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Questions About Interviewing & Related Topics

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ClinPsyL, 01.13.10.

  1. bluebluesky

    bluebluesky

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    Thanks I think that's a good answer.
    However, I wonder if it will backfire if the other option (Y) seems to be more competitive than X.
  2. IvoryTower2013

    IvoryTower2013

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    I think it really just depends on why the POI is asking. In my advisor's case, they really just wanted to know whether the student was demonstrating similar interests in general; whether or not the other program was more or less competitive didn't factor in. I suppose other POI's may have different intentions in asking that question.

    Students also choose programs for different reasons. Just because one program is more competitive on paper doesn't mean it will be the right fit for any particular student, and someone might choose the "less competitive" option for any number of reasons. So hopefully a POI isn't assuming a student will/won't come to a certain program solely based on the status of the other programs they are considering. It's certainly a complicated issue and it seems to me that reading too much into it (either by the student OR the professor) could be problematic.
  3. psypsypsy

    psypsypsy Member

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    My advisor asks the same question at interviews and it's for basically the same reason. He wants to check in and see that what you're saying basically matches up. For example, if you say you want a research career, but then you list off that you're applying to PsyD programs, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Or, if you say you're interested in children and parenting, do the other programs also have child tracks or professors who study parenting, etc? Basically, it's a check that you're being truthful in what you're saying.

    I was never asked a follow-up about my top choice, which does seem like an odd question to be asked. I usually just listed off a couple of places, and we moved on quickly. I think the competitiveness of the other programs don't matter as much as fit does, so I would only be wary about talking about a much more competitive program if it seemed really out of sync with the place you were applying.
  4. JMOB08

    JMOB08

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    Hi everyone! I'm fairly new to posting on this forum (although I've followed it and have greatly appreciated all that I have learned thus far!)

    ..and I apologize if this have been covered already (I'm trying to sneak in some posting while I have a few minutes down time). I wanted to ask if anyone could give some insight on how group interviewing works ..I have my first interview on Friday and although they have not specified how the interview is going to be run, I'm trying to cover all bases. It is a psyd program, and I think I've heard in the past that this school does a group interview..I just don't know what to expect from one! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  5. hopeful8

    hopeful8

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    Thanks to everyone for the great advice about how to handle the question about where else you've been invited to interview. I definitely think it makes sense that the POI is likely interested to see if you are being consistant in your applications - if you're truly focused on their research, and thus applying to programs with similar research focus, theoretical orientation, etc.

    In response to the cold weather interview question, obviously you want to stay warm, but I think it's still important to look professional. I had an interview last weekend in a snowy location, and I still wore a suit and ankle-boots with a low heel (better for winter than pumps, in my opinion, but still very professional) because I assumed that at a university, most of the sidewalks would be cleared, which they were. When we went on the campus tour, the people leading the tour were mindful of the fact that all of us women were in heels so we mainly stayed indoors (and I should note that all of the female interviewees were in heels or similar dress shoes, from what I could see). You can always wear winter boots, and bring nice shoes to change into, but I didn't want to deal with carrying a big pair of snowboots around all day. Occasionally, schools will provide you with a place to store your things during the day, in which case you can easily do the shoe-swap. Overall though, it's very easy to find nicer-looking winter jackets, gloves, hats, etc that keep you warm while still allowing you to look professional.
  6. psychd

    psychd

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    Last edited: 02.20.11
  7. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    I didn't have back-to-back interviews for grad school, but I've had them for internship, and I did deal with a Friday/Monday interview split way back when I applied to doctoral programs. In all cases I've attended both interviews. Usually, with grad schools, the pre- and post-interview day activities are optional and more social in nature (e.g., going out to dinner with your POI and his/her lab). The best thing to do would likely be to email both programs to find out if the pre-/post- activities are mandatory. If so, you'll likely need to choose. If not, then the overnight flight is a possibility.
    Last edited: 02.21.11
  8. psychd

    psychd

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  9. HopefulClinical

    HopefulClinical

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    Ladies - Are you planning to wear a button up shirt under your suit? Does anyone have any suggestions for a place to buy a cheap button up shirt? Express wants $30 (I'm way too broke for that) and I can't seem to find any nice ones anywhere else.

    Also, I'm from the northeast where it is bitterly cold right now. I have 2 interviews in places where it will be in the upper 60's. Is it common to still wear a suit jacket around in these climates? Its currently 7 degrees where I am right now, so the upper 60's seems like bikini weather!

    Sorry if these are silly questions, interviews are getting closer and I'm getting more nervous!
  10. Brochacho

    Brochacho

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    Hello,

    I've been going over this thread to see if my question was answered somewhere else and didn't find it. However, if it was and I just missed it I apologize for repeating a question.

    I've got three interviews rapidly approaching. As soon as I got the interviews I began searching for copies of my POI's research and have been doing the best I can to study them. However, this process is very time consuming and I cannot access all the articles. Some of the more recent ones are for sale but I don't really have the funds to purchase them due to the expenses involved with going to the interviews. Additionally, I am in my senior year of undergrad taking 18 hours and working full time. Needless to say I am strapped for time. :scared:

    My question is, How familiar do we have to be with the current research being done by the professors? I have a basic understanding of what they are researching and I am extremely interested. I believe that I would be excited to work with the professors in each of the schools. Some master's level therapists at work said that I really need to be more familiar with the intricacies of my own research than I do theirs. Right now I feel like I'm swimming in information. Can someone throw me a life vest and tell me if I am worrying too much or should I just continue on with the flow? Sorry this was so long!
  11. AgapeBlue

    AgapeBlue part-time Ninja

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    Congrats on your interview!

    A button up blouse is not mandatory for women as it is for men. If you have a nice shell to wear under your jacket, that is perfectly acceptable as well. Target might have a button up blouse that will work if you don't have anything else:
    Target: Blouse (sample)

    Yep, even when it's warm and sunny in the southern part of the US we still wear suits for interviews, and the jacket, for the most part, stays on during the "formalities". Granted, it won't be a heavy wool suit, but a suit is the normal uniform nonetheless. This is when the lighter fabric blouses and shells come in handy...and of course you can wear the pumps rather than boots :)

    These are not silly questions. Not everyone has experience with interviewing. Relax, be your wonderful self and remember that they are impressed with your credentials and to want to meet you. You will be fabulous!

    AB:)
  12. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    It is important to know the research area, general population studied, and maybe what kind of work s/he likes to do. By the time something gets published, it is often 1-2yrs removed from the time they did it, so don't get too nitty-gritty with the journal articles.
  13. psychology12

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  14. ela

    ela

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  15. icarusflew

    icarusflew

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    After interviews, what should Thank You notes say? Should they again summarize fit or include anything else?
  16. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green

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    Generally, my thank you notes for grad school interviews included both an emphasis of fit but also stated something specific to the conversation I had with the interviewer. I figured if I re-emphasized fit (in a subtle way) and talked about something specific to the conversation they would have a better chance of remembering me.
  17. jessa1984

    jessa1984

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    So one school is interviewing 50 people on two different days (that's 100 in total). Is this usual? I know Fordham only interviews 50 so I was just wondering if this was out of the ordinary... and should I be worried?
  18. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    It probably depends on the program. My department interviews perhaps 20-25 clinical applicants and accepts 8-12; Psy.D. programs that accept larger numbers of students (30+) certainly interview significantly more than we do.
  19. HopefulClinical

    HopefulClinical

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    delete
    Last edited: 03.06.12
  20. Student4Life0

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    I feel the same way before my interviews. I get soooo nervous!! The morning of my last interview, I actually thought I was going to throw up! I could barely eat. My nervous were really getting the best of me. I started to fear that my anxiety would screw up the entire interview. What I found (for both interviews I have been on) is that although I am nervous when walking in, my nervous completely dissipate during the interview. It is as if my body knows that this is too important to let my nerves get in the way. I feel comfortable and at ease, despite the fact that I was a wreck beforehand. Try to just focus on the moment. I also practice diagphramatic breathing when I feel anxious, and this helps. Also, try some self-talk before walking in. I would say to myself "So what if I bomb it? What's the worst that can happen? I won't get in. Oh well...there will be other interviews. There will be other times to apply."

    I have noticed other people who seemed nervous during interviews, but my advice would be to never let it show. You want to appear cool under pressure. GL!
  21. psychd

    psychd

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    ....
    Last edited: 02.20.11
  22. Phipps

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    So I would say just be yourself and don't try *too hard*, if you're at the interview, you're qualified to be there. This is something I have to keep in mind too :)

    Hope that helps, and I am sure you will do great, good luck! :luck:

    Hi,

    thanks so much for all your advice and support. Exercise and mediation ect. makse a lot of sense...
    my issue right now is that I am having my first interview EVER at the end of next week, have not prepared that much and really struggle with balancing my course work (assignments, paper deadlines) with getting myself ready for the upcoming interview. I graduate this May, so...still in school - also, I just got new stuff with tight deadlines from my prof. (RA)...

    feel like overwhelmed. How many hours on average are you all preparing form interviews (besides just being yourself)? I could use some support :)

    GOOD LUCK to all of you/us who still have interviews coming up.

    I know I will watch the Graduate the night my first interview is over!!

    Thx,
    Phipps
  23. Phipps

    Phipps

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    Yes, I am planning to wear a button up shirt, together with a pants suit, really conservative, probably gray-ish...with a pink or blue blouse

    Filene's Basement, Nordstrom Rack, or Anne Taylor (they have 30% off two piece suits this weekend. Really pretty ones. I will get one of them tomorrow)
  24. Lisa44201

    Lisa44201

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    Happy thoughts

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDiMC1nDsk[/YOUTUBE]
  25. ModGirl

    ModGirl

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    Question about PsyD interviews...

    Since you don't apply to work with a specific individual, should you still know professors who have similar interests as you? I mean, I plan on having one or two professors just in case, but I was wondering if anyone has been asked about this?

    I have my first interview tomorrow morning at Immaculata and I'm starting to get nervous! Ah.
  26. katinatree

    katinatree

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    So... how to approach answering a faculty member/POI/grad student who asks you if you have or have had interviews at or acceptances from other schools?

    Perhaps put it to a vote?:

    A.) Just tell them if you do and be specific.
    B.) If you do have other schools interested in you, say so but don't be specific which school(s)
    C.) Say no, even if it's really a yes.
    D.) Say yes, even if it's really a no.
    E.) Choose what schools you mention based on some kind of criteria (open to interpretation)
    F.) Completely evade the question in any way possible.
  27. katinatree

    katinatree

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    Hi five, ela!! I found that and posted it in another thread recently. We are totally on the same wavelength! :)
  28. bluebluesky

    bluebluesky

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    Sorry edited my reply just in case someone recognizes me.
    I think in general...you will have to be honest.
    You will have to make up more lies if you start it as the POI can always pushes you to answer in more details.
  29. jessa1984

    jessa1984

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    Nooo... This is definitely a PhD program, which is why I'm worried.

  30. AgapeBlue

    AgapeBlue part-time Ninja

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    I'm completely mystified as to why anyone feels the need to be coy when asked questions during the interview process..regardless of what that question is, but especially those pertaining to the "other interview/offers" question.

    It is unprofessional to evade and play mind-games when asked a simple question, not to mention disrespectful to the person posing it. This person has worked very hard to get where she/he is, and could possibly be your mentor (and eventual peer), why not just be honest with them?

    They will be inviting you into their labs, advising and guiding you during one of the most important phases of your academic career, and investing a lot of their time and energy in seeing you succeed. They deserve to know all of the facts before they make their decision.

    Chances are they will find out the truth eventually.

    I know this is a stressful situation and we're all vying for a few choice spots, but in a field where people will, in the future, put their well-being into our hands shouldn't we start out being as honest, forthright and professional as possible?

    AB:)
  31. Mauricia

    Mauricia

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    I have a question about phone interviews, I had a phone interview today and the professor was really nice but it was also super awkward. I'm not sure if it was him or me but I think it was both of our fault. I'm not very comfortable on the phone. Even though I don't have any more phone interviews for this application cycle I'm sure I'll need to do some in the future so I'm just looking for some advice on how to improve on them.
    Are they more awkward for everyone? I have no trouble with the in person interviews. The professor kind of just said hi and then didn't really say anything, so I was kind of lost at what to do, even though I prepared questions and stuff I expected him to ask me something to start off. I asked a couple questions but he didn't really give very long answers. At this point would it have been appropriate if I just started talking about my own research background/interests? I felt odd asking a bunch of program specific questions since I'll be visiting the program in a couple days.
  32. Student4Life0

    Student4Life0

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    +1
  33. Jeina

    Jeina

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    Just out of curiosity, what's the highest number of interview invites you've heard of someone getting in a single application season? Also, what's the maximum number of interviews you've heard someone has actually gone to?
  34. PrisonPsych

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    I'm sure there are people who have gotten more, but last year I got 13 invites and attended 10 of those.
  35. Phipps

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    Hi everyone:

    I am post-interview and still one on my way and of course, second guessing about how my interviews went. Here is my concern and question I would like some feed-back on:

    so far, I got a lot of questions as opposed to me asking faculty and students...so, I did answer and did that with rather long answers, possibly two to four minutes? Definitely longer than for instance two to three sentences each. I only realized that after the day was over ...duhhh;

    what do you all think is a good and appropriate length for answers like 'tell me about yourself' or 'why psychology'??

    Thx!!
  36. PsychUndergrad

    PsychUndergrad

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    Some of my interviews have a dinner/casual event with faculty and current students the night before actual days of interview. Is the idea for these types of events to stay away from "interview day topics" such as asking about current research?
  37. psychology12

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    From my experience, it has been whatever you would like it to be. Grad students are usually there and will usually ask if you have any questions about the interview day, life in the town/city, or about the program/mentors themselves.
    Faculty may start up conversations about research or they may just ask about you in general. It varies from school to school. Don't sweat it. If you have a question about the program, school, or town just ask! I have gotten the impression that the pre social is a way to (a) break the ice and (b) see how you interact socially.

    Good luck!
  38. bunderj

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    Yeah, I'm about the same. I got 14 and attended 10 this year. Didn't futureapppsy (I'm sure I'm mispelling that) get something like 17 last year?
  39. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    Yep, that's how things work at our program; it's an informal event, so most topics are fair game. It's fine if you want to talk about the program, but don't feel pressured to focus entirely on interview day material, and please don't try to force those types of questions into the conversation (or focus ONLY on these interview-ish queries) in an attempt to seem more intelligent/professional/prepared/whatever. Just be yourself.
  40. psychanator

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    Hey all!

    In light of the fact that many schools have begun their application review processes, I figured it would be nice to start a thread about interviewing. There is a lot of wonderful advice in various other threads, but I thought it may be helpful to start a go-to thread exclusively for this purpose. I'm thinking we can do two things on this thread:

    1. Anyone who has gone through the interview process in the past: what are commonly asked questions? What should we prepare for? Are there any of the cliche "what is your greatest flaw" type questions that you can help us prepare for?
    2. Anyone who undergoes an interview this season (either phone or in person): were there any questions that stumped you? Any questions you thought were weird? Maybe even a question or two you thought you answered pretty well?

    Thanks guys! Wishing you all lots of luck during this process :)
  41. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Mod note:

    I merged this with our existing interview questions thread. Good luck to all. :)
  42. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Just saw this--I got 19 invites (I actually had to go back to the old thread and re-count them :laugh:), though those were to school psych programs, so perhaps (probably) less competitive. I can't remember how many I attended, though I did a lot of phone interviews as well.

    Looking back on it now, though, it really doesn't seem to matter, funnily.
  43. psychanator

    psychanator

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    If an interviewer asks you what other schools you are applying to, how would you answer this without lying, but while not giving them reason to think they are not at the top or an important choice to you?
  44. odranoel

    odranoel

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    I kind of want to know the answer to this as well, if anyone would be so kind.
  45. snowcherries

    snowcherries

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    When I was asked this question during my Skype interview, I gave a general answer about the types of programs that I was applying to--for example, "I'm applying to scientist-practitioner PhD programs with specialized training in child psychology." Alternately, I think "I'm applying to programs with research opportunities in X" would work fine. If they want you to list some, they'll ask, but they probably won't care.
  46. 26846

    26846

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    I can't even fathom actually going on 19 interviews in the span of a few months and being well prepared for all of them! Kudos to you! Given your expertise in the matter, how/why did you decide not to interview with certain programs? If you had not received any formal offers yet, did you decide not to interview because you had interviewed with some of your top choices and felt confident? I'm trying to ascertain whether there is such a thing as "too many interviews." Also, of the programs where you interviewed, do you remember how many of them offered you admission?
    Thank you :)
  47. Pragma

    Pragma

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    I know some will care. I have been asked specifically every program I applied to on an interview and watched the person make a list of them. If they really want to know your goals, it is actually a good tactic for them to see if you have applied to similar types of places, or if they are unique compared to other programs you have applied to.
  48. psychanator

    psychanator

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    I have a question... if as part of an interview you are given the opportunity to stay with grad students, but this would make you more anxious, does it look bad if you choose not to?
  49. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent

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    I'd highly recommend you stay with a grad student. As long as you're not rude, they will probably vouch for you and will allay any fears you have. They can also be a great resource for information about the program. Remember: we (grad students) are not so different from you (applicants)! We were there a year or two ago. I felt like my hosts were cheering for me and checking on me during the weekend, and I really liked that.
  50. MaybeInJune

    MaybeInJune

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    Hi all! I was offered an interview at a program near my home (clinical Ph.D.) such that it's unnecessary to stay with a graduate student before the interview. However, I'd like to get the insight and benefits of the "face time" that comes with staying with students and interacting with them on and off over the course of a day or so.

    I do have a meeting with a grad student instead (considerate POI's suggestion)- any advice on how to maximize that time so that I get the information I need, and so that she (the student) gets enough information about me to hopefully help my case? It's among my top choices, so don't want to botch the opportunity. My plan of attack so far: read the student's work, have questions prepared about the program and POI's mentorship style, etc. Anything I'm missing? Thanks!

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