about your previous academics, your research experience and why you’ll be good at it, any professional experience (if you have any), the field specifically.

Id recommend:
-Reading recent papers the interviewers have published
-refresh your knowledge on the field
-be prepared to talk about why this research area is exciting
-try to make it a conversation
-you should also be seeing if you like the supervisor, donyou want to work with them for 4 years?
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Keele University
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(Original post by Ava1234567)
Can I ask, how many people on average are invited to interview for one phd post? This is a fully funded studentship and know they are very competitive
Again, it varies depending on the PhD and the subject. I applied for two PhD studentships - one was very competitive (not sure exactly how many candidates but I know there were at least 5 of us applying from Keele) as it was an open competition for funding of your own research proposal. The other had fewer candidates (2 or 3 I think), as it was a collaborative doctoral partnership studentship and was therefore more specific in its research aims.

If you've made it through to the interview stage though, you've already impressed the university with your application. Chances are they'll probably only interview their top candidates.

Amy
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