How much does the PhD interview count in comparison to the application?

posted
15-May-18, 13:48
Avatar for chelsea27
posted about 3 months ago
Hi everyone,

I had an interview for a PhD position today, which I was told I would hear back about by the end of next week. I find it hard to tell how the interview went- a few questions I feel I didn't answer properly that I can't put out of my head but overall it was okay.

I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into how much your application/CV/experience/qualifications count for in comparison to the interview when the lecturers are making a decision on the best candidate? For example, let's say the university interview 5 people today, and hypothetically I had the best application but performed 3rd best in the interview- would they automatically give it to the person they thought answered their questions the best, or would everything be taken into account? Or does this really depend on the university?

Thanks in advance!!
posted
15-May-18, 20:58
edited a moment later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
I usually assume that if you have made the interview, then you are on a level playing field at that point with everything to play for. Unless there was a tie (there rarely is in practice) you can forget the application process and yor grades now and expect it to be based on the interview.

I would expect the person who performed best at interview will be offered the position.
This is what happens in industry. Of course academia is a law unto itself.
posted
16-May-18, 04:10
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 months ago
I agree re law unto itself!

I think the interview matters more than the application - but all will be taken into account.

Good luck and don't worry - every goofs up on some questions!
posted
16-May-18, 16:11
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 months ago
I would agree, it's mostly riding on the interview now ie their perceptions of you. Are you resilient, are you knowledgeable, are you interested, are you capable and do they think you will fit into the research group?

If someone has the worst application, but did the 'best' at interview, I no longer care about the application. If they gave a crap interview but have a great application, they have no chance.

This is the same in any interview in my experience, although there's no 'point scoring' in academia like there is in business. They just give it to who they want to give it to. Doesn't matter, the outcome is the same.
posted
18-May-18, 13:42
edited about 19 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
I would agree, it's mostly riding on the interview now ie their perceptions of you. Are you resilient, are you knowledgeable, are you interested, are you capable and do they think you will fit into the research group?

If someone has the worst application, but did the 'best' at interview, I no longer care about the application. If they gave a crap interview but have a great application, they have no chance.

This is the same in any interview in my experience, although there's no 'point scoring' in academia like there is in business. They just give it to who they want to give it to. Doesn't matter, the outcome is the same.


Point scoring is probably just used in larger companies. Smaller companies tend to just hire who they want.
I have several examples of anecdotal evidence of academics interviewing token candidates to tick boxes and then giving the position to the person they wanted at the start. I suppose you will never stop companies hiring the people they want no matter what legislation is in place. On balance companies probably should be allowed to hire whoever they want for whatever reason.
posted
19-May-18, 22:22
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 months ago
True! Basically you just have to go for it and apply for a number of funding options / positions to try and secure funding with the knowledge that being rejected doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't good enough.

pm133 - do you stand by your statement in another recent thread that not being awarded funding is "a strong message that your research is not valued enough by our society to bother funding"? Just wondered as it seems a bit contradictory to what you've posted here about academics interviewing token candidates to tick boxes and then giving the position to the one they wanted in the first place.
posted
20-May-18, 10:28
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
True! Basically you just have to go for it and apply for a number of funding options / positions to try and secure funding with the knowledge that being rejected doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't good enough.

pm133 - do you stand by your statement in another recent thread that not being awarded funding is "a strong message that your research is not valued enough by our society to bother funding"? Just wondered as it seems a bit contradictory to what you've posted here about academics interviewing token candidates to tick boxes and then giving the position to the one they wanted in the first place.


That's not quite the point I was trying to make but I didn't word it well. I have clarified on the other thread.
posted
20-May-18, 13:03
Avatar for chelsea27
posted about 3 months ago
Thanks for the replies everyone! That’s interesting to hear.
Tudor_Queen it was a funded PhD which the university were interviewing 5-6 people for for 1 place unfortunately, so if I don’t get it i can’t look for extra funding or anything, that’ll be that- but thank you for the advice :)

I guess it all boils down to how the other candidates performed on the day and maybe a little on what their opinions were of everyone before the interviews- hate this waiting game to hear back it’s so nerve wracking! Hopefully this time in 5 days I’ll know!

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