I had an interview for a competition funded PhD yesterday. I thought the interview went ok although I think i came across as nervous during a presentation I had to do for the first ten minutes. Anyway, the lead interviewer on the panel said that they would not be making a decision until mid-May as to which projects will be given the funding. I had spoken to the potential supervisor on the telephone prior to the interview and she was on the panel also... I was just wondering if I should follow up with an email to the supervisor or maybe leave it? I really don't want to appear overbearing or pushy, especially since I was told when the decision would be made. What do people think?? The supervisor knows how keen I am from when we spoke on the telephone.
Personally I wouldn't follow it up, since they have given you a time when they will be ready to inform you. Your supervisor may not be able to tell you anything, it sounds like it could be a departmental decision and out of their hands anyway.
I didn't follow up my interview and although they gave me a date when I would hear by, I actually heard a few days before :-) and I had got it!
Fingers crossed for you!!!
Good luck :)
I hope it's not the case, but if for some reason you don't get it, but you like the supervisor and the work she does, do send a follow up email so as to lay the foundations for staying in touch. If you work in that field then your paths may cross again in the future, so I guess it would do no harm to have a positive communication with her after the decision.
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I think I did send an email, a few days after the interview just to say thank you for the opportunity to interview and that I looked forward to the outcome. I had however been emailing the supervisor for a couple of months before that to ask questions about the studentship, background reading etc and he had invited me to email at any time, so the relationship was already less formal so I guess it depends on the individual situation! I then had to interview for the same project a year later (having gotten the PhD the first time but it not getting the competitive funding) and did the same again with the emailing that time. In a more formal situation I doubt I would have followed up so quickly!
I got an email today telling me I had been unsuccessful. Really not happy, the email said there had been outstanding candidates but what is outstanding? I have a BSc (2:1), MSc (Distinction) and 2 years research experience under my belt so I can't help thinking that it may have been my interview skills ! Does anyone think if I ask for feedback they will tell me?? Thanks
Bad luck, comisserations. You are entitled to ask for feedback, as with for a job application. However, from my experiernce :-( it tends to be overly generic. 'Outstanding candidates...' is probably true but doesn't help you much. They might have scored it officially and if they give you a breakdown of how you scored, that could help. If I were you I would reply to the email, keep it brief, state that you are disappointed and if possible could you get some feedback at their convenience. Phrase it in such a way that you are looking for help with the next application. Always remember that even though you have been unsuccessful with this position, you could encounter some or all of these people later in your career. Academia is a relatively small world.
Good luck with your next applic (up)
I second everything Ady said. Short and sweet message, asking for constructive feedback. Keep things open for future contact.
Competition has increased. It could even be something as simple as a candidate equally good as you who was just a tiny bit better in the interview. Or someone who interviewed the same but had a first.
It's difficult and disappointing, but don't dwell too long on the hypotheticals. Good luck with your next application.
Unlucky Caprico. The problem is, you just don't know who you are up against. It might be nothing to do with your interview skills, you might just have been pipped to the post by someone with more experience or some genius who has already published his/her work in 10 super-impact-factor journals or something ridiculous. It probably isn't a reflection of your ability at all, just the competition. I would def email and ask for some feedback though, at least then if it's anything specific you will know. Keep going, you'll get something in the end if you persevere. Best, KB
Sorry to hear you didn't get it, but keep trying! It may just be that the person who got it had experience more closely related to that particular topic, or even that they had already worked with the supervisors or something! I know that in job interviews I've often lost out because of an internal applicant not sure if it is the same in PhD land though! I hope you find something else soon don't give up!
Just to let everyone who is interested know; I received my feedback and am still not happy with it but have accepted that I just wasn't good enough...positive feedback; my presentation was good and flowed well, I interviewed well and they were impressed with my overall research experience.
negative feedback; other candidates had more experience in their chosen research field (e.g I have limited service user experience..which is one of the things I wanted to gain from doing the PhD!), my answer as to why I chose focus groups in a recent project rather than interviews was superficial (I just told the truth....we didn't have enough time to interview 20 widespread participants and the topic was not of a sensitive nature) so I think thats crap. Part of the PhD was to involve training in psychometrics but apparently my description of what was involved was not deep enough. Oh well, still a bit fed up, maybe I am just a sore loser ! Thanks all for your input, it really helped :-)
Hang in there - I got similar feedback when I was looking at PhDs. I was told I didn't have enough experience and that it was very competitive etc... which is very disheartening! I thought the same as you - surely by doing a PhD you can get the experience. Can you do anything to increase your experience? Maybe a part time job in the field you are interested in or volunteering in that area always looks good. You'll get something but it may take sometime - it's just not a good time to be looking, well that that's true for jobs but not sure it applies for PhDs as there does seem to be quite alot of those around. Some look quite interesting too! Good luck (up)
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