Face your fears: How to Prepare for a PhD Interview

If you have been familiar with a job interview, you can predict what you are going to be asked. PhD interviews are taken by the heads of the department and supervisors. The purpose of an interview is to know about your academic background, the suitability of your personality to conduct research, motivation and career goals. Here are some ways to qualify your interview.

Review your research proposal

You should be fully aware of your research proposal as your interviewer can ask questions related to it. You should have full knowledge about your research background. How can the university benefit from your research? Why did you choose this topic? Why do you think this topic is more important than others? Answer each question in detail. 

Interviewers will try to gauge your motivation

The panel of supervisors will also consider knowing that you have put some thought into deciding your doctorate. The journey is going to be long and complicated. It requires motivation to put up with obstacles that emerge during your research. Interviewers will gauge you whether you are passionate about your research. Are you motivated enough to pursue it? Before they invest money and time, they will know your commitment toward your PhD project. Show how it will help you achieve your career goals. 

Prepare yourself to prove that you are the right person for the programme

Your proposal cannot be approved if you lack explaining what is involved in your research project. However, there is another thing that your interviewers will try to know – your capability to conduct research. Why do you think you are the right person for this project? This is a very importunate question that they will ask you. You have to demonstrate your qualities to prove that you have the potential to accomplish your PhD. You will also tell them why this is the right department, university and research laboratory for you. 

Here are some questions that you might be asked at your PhD interview. 

  • Why do you think this is the right university for you?
  • How will you benefit from your PhD?
  • How can your research be benign for the university or department?
  • What are your strengths that make you eligible for this PhD project?
  • What challenges are you expecting during your research and how will you overcome them?
  • Tell us about your research project.
  • What challenges did you overcome in the past?
  • Why did you this topic?
  • How will you balance your academic and personal life?
  • Do you have any questions for us? 

Tackle the supervisors with great patience and diligence. Their suggestions must be embedded, but your arguments must be loud and clear. Keep your word but also listen to what they say.

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