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Questions About Interviewing & Related Topics

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ClinPsyL, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. ClinPsyL

    ClinPsyL

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  2. Who Am I

    Who Am I I Know Who You Are...

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    I've been lurking as a guest for a while. Got a lot of cool tips from this site. I have some invites even with weak GRE stats but strong research. Don't want to identify -- I'm superstitious.
  3. Who Am I

    Who Am I I Know Who You Are...

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    dude, worry less about your clothes and more about what comes out your mouth. just dress neat and comfortable. you don't have to be GQ. i doubt the interviewer will be some hot chic.
  4. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky

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    Many people will be wearing suits, but what you described sounds sufficiently professional. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Not sure about Alabama-- Sorry!

    Good luck with the interview.
  5. AlaskanJustin

    AlaskanJustin

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    I had this dream... not to sound too much like a male but I mean sometimes our dreams just do what they want.... so you know I had this interview and when I walk in its this amazing looking woman, I mean like jaw-dropping gorgeous... just insert your fantasy female and that would be what I saw... I was SO happy that I was wearing my GQ'ish suit though lemme tell yah.... better safe than sorry ;)
  6. childpsych479

    childpsych479

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    This just made my day!:rofl:
  7. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Wow, never thought I'd see the day when SDNers would use objectifying language.

    p.s. You misspelled "chick."
  8. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Feel free to PM me anonymously for the interview invite thread!
  9. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    Thanks for coming out of the bushes. Best of luck to ya' :D
  10. somaticpsych

    somaticpsych

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    Hello,

    I still haven't heard from any of my schools yet, so who knows if I even need to think about this right now.... but what are some of the questions you wished you had asked during your interview, but didn't?

    I still have this nagging feeling that "I don't know what it is that I don't know" about life in a Ph.D. program. Therefore I am curious to hear the thoughts of others who felt similarly when preparing for their interviews.

    Now that you are a year (or more) into your Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs, what are some of the questions you wished you had thought to ask during your interview, but didn't?


    Thanks!
  11. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    What is the orientation of your training clinic? Since most of the faculty in my program have a CBT/mindfulness bent I assumed the clinic would be the same but realized shortly before getting here that the training clinic is psychodynamic (which I am not). But hey, diversity in training never hurts, right?
  12. PsyDWannabe

    PsyDWannabe HpfulboutGradSchl

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    ditto! I thought I was the only one who cringed when I read that.
  13. aly cat

    aly cat

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    Find out what you can about work expectations of your lab. Before grad school, I expected them to be equal but now I know that is not the case at all. (Ex: some professors expect work to be done over breaks, others do not, some expect you to be fully immersed in the lab first semester where others ask you focus on your classes before diving in, etc.)
  14. Road2PhD

    Road2PhD

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    Yeah. Plus, I don't really think this was a particularly useless question. I've been wondering for awhile now what to wear to a "reception" and "informal dinner" during an interview weekend (any suggestions...?). While someone's intellect and fit with a program should matter way more than clothes, the truth of the matter is that they can have an impact.

    As an example, I work at a university and have been involved in hiring decisions for a large research center. I'm not comfortable giving specific examples but I'll say that for some people, the way that a candidate chooses to dress can sway a decision in favor of another equally qualified individual. I don't like that this happens but it's a reality.
  15. PhDClinical

    PhDClinical

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    If two people really are equally qualified, I think it makes good sense to go with the one is more likely to dress professionally with clients and who has a good sense of etiquette in that regard.

    Here are some silly dress questions that are making me nervous:
    • What should I wear on the plane? Am I expected to come out of a 6 hour plane ride dressed professionally and looking crisp?
    • What if the weekend includes a party? Should I go casual?
    Now back to studying for my interviews....
  16. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Agreed.

    I made the mistake of being OVER dressed for the casual parts of my first interview. I wore dress slacks and heels while everyone else was in jeans (I hadn't packed any in order to save space in my suitcase). My advice would be to bring a nice shirt and both dress shoes and nice pants as well as jeans and more casual shoes. Your first interaction will likely be with a grad student and they can give you some hints on what to wear.

    This goes for getting off the plane too. You will most likely be picked up by a grad student and we will not think twice if you are in jeans and a tee shirt (we probably will be too). But if you have been told a faculty member will pick you up, I'd bump it up a notch (nice jeans, nice shirt, non-sneaker shoes).
  17. Psych Dork

    Psych Dork

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    My interview is an all day event where I won't be able to change so I am planning on wearing a skirt suit the whole time. Of course for the interviewee party later that night I put on some jeans.
  18. jennigold

    jennigold

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    I don't think clothes questions are dumb either. When I was packing I was on SDN with those questions too. As for me, I didn't pack jeans to any of my interviews and I never thought twice about it. For the more casual events, I just didn't wear my suit. It worked out well and I could pack really light.
  19. PhDToBe

    PhDToBe

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    for the interviews- suit

    for the parties, dinners, and other get togethers- i would wear business casual / nice pants and a nice shirt. i would stay away from jeans at all times, because it's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

    i don't want to wear nice clothes on the plane, but first impressions are lasting impressions, so i would wear khakis or nice pants on the plane, whether a professor or grad student picks you up. it might be less comfortable, but you KNOW you don't have to worry if you're dressed nicely enough.

    i do think sweats and all are okay for at the grad student's apt or house, but make sure you don't wear anything with inappropriate sayings...
  20. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    I can't speak for everyone, but I sort of expect that when flying/driving/etc. that you'll be in what's most comfortable. Jeans and a nice shirt are perfectly fine for many of the grad student events, or even the casual ones with faculty. Don't be afraid to ask your host what to wear.
  21. psyvagabond

    psyvagabond

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    Hi,
    So I have finally finished my applications and am currently crossing my fingers that I will be called for an interview.

    Now, I'm not sure (if I get contacted at all) whether they will request a physical or over-the-phone interview, but here's my question:

    I am awful at delivering coherent impromptu responses (i.e interviews), and I was wondering if when a school calls, whether I should let it go to voicemail. Would I then have the opportunity to call them at my discretion and therefore not be caught off guard? Or, is it better to just bite the bullet and talk to them when they call.

    As of now, my policy is not to answer any blocked numbers and those not saved in my contacts
  22. psychgirl77

    psychgirl77

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    Definitely don't pick up the phone if you don't feel ready. Professors realize that you may be at school, working, or doing other things when they call you. Get into a good headspace and call them back when you're ready -preferably when you are in front of your computer with your personal statement, the school website, and their personal website open!
  23. katciao

    katciao

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    Hi,

    I'm in the same boat.

    I received one unannounced phone "interview." My husband answered the phone and then basically handed me the phone, so I didn't have time to even consider whether I should accept the call. I'm actually glad that I took the call when I did because I didn't have time to get nervous. I had time to get ready for the follow up phone interview. I took a few deep breaths before that one.

    I find that when I am especially prone to being nervous, if I stay "present" (focus on each word the interviewer is saying), then I don't feel as nervous as I might. I don't expect myself to respond in a clever, brilliant way. I also am comfortable with a few seconds of silence on the phone. I try to deliver short, authentic responses when I am not sure what is best to say.

    If you feel really nervous and unprepared, though, then following psychgirl77's advice might be the best thing for you.

    LM
  24. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    It IS possible to over dress. As I mentioned above, first interview... comments from grad students about my attire... feeling uncomfortable... it was bad. Just pack both and I agree, ask your host.
  25. Road2PhD

    Road2PhD

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    I think I will wear nicer jeans or corduroy pants on the plane but pack a pair of nice black pinstripe pants. Assuming my flight's on time, I'll have a few hours before the social stuff to ask about attire. I'll be busting out the suit skirt and blazer for the actual interview day, of course.

    Woohoo, that's one concern that's taken care of. Thanks guys!
  26. Psych Dork

    Psych Dork

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    My first interview is Friday and I have been given the schedule and who I will be interviewing with.

    I will have time to speak with the professors that I have not interviewed with for a period of time after my two one-on-one interviews, however, I was wondering if I should speak with other profs or if I should speak to my POI some more?

    I am reading a few papers by both of the people I am interviewing with (my poi and another professor that after looking her up I find some of her work very closely related to my interests).

    Let me know what you think!
  27. psyvagabond

    psyvagabond

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    Thanks for the advice!
  28. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Any idea of who's likely to be on the admissions committee? You might want to chat up those people as well. Think DCTs or DGSs.
  29. psychnerd7

    psychnerd7

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    This may not be exactly what your question was addressing, but I thought it was important enough to note. I wouldn't focus on this question in the actual interview itself, but I would be sure to generally talk to current students to get a very clear picture of the actual costs of being a student there. I have come to feel that I was not given a very accurate picture (perhaps by not asking the right questions). Be sure to find out what students realistically pay each semester for fees (I have come to find this can easily be $500 or more), credits that you are required to take but are not covered by your stipend, etc. Also find out whether you will be paid a stipend in the summer.
  30. Who Am I

    Who Am I I Know Who You Are...

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    I have an interview on Thursday. So, I figured I'd post this. It's from the Insiders Guide. There are 16 other top questions, but here are the biggies.
    1. What can you do for us?
    2. What kind of person are you?
    3. What distinguishes you from 20 other people who can do the same task?
    4. Can we get you here?
    If there are any other top questions, post for others to view too.
    Mihiri likes this.
  31. Who Am I

    Who Am I I Know Who You Are...

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    Whoa!!! You stressed out people really got carried away by my "chic" response. RELAX. This process is stressful, but relax and don't be so sensitive. :scared:

    I wasn't saying show up in jeans, I just think he should worry more about the questions they could ask. I'd rather answer all questions brilliantly and wear jeans, than look GQ and can't answer any questions...:laugh::laugh:
  32. Kat 22

    Kat 22

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    I had my first interview about 10 days ago, and I had prepared myself to answer all kinds of interview-type questions. I got there and we simply talked about research the entire time (3 hours). I really enjoyed our conversation, and I think it went really well but it completely caught me off guard at first.

    Maybe this is rare, but I just thought I should mention that it's a good idea to go in with some research ideas that you might implement if you are accepted into a certain lab.

    Best of luck!
  33. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    So tell me about yourself.

    What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  34. buzzworm

    buzzworm

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    My first (and only, so far) interview was a lot like that too. I interviewed with a bunch of different people, and most of the interviews felt more like conversations.

    One big question that everybody asked me was, "Do you have any questions for me?"

    "Tell me about yourself/your interests" was also popular.
  35. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    That happened to me as well, but then my third interview (by which time I had gotten used to that format and forgotten my "canned" answers) was entirely questions like "Why do you want to be a clinical psychologist?" I was very thrown off XD
  36. CatoftheCanals

    CatoftheCanals

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    Tell me about your research.

    Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    Without thinking of any constraints, what would your dissertation be? (Yes, sometimes it can get asked)

    What was it like working with (insert professor's name here, especially if they're well known)?
  37. Blue86

    Blue86

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    Could you please elaborate? What do you mean by the grad students made comments about your attire? Where they nice comments such as 'wow you look nice/elegant/etc' or not so nice comments that you were too dressed up (while they dressed casually)?
  38. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Not me, per se, but my grad co-RA told me over and over again to ask *in-depth* questions about funding. So I did. :)
  39. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    i'm actually not an applicant, i'm a grad student. so it's not the "process," i just found the comment offensive.
  40. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    well, for some context, this interview was a bit of a s***show for me all around.

    but i met with some grad students at my hotel before a casual dinner and was dressed up and they asked me if i had any jeans to change into and when i said i didn't they responded "oohh.." with awkward faces. then i got a couple other comments at the dinner from the other students. i just felt like "damn i wish i had some jeans."
  41. psychadelics

    psychadelics

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    I know that in interviews that take place in work environments it is frowned upon to ask about payment and salary. With the advice being given to ask in-depth questions about funding, my concern is that those of us who might not be THE strongest candidate might be at a disadvantage when asking these types of questions. Specifically, I wouldn't want to give off the notion that I'm there primarily for the funding. Is this a valid concern? If so, in what ways can this be circumvented?
  42. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Oh, great one. This one scared the pants off me the first time I got it (luckily it was a phone interview ;)). But REALLY think this one through ahead of time, especially if you're applying to research-oriented programs.
  43. Blue86

    Blue86

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    oh wow. I am sorry that happened to you. Things like this you just can't predict. I will make sure to pack something more casual. Thank you for the reply :)
  44. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    You're welcome. It was sufficiently awkward and unforeseen that I figured I'd pass it on to y'all current applicants :)
  45. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    I would say just ask us grad students. You can ask some general questions of faculty but I wouldn't push them too hard. Students know better what it's like to live on our stipends and I can't imagine a student getting bothered by these questions unless you go WAY too far.

    (p.s. I would say funding is and should be a big part of the decision making process. I don't think anyone would judge you for this unless it was all you talked about.)
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  46. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    Yes, speaking to students will give you a better idea. Also, once you HAVE the offer, you can ask and ask all you want about funding. Get details and get it in writing.
  47. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I got that question only it was about my Masters thesis.
  48. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Yeah, it takes many forms. Also, "If you had unlimited funds, what would you study with it?" Hint: The correct answer is NOT the beaches of Mexico though this was my knee jerk response :)
  49. psychgirl77

    psychgirl77

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    Tell me about your thesis, your poster, your research project etc. Know everything about any research you have conducted. At one school I interviewed at each of the three interviewers asked me to explain my thesis. I got kind of bored of that question by the end...
  50. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    To clarify, I wasn't pushy and certainly asked about other things (research/clinical balance, mentorship, student publications, practicum, internship match, etc.).

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