Hi all.
I have an interview next week regarding a PhD studentship in materials engineering exactly in Steel alloys, i really looking forward for this project. I should prepare 5 min presentation, any tips about the interview will be much appreciated.

Thanks :-)

Avatar for Caterpillar27

Hi Memo,

First, well done on the interview and good luck!!

I didn't have to do a presentation for my interview, but I did have questions ;-)

They (a panel of 3) asked - Why do you want to do a PhD? - How do you see your career progressing? - Do you know how academia works? - Which journals would be most suitable to publish in? - Which sampling strategy would be best for the proposed study? - Describe your undergrad dissertation - what did you find out? If I got it would I want an October, January or April start? And some more I can't remember!

I asked about ownership of the project and about the faculty and school I would be in.

They did say the interview would last up to an hour and I was out within 20 minutes, which really worried me at the time. Anyway I got it, so all was good :-)

Hope this helps - good luck!


I also didn't have a presentation to do, and got asked a lot of the same type of questions as Caterpillar so they must be popular questions! I would read up on your area, recent publications etc as one of the questions I got asked was to describe a journal article I had read recently that would be useful for the project. Also read up about the university and funding body as I was asked specific questions about how they worked. Make sure you seem keen to do conferences and publish your work.

And also try to relax and be friendly as these people will have to work with your for three years if you get it so I think if you seem friendly and to have a sense of humour etc they might want to work with you more!

Well done on getting the interview and I wish you the best of luck :-)


Hi Memo, same with me: no presentation and similar questions. About 3 months ago, I heard that I had an interview too and was SO nervous. Really wanted the post but went in rather blind. If you can do as much reading around the subject as possible then that must help. Have you any idea how many people are applying? If there are a few, you need something to help you stand out, and the enthusiasm shown from knowing the area would be a good start. (I think I was the only one in the running for mine, and it was a close call on whether I got it! ;-))

Try to imagine you were the interviewer and what questions you would ask to yourself. If possible, include those in your presentation.

Oh, and people always say, have some questions ready for them. Start dates, office space, PC etc, just to show you are serious with this as a plan.

Good luck :)

PS I am just loving my first month!


Thank you all for your reply, such amazing guys really.
I do not know how many applicants applied on the same project, all i know its three projects sponsored by the same company, to be honest im a bit nervous i been in interviews before tho, but this one i really looking forward.

Thank you again.