I'm new here but I have been lurking and looking at other threads since I started my Masters last year. I've been offered an interview for a DPhil place at Oxford's Gray Institute. I'm so excited but also nervous! I've wanted to do a PhD/DPhil for some time now and this seems too good to be true! I'm honoured just to be short listed! The main project I'm interested in is on Base Excision Repair, which is what my Masters project was on so I feel pretty confident on answering questions based on the project offered and my dissertation. I expect the usual questions like "why do you want to do a PhD?" and I feel I can express my desire to research pretty well. If I can calm my nerves, that is!
However, I also have to give a 10 minute presentation on my previous work. My first lab project was in 2005, is it worth including this as well or is it too long ago to be relevant? Also if anyone here went through Oxford interviews in previous years, I would like to know what to expect: are these presentations in front of all the other candidates or just the panel (5 people according to my letter, which in a way is less scary than a one-to-one! I never know where to look!) In addition, I have also been given a journal to analyse and discuss. Its a concise paper which I understand and can pick out the main points but I'm worried they will ask me about questions not obvious from the journal itself!
I have found an old thread on the Student Room forums which is a few years old but about the same Institute but I was hoping if anyone had more recent experience, they may have some useful advice for me?
Many thanks for reading this!
======= Date Modified 26 Jan 2009 23:45:55 =======
I was shortlisted for a postdoc position at Oxford, so my experience is probably quite different to the DPhil. I thought I was presenting in front of a panel (of three/four people), but was told the day before that I would be presenting in front of department's full staff, so I had an audience of around 15 people.
The interview was brutal and no one got the position! However, I'm sure DPhil interviews are less rough and they'll be more interested in hearing about your ideas/research.
If you are an Oxford alumnus, I'm sure you'll have very little trouble getting a place. Oxbridge do favour their own.
======= Date Modified 27 Jan 2009 10:13:19 =======
Thankyou for your replies and advice!
I'm not an Oxford alumnus and that kind of favour is what I am worried about! I still think I am a strong candidate but I have often been told "Its who not what you know!". :S
It's the presentation that concerns me the most so thankyou very much.
Well, I heard from them and I wasn't offered a place. :(
I've been to several interviews now and I seem to keep making the same mistake: getting nervous and making a complete tit of myself when it comes to talking about issues that I feel I know a great deal about: in a way, I know what supervisors are looking for but its my nerves that are holding me back. Its getting very frustrating that I'm letting myself down and robbing myself of being given a chance at something which, in the end, I feel I would be good at. When it comes to being nervous or trying to appear not nervous at all(!) :D would anyone have any advice?
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