I have a PhD interview next week in psychology. I would like to ask whether you think from your experience that in the case that the other candidates are graduates or have done a masters at the university I have applied have a certain advantage over the rest external candidates. I mean do you think that thy will prefer their own students ?
I am pretty sure many universities prefer their own students unless the external candidates come from a more renowned college. I applied for a PhD in Developmental Biology where I lost out to a candidate that had done her Masters thesis in the same lab where she applied for a PhD. Unfair but can't blame them. So good for you :)
After 2 days I got to another interview and I got that studentship, which I prefered much more because the supervisor is much better. However, I have to say I am really pissed off with Reading and I think taht guy was really offensive. I mean I had written a proposal related to the project in 2 days, they call me for an interview and he asks me what was the dependent variable in my msc dissertation when I have already analysed that????Come on people, this was a set up. I don't doubt the fact that maybe someone much better than me got the thing and probably I was not the best in this case, which to be honest is hard to believe since it would be on my native language which is not English plus having a project which is very related to the one offered,meaning I know really well my stuff. And all this when the second supervisor looks at this watch all the time and he makes me a really silly question. I had seen their PhD students and the 90% of them have been their students before, so I was afraid that something like that would happen. But the degree that this became obvious was really ridiculous and offensive. I have ask for feedback, I am very curious what they will say and I intend to find a way to answer and imply that Dr... had already someone in his mind and I spoiled his plans. Anyway, every bad thing happens for a reason I would never be able to work and cooperate with that man and I am very happy for my new supervisor because she looks really supportive but I thought that this was bad and I didn't expect that to happen in academia. I also discussed that with a very close friend of mine, who is a researcher and a lecturer and she told me that it's obvious they already had someone in mind and that she hates when they do that. So, just for you to know equality is a very relevant term in these cases and it doesn't matter only how well prepared you are. Politics are everywhere. And this was Reading.
Don't be disheartened by this or feel it is the supers fault. This is the norm for PhD and acutal job adverts. The days when you could just 'hand' a studentship or a job to an internal candidate or even 'friend' without advertising the position are long gone. It's a total pain I agree but employers are compelled by law to advertise positions externally (unless there are extereme circumstances) even though they know who is going to get it so it's as much as a bind for them to have to sit through interviews knowing they are not going to give you the job/studentship. I can't tell you the number of job interviews i've gone for where I've had to teach or do presentations and take holiday from work to attend to find out on the day they already had an 'internal' lined up. I worked for a holiday company whose interview strategy involved 3 days at the centre doing all sorts of team building stuff and yet we all knew who was getting the job before it was even advertised and these people turned up, at great cost and time to have 3 days wasted. God bless UK employment law for time wasting!
yes politics are everywhere. Sometimes they work for us, sometimes they just don't. Sorry to hear about your experience at Reading. You must have been very patient, to have put up with those questions during the interview.
however, you have the other offer!!! congratulations, and well done!
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