Designing interviews for PhD studentships

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  • #1
feynman1
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Faculty looking for tips of designing PhD studentship interviews. Can there be more than 1 interview for each candidate, which is more common a practice in industry?
How to determine the timescale: when enough applicants in the market have reached out to us for us to start interviewing? How to balance between waiting for as many applicants as possible and not losing important applicants?
 
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  • #2
berkeman
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Interviewing for what? These are job applicants for a job that requires a PhD? In what field?
 
  • #3
feynman1
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Interviewing for what? These are job applicants for a job that requires a PhD? In what field?
PhD studentship in physical sciences
 
  • #4
berkeman
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PhD studentship in physical sciences
Sorry, what background will these candidates have? A Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree? And you are interviewing them for acceptance into your PhD program? And they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and any required standardized test scores?
 
  • #5
CrysPhys
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Sorry, what background will these candidates have? A Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree? And you are interviewing them for acceptance into your PhD program? And they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and any required standardized test scores?
To: OP. For clarification, in addition to the information asked for above, also answer: (a) What country are you in? (2) Are you interviewing students applying for admission to your university, or are you interviewing students who have already been admitted (and have subsequently passed initial round of graduate-school qualifications (courses and exams) and are seeking an advisor for their dissertation)?
 
  • #6
feynman1
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Sorry, what background will these candidates have? A Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree? And you are interviewing them for acceptance into your PhD program? And they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and any required standardized test scores?
yes you got my point. A Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree.
 
  • #7
feynman1
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To: OP. For clarification, in addition to the information asked for above, also answer: (a) What country are you in? (2) Are you interviewing students applying for admission to your university, or are you interviewing students who have already been admitted (and have subsequently passed initial round of graduate-school qualifications (courses and exams) and are seeking an advisor for their dissertation)?
1. US
2. seeking an advisor for their dissertation
 
  • #8
berkeman
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yes you got my point. A Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree.
Sorry, but that is of very marginal help. Please post answers to ALL of the clarifying questions you have been asked in this thread so far, or I will need to close it as a painful waste of time.
 
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  • #9
feynman1
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Sorry, but that is of very marginal help. Please post answers to ALL of the clarifying questions you have been asked in this thread so far, or I will need to close it as a painful waste of time.
A Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree.
I'm interviewing them for acceptance into my PhD program.
And they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and required standardized test scores.
 
  • #10
berkeman
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A Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree.
I'm interviewing them for acceptance into my PhD program.
And they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and required standardized test scores.
Thank you!
Faculty looking for tips of designing PhD studentship interviews
Is the first set of PhD interviews that you and your faculty have conducted?
 
  • #11
feynman1
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Is the first set of PhD interviews that you and your faculty have conducted?
yes
 
  • #12
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Well, that's the first thing to fix. Add someone to your team who had PhD students before.
 
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  • #13
Choppy
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Some thoughts and recommendations...
  • Keep the interview informal. As a meeting between student and supervisor, ideally you want to get to know each other. The students may be quite nervous and you're more interested in getting to know who they really are rather than how well they dress up. And let them know they are choosing you as much as you are choosing them.
  • Discuss expectations. As a supervisor, what do you expect of your students? Do you want them in your lab at specific hours? How often do you want to hold meetings? How formal do you like meetings?
  • Discuss the students' expectations. What are they hoping to learn? What are their future goals and are they realistic in light of what you can offer?
  • Discuss independence. How independent do you expect a PhD student to be? Some supervisors like to have a lot of control over a project. Others take a hands off approach.
  • When will you be available? Do you have an open-door policy or do you keep specific office hours? How many other graduate students do you have and how much time can you dedicate to this person specifically?
  • How will each of you define a successful outcome? How will that be measured? Papers published? Conference proceedings?
  • Discuss funding. How is the student going to be supported? Are there times of the year (i.e. summer) where that stipend or TA is not available?
  • Learn what motivates the student. Students who are just looking to get in "somewhere" tend not to be as successful as students who have specifically sought out your project.
  • What background knowledge do they have and what holes will have to be filled in?
  • Learn something about the student that's not related to the project. What do they enjoy outside of their studies? Do you have any common interests?
  • Remember, as a supervisor, you are going to be responsible for mentoring this person for a very long time. It's important to pair yourself with someone who will gel with your personal mentoring style.
 
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  • #14
Vanadium 50
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Please post answers to ALL of the clarifying questions you have been asked in this thread so far, or I will need to close it as a painful waste of time.

Hmmm...we seem to be going there, because...

Are you interviewing students applying for admission to your university, or are you interviewing students who have already been admitted (and have subsequently passed initial round of graduate-school qualifications (courses and exams) and are seeking an advisor for their dissertation)?

We still don't have this. On the one hand, we have

seeking an advisor for their dissertation

But on the other, we have.

they have already submitted their transcripts and recommendation letters and required standardized test scores.

This does not sound like a US program. In the US, admission and advisor selection are two separate processes, typically separated by a year.
 

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