Psychology Phd Interview - any advice?


Hello Everyone,

I'm just finishing up on a Masters and going for a Phd interview next week which is in a forensic psychology subject matter. Does anyone have any experience with Phd interviews and could advise me on the sorts of things I could be asked? I have been to lots of job interviews but never an academic one and I'm wondering how they differ. If anyone has had any experience of a psychology Phd interview that'd be great too, as I'm wondering how much they are going to want from re research methods and teaching ability?

Any help would be really appreciated!



======= Date Modified 26 Jun 2010 15:54:32 =======
I'm finishing off my psychology PhD :)

In my interviews there was a 'panel' of two people, one being the potential supervisor. They started off with a brief hello and getting to know you before going on to describe the PhD and what they thought it would involve etc. Then the questions to you start. Then at the end it's usually your turn to ask questions before leaving and worrying about the whole thing :D

I had a couple of interviews and the questions I got asked fell into two areas. Some questions where about being able to do the PhD (Self motivation, organisation, experience with lit reviews etc) and the others were about the specific research area (Why I was interested in it, fave study, what I thought about theory X or recent paper Y).

The ones about doing the work are pretty bog standard and so are the replies really. If they ask whether you can handle working independantly, motivating yourself for deadlines then there's not much else you can say than yes. I think the questions about the research area are more important, you don't want to be caught out there. I think having questions of your own to ask at the end is pretty important too.

You might be asked to do a short presenation on something, usually the research area, but if they want that they would have told you when they offered the interview. I didn't have to do one for mine but I've done one for an academic job interview since and it doesn't change the structure of the interview much - you just do the presentation, answer questions and then it procedes as normal.

I'm not sure about teaching ability. Is teaching something that's definately going to be part of your PhD duties? I wasn't asked about mine as they said they expected to be something I wouldn't currently have exerience in, but would develop during the course of the PhD. I doubt they'll expect too much from you on that unless it's a major part of your course, and even then they won't expect you to be a lecturer standard right from the off (or even by the end of it all).

Hope that helps!


Hi Peljam,
Thanks for your useful advice. It's helpful...