interview questions


hi again, anybody had a PhD interview recently for a science subject? what sort of questions do they ask you?


When I had my interviews for PhD (about 5 years ago now but I can't imagine much has changed) they were all fairly standard - why do you want to do a PhD, what interests do you have in the subject area, what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses, what are you hoping to get out of a PhD.

The "why do you want to do a PhD" is particularly common - I had a lovely cheesy line about "not just looking for answers, but looking for new questions".


cheers danB, thats a legendary line man could come in handy!
i get kinda stuck on strengths and weaknesses, any advice there?


Didn't really have a PhD interview as I am self funding and did my MSc at the same uni.  But I've had plenty of job interviews (and conducted them as well when I was in industry). As far as strengths are concerned try to match them to the requirement of the post. 

As far as weaknesses are concerned - I usually try to make them positive if I can - so things like never knowing when to giving up. The other option is to give a weakness but then say what you have done / are doing to address it - so I have had interviews for lecturing jobs where the feedback was that I didn't have a PhD - at the next interview (at the same uni) I told them exactly what I had done to address it (start my PhD) - feedback then was (again) I was a very close second but the other person had more peer reviewed publications.  When they had another job advertised I didn't apply as it was too soon to have closed the gap but I did send an e-mail to the head of school saying why I wasn't applying but I was still interested and if they didn't get a suitable candidate etc etc.

Try not to shoot yourself in the foot as far as weaknesses are concerned. I have some notes from the last job I applied for and this is what I had prepared -
Passion for subject has at times overwhelmed people but have worked on reigning that in
Big picture focus means I have to work harder at detail

Good Luck