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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. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Be prepared to have questions for everyone. By the time you get to your last interviewer it's hard to think of some, and I feel it looks bad if you don't ask anything.
  2. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    haha, i figured. i wasn't talking about you, just trying to allay psychadelic's concerns. you seem to have good judgment :)
  3. ResearchRefuge

    ResearchRefuge

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    PsychDork,

    I think it would be in your benefit to speak to as many individuals as you can. I know that decisions are often made by a board of professors, so the more that positively remember you, the better. Also, it will provide you with more opportunities to learn about the program.

    It might be a good idea to research the different key faculty in your research area, or those who you think might interview you. Write down some facts about them and their research that you can quickly scan over before your interview. This might better prepare you to interview with someone who you do not know or did not target.
  4. phdpsych

    phdpsych

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    When they ask you that question on the interview do they want just a quick general description (where you live, college, job, etc.), or do they want more of your interests (hobbies not related to psych?) or do they want more psych related? Any ideas/opinions?
  5. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    I agonized over that possible question for weeks before my first interview. I went with the psychology/personal interests and hobbies sandwich approach; starting with my educational/experience in the field, followed by more personal non-psych related stuff, then back to my research/clinical interests, etc.

    Just my personal approach, everyone will answer differently. :luck:
  6. paramour

    paramour

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    Superstitious, or paranoid? ;) Either way, perhaps a good thing. Grad students and profs lurk these forums.

    G'luck w/ your application process. :luck:
  7. multicultpsyc

    multicultpsyc

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    So, this might seem like a silly question, but I have another attire question. I have 3 interviews coming up and bought my first suit ever yesterday. However, I can't seem to find a well-fitting button up and am wondering if a nice blouse, not a button-up, would be appropriate (I am clearly female) or whether it will make me look less dressed up/serious? Thoughts?
  8. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    I asked them which version they wanted :)
  9. paramour

    paramour

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    Not a problem at all. I wore a cashmere shell my second go around and received several compliments. As long as you're not wearing a paper bag, you're likely fine (within reason).
  10. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    That should be fine. Good luck!

  11. multicultpsyc

    multicultpsyc

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    Thanks paramour & PsychPhDStudent. That makes me feel much better. Now I just have to worry about what I'm going to say. :)
  12. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    Hey y'all,

    Do you think it is ok to wear nice boots (black leather knee high low heel) instead of high heels? I would like to be comfortable and I am not much of a heel wearer.

    Thanks!
  13. researchgirl

    researchgirl

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    to hamsterpants: with pants? yes. with a skirt? i wouldn't.
  14. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    it would be with a simple shift dress (and a suit jacket- they are a set)
  15. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    MOD NOTE:There were 5 threads all asking about interview questions and things related to interviews, so I combined them all in one place. -t4c
  16. buzzworm

    buzzworm

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    Ditto. I wouldn't wear boots with a skirt or a dress. I hate heels too, though, and was able to find some nice flats that I think look good with my suit.
  17. AlaskanJustin

    AlaskanJustin

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    Why not wear flats? then it isnt a heel but they still look nice/professional
  18. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I used to have the best flats but I wore them out. I do like a little heel sometimes (being 5'2" and all). I am also a little worried about the cold and thought a boot might be warmer. and that it may me look less "corporate" since I'm older and work full time. But you made some good points. :xf:
  19. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I wore flats. You do a lot of walking.
  20. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    You can bring your "interview shoes" to wear on interview portions and have other shoes (especially if it's snowy or icy out) to get from building to building. I don't think it matters heel vs. no heel -- if it looks professional, I'm sure you're fine.
  21. paramour

    paramour

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    Here's where I'm going to disagree w/ the others. I say it depends upon the boots in question and the attire that you will be pairing them with. Nice black dress boots w/ a long enough skirt/dress should be fine (and a helluva lot better than the hooker heels I see people toddling around in on interview day). If you're showing a vast expanse of skin while doing it, however, I would reconsider.
  22. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    Thanks. Actually I think the boots reach to the end of the dress so no skin at all is showing ;) but I will probably wear tights no matter what shoes I wear. I wanted to go the pantsuit route but with no money to spare this was the only family hand me down available. I will try different shoes and see what I think. For some reason, my boots make me feel like "me" and I rarely feel that way with pumps esp. with a dress (feels too girly- I am a tomboy at heart).

    I am from California and have East Coast interviews and although I have lived in colder climates before, I am not quite sure what to expect this year.Any thoughts on what kind of coat may be needed for late Jan/ early Feb?

    THANKS!
  23. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    If you have a serious winter coat (like down), I'd bring that.
  24. buzzworm

    buzzworm

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    You'll definitely want something warm -- these are some of the chilliest months on the East Coast. Preferably also a scarf, gloves, and a hat.
  25. paramour

    paramour

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    You definitely want to be comfortable in whatever you wear. Chances are that someone, whether it be a professor, a grad student, or a fellow applicant, will make you uncomfortable as is with the whole shebang. You don't want to be worrying about what's on your feet while you're fielding everyone/thing.



    +1. Warm coat and gloves at the least. If you don't have a "serious" coat, you can often find wool or wool-blend dress-type coats that will keep you warm enough for short stints at least. Extra bonus b/c I seem to see them on sale around this time of year.

    Someone else mentioned down. It will definitely keep you warm, but that sh*t makes me sweat, even in negative temps. Perhaps that particular coat of mine is too effective? :laugh:
  26. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    As someone who lives in an extremely cold area, may I recommend North Face or Columbia? ;)
  27. psychadelics

    psychadelics

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    If your interviewing in NYC, I would not recommend a heavy down jacket. It is cold (semi-cold) but my advice would be a peacoat or some kind of wool blend instead. People here generally seem to dress up more, or rather more fashionably.
  28. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    I just received the interview schedule for one of my upcoming interviews, and each applicant is only given thirty minutes in total to interview with all the program faculty, so I'm guessing this is a panel interview of sorts.

    Does anyone have any experience with these types of interviews?:confused:

    (Oops--feel free to combine this with the other interview question thread, T4C!)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  29. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    A professor specifically recommended that we ask the same questions to multiple people and see if we got the same or different responses!
  30. kiwish

    kiwish

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    I am unable to contain the urge to comment on the boots situation.

    I would be concerned that pairing tall boots with a long skirt may actually make you look shorter than you are- especially if they meet at the knee. I would also like to suggest flats.

    Personally, I would NOT wear boots and a skirt in a professional interview.
  31. paramour

    paramour

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    Because one's height is an obvious requirement for acceptance into grad school. :rolleyes: Better boot some of our profs out of the dept while we're at it.

    Boots are worn in professional environments all the time. I've worked in plenty well before I ever entered grad school, and continue to see them in the "real world" today. This seems to be a matter of personal opinion, so again, I would recommend that the OP wear what she feels most comfortable with.
  32. paramour

    paramour

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    Multiple professors & graduate students alike. You may be surprised at the differing responses. :thumbup:
  33. ResearchRefuge

    ResearchRefuge

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    So long as you look professional, I think the most important thing is to be comfortable and feel confident in the clothing you are wearing. Also, a huge part of how you dress is how you wear the clothes. You could wear a suit with heels, but slouch and fidget. Remember, shoulders back, head high, good eye contact, and a firm hand shake are all important pieces of your presentation as well.
  34. jnine

    jnine

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    i did a panel i'view with a clinical phd program a couple years back. it was kind of lame compared to a more traditional interview. i felt like the 2 profs interviewing me and 2 others didnt get much feel for the people they were interviewing, compared to the feel one gets from a 1:1 type interview. i think they got a picture of our depth of understanding about what we were getting ourselves into and how articulate we were. but i dont think they got much more than that.

    the faculty interviewing us were expereinced so perhaps they get what they need to make decisions from that interview style. i suppose it was less anxiety and kind of entertaining for me, because I got to sit and watch others interview (and evaluate them :)). PM me if you'd like any more info.
  35. ibs5002

    ibs5002

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    So I have my first interview this coming Monday and I am extremely nervous. For some reason I have this fear that they are going to go in depth essentially "quizzing" me on my knowledge of psychology and that I will be nervous and forget every person and concept I've learned about. So my question is: for those of you who have had interviews, how many of the questions center around the actual field of psychology? I saw on an old thread that someone posted a possible interview question of: "Describe your opinions of objective vs. projective testing" and "Who is your favorite theorist and why?." While I can talk about such things, I am not sure JUST how prepared I should be for questions of that nature. I am obviously prepared to discuss my specific interests within the field, my goals, my experiences, etc... but how far beyond that do the questions tend to go?
  36. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Few if any.

    You will get lots of questions about your opinions and orientation but I'd say they're mostly on the general side. They ask these questions more to see where your thinking is and how well you will fit with their program and orientation. There is no right or wrong answer and they are not trying to quiz you (or, at least this was my experience).
  37. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    Thanks all. This is good food for thought. I think I like to worry about the small things I can control (i.e. clothes) so I don't worry about the big ones I can't ;)

    for what it is worth: I have been in the working world for awhile and have got a lot of mileage out of my boots although the industry I work in is pretty casual for the most part. I am just worried about appearing too corporate vs. not professional enough vs. looking mature (but not TOO mature!).

    Thanks for the coat recommendations. I am going to try and find a warm one on sale. JCrew has a nice one with thinsulate ? and it is on sale (and in petite) but may still be out of my budget. Barring that, I could probably wear stuff I have got but in lots of layers and it may do in a pinch. I expect it is ok to look a little more casual when you have your outerwear on.
  38. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Stacy London, is that you? ;)
  39. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants

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    I used to LOVE that show (What Not to Wear for the uninitiated).
  40. researchgirl

    researchgirl

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    This happens vary rarely, but a colleague of mine was asked a stats question at an interview last year, to akin of "if you ran X study, what statistical test would you use to analyze the data." She didn't get the answer right, but she was the 1st alternate for the spot (and ultimately chose another school). I think the best route for these question is "Well, stats is not my strength right now, but I've heard the quantitative training at this program is fantastic, and I'm sure this time next year I'd be able to tell you."
  41. PhDToBe

    PhDToBe

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    I have a question that most people would probably think I had an anxiety d/o for asking, but I saw that some of you had mentioned similar things:

    I don't usually wear heels, but they do make you stand straighter, so I am wearing some rather short ones to my interviews. However, if we do bring flats (like some others mentioned) where would we keep them? I don't think we should carry a big bag around. Last year at one of my interviews, the grad student I stayed with kept them in her office, but if they don't offer, what are you guys planning to do? I know that at least one of my interviews so far will involve some major walking that could likely cause me to fall in heels, lol.

    Thank you!
  42. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    hamster: I still love it :D

    PhDtoBe: You'll want a big bag actually--they usually give you a folder and it's nice to have a place to store it. It's also good if you want to bring snacks or if you have medication you need to take. I don't mean like a huge backpack, just a nice leather tote or something. Then you can put the shoes in there. That's what some people at one of my interviews did.
  43. paramour

    paramour

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    I've seen people carry both backpacks and suitcases around on interview day. Some applicants leave straight from their interview, and due to their accommodation/transportation arrangements have to tote everything around with them. They can usually find a grad student with an office that they can leave their stuff in while they're running around on interview day. Otherwise, most programs have one central location for everyone to meet/hang out during downtime, and you can leave your stuff there as well.
  44. Sassafrass

    Sassafrass

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    *
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  45. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    As a guy, I understood very little of your clothing description...but it sounds very nice. :laugh: It is true about being different than just a black/grey suit, just don't be like the girl I interviewed a few years ago who looked like she was going to a South Beach club.
  46. water808

    water808

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    WildCat06:

    Hmm... I'm curious if you were applying somewhere very casual (for example, I grew up in Hawaii and it's RARE to see people in anything other than shorts and flipflops). I now live in the Pacific NW, where it is completely normal to go to a nice restaurant and see everything from jeans & baseball caps to dresses and heels.

    I think that location can factor in a bit to this decision -- where the school is located, and also where events are happening (e.g., a faculty reception at the university or a nice hotel vs. a get-together at a pub with grad students). I would still err on the side of being professional and put-together, but also think that if you're going to feel really uncomfortable in what you're wearing, that's just as bad as being inappropriately dressed.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  47. Wildcat06

    Wildcat06

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    Yeah, it was definitely the culture of the school because I wore the exact same outfit a couple days later at another interview and no one said anything. That's why I think it's nice to have jeans as a backup.

    But the interview was in the South which seems to me to be far more formal than my home state of Colorado so hard to gauge ahead of time.
  48. Hi,
    I've been offered two interviews and they are on the same day. I'm not complaining but I want to participate in both of them as I like both programs. They are only half an hour away from each other. However, I don't know how to go about asking a program if I can move the date or change the timing of the interview. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  49. RejectClinical

    RejectClinical

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    I actually just did this.

    One of my programs stated that you MUST attend the interview--no exceptions or flexibility. Therefore, I was kind of in a bind. I contacted the program that allows for more flexibility, and they are looking to figure something out.

    I would keep the interview of the school you rank higher. I would then politely ask the other school if there were any other options (ie=skype interview, phone interview, another interview weekend, etc).

    This gets tricky if you have already told one of them yes.
    Have you rsvp-ed to either?
  50. PrisonPsych

    PrisonPsych

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    You just totally destroyed my mental image - the bunny in the icon had me assured that you were female!

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