Cant get an interview!


Hi all,

I got a 2.i in my undergraduate degree (four years) and am currently doing an MSc (on for a distinction). Last month I applied at 4 universities for PhDs but as of yet no word about interviews. Now i applied for a couple last year (doing fourth year of undergrad) and got two (the one i was short listed into final 2 for project). Im pretty depressed about this, seeing as I am more qualified, yet cant seem to get my foot in the door. One potential supervisor said my CV was "excellent" and the research am doing is "cutting edge", yet the interviews for this university were yesterday (second round next week). Other deparments are holding interviews later this week/next week. Obviously I was not short-listed for any of these. I am starting to think it could it be my references (they were different from last year). I am pretty depressed about the whole situation tbh!! Going into academia (plus lecturing) is my ultimate career ambition. Most departments are now no longer taking applicants as deadlines have passed.

Any advice?


I got rejected for a couple of interviews despuite having an 'excellent' CV and really good refs, I was told by my advisor to just apply for loads and loads cos theres lots of competition, and not to be disheartened. I did this and eventually got 2 interviews! I also get the impression there are postions going year round; I keep getting 'spam' about PhD positions from other unis from my faculty office ;)


Firstly try not to get down, some PhDs must have a lot of applicants and you've just gotta keep trying and keep applying. Secondly on your next application is there anyone who can look through your personal statement and advise on that aspect of the appplication?

I was the opposite when applying for PhDs - my application got me interviews, but i never got the post! It took me four years and about 8 interviews to get where i am now, so don't be disheartened to not get in straight away.


getting rejections is tough, but doesn't necessarly have to do with the quality of the application, but rather with luck. the statistical probability that excellent applications won't be successful is quite high!
however if you still think something is wrong with your references, i believe you have a right to see them. but i'm not sure about the details.


I got a 1st, applied for about 8 positions (not including supervisors I emailed not based on job adverts - then the total is about 40), got 5 interviews and was only offered the one job.

Even with a 1st its hard to get your foot in the door and just as competative - supervisors have to sift through lots of cvs, they go through primary sifts to remove ones that just don't cut it, then a secondary sift which is where your cv comes under greater scrutiny and are left with the few selected for interview. Sometimes you can be missed out if your c.v. doesn't stand out enough - make sure it has something that really says you are the person for the job to grab their attention -

At interview you have already passed their test on the academic side, so its up to you to impress them and convince them you are the one for the job.

Keep at it, it can be a depressing time getting rejected but something will come along if you are determined.

Good Luck



I agree with evry one here. I would say apply for as many as you can, it will take about a month from when you start for you to start getting letters thru the post.
I also got a first, doing an Msc and on target for a distinction, applied for more than 20, attended first interview-rejected, attended second interview in cambridge-ACCEPTED


Phew, thank god, I thought I was the only one! I've applied for a few PhDs at this stage and countless of emails but no interviews at all, I thought that it was because I didn't have a masters and had less academic experience. Finally only today did I get shortlisted for an interview, which I'm delighted about as it is my first choice, but I'm also just happy to be called for an interview finally!


I'm sure it happens to the best of us. :)

I was actually told an interview a few years ago that I had got the place but a few weeks later I got an email from the other supervisor that in fact, I hadn't and someone with an excellent 1st had turned up after me! :D Whoops! :D It pissed me off something rotten but in the long term I've probably been better off.


Mambocat, that's terrible. I'm sure you could have taken them to task on that as it breaks all the rules of equal opportunities. It's one thing to advertise a position openly, already knowing that an internal candidate is preferred (let's face it, we all know thathappens). It's another thing entirely to move the goalposts and allow someone to turn up weeks later, after going through the recruitment process and getting as far as offering the post to someone! what did they think closing dates were for?!?

(sorry for mini rantette, but this kind of thing makes me so angry!)