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PhD/PsyD Internship Interview Preparation

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ellenew

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Hi everyone! I'm wondering if anyone will share their advice for interview prep. My program will hold mock interviews, but I am hoping we can share some tips and ways to answer unusual questions. Those who already are out of internship - please share your experiences!
 

Feelings Doctor

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Yes, I would also greatly appreciate this! Perhaps veterans can answer:

- At what types of sites did you interview?
- What was the general experience like --- 1:1, open house, etc.?
- Most common question(s)?
- Any question(s) catch you off guard?
- If I were to do it all over again, I would...
 

cara susanna

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- At what types of sites did you interview? AMCs and VAs

- What was the general experience like --- 1:1, open house, etc.? Generally they were 1:1 but I went to a few open houses. I actually didn't like the open houses that much--felt like you got lost in the crowd more.

- Most common question(s)? Why this site, why this setting, career goals, dissertation topic, research ideas (I interviewed at pretty research-y sites generally), describe one of your more difficult cases, theoretical questions (like DSM 5 changes or why do you think x and y are related, etc).

- Any question(s) catch you off guard? "So tell me about yourself." I also had one site where they asked you questions to throw you off and see how you'd respond. However, they didn't do that to me. I think it's because I was the last one they interviewed that day, so maybe they figured I had heard about it by then?

- If I were to do it all over again, I would... Not schedule one of my top sites first. Although it was nice to get some out of the way in December, so maybe that was still a good move.
 
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BuckeyeLove

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- At what types of sites did you interview?


Forensic evaluation/treatment sites (i.e., state psychiatric hospitals, state and federal prisons).


- What was the general experience like --- 1:1, open house, etc.?


This varied from site to site. Generally speaking, I noticed that all of the state hospitals I interviewed at (most of which were forensic evaluation heavy) were really laid back, and I loved that. The BOP sites I interviewed at had a way more strict and regimented feel to them (and to be honest, it seemed they thought way more/highly of themselves in terms of ego than they actually were, which is also interesting to me in that most of my more esteemed forensic colleagues either avoid or get out of there as fast as they can because of the limitations on pay, private work, etc., but that’s a whole separate issue).


- Most common question(s)?


This varied as well; however, the most common I would say had to do with any previous ethical situations and how you handle them, how one conceptualizes clients while also considering diversity variables, why you’d be a good fit, what you want to do with your career.


- Any question(s) catch you off guard?


Not questions per se, but one site did ask me to interpret a Rorschach. My initial response was going to be “Well Dr. So and So, I feel it would be ethically problematic from a validity standpoint for me to have even given this instrument, largely due to the fact that any litigant/defendant could acquire the most popular responses for each card by hopping onto Wikipedia, which would consequently provide nothing incrementally to the totality of my data for this assessment.” My actual response was me making up stuff.


- If I were to do it all over again, I would...


Enjoy every minute of it. Looking back, I loved the whole process. I can’t think of another time in my life at this point where I will be flying all over the country, to some places I would never think of going, and other places while visiting family/friends along the way. It was a real fun time.
 
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smalltownpsych

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Standard job interview from my experience. Why do you want to come here? What are your strengths and weaknesses. Tell us about a difficult case. Tell us about a successful case. What questions do you have about the site? If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be? Not really that last one. :p
 

ellenew

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Is there anyone that can share some insight for interviews at clinical child and pediatric sites?
 
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affectiveH3art

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What were people's experience with a health psych site (e.g. Consultation Liaison)? Questions asked?


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PeriLovesPsych

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Can anyone share some tips for interviewing at university counseling centers? Thanks in advance!
 
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calimich

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Can anyone share some tips for interviewing at university counseling centers? Thanks in advance!

-- be prepared for clinical vignettes and talking through ethical dilemmas
-- be able to speak about your work in becoming a culturally competent clinician
-- be able to speak about experience/growth areas related to brief counseling
-- demonstrate understanding of the University's demographics
-- demonstrate understanding of developmental concerns of college students
-- know how the cite is different from others (e.g., opportunities to supervise; strong group program, etc) and why it's a good fit for you

Good luck, enjoy the process!
 
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SLB-CO

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Is there anyone that can share some insight for interviews at clinical child and pediatric sites?

I primarily applied to combined sites, so I can speak to the child clinical a bit.

- At what types of sites did you interview? Academic Medical Centers, Community Mental Health Centers,

- What was the general experience like? All were fairly full in-person interview days (information session, group interviews/discussions, meetings with current interns, multiple 1:1 interviews, tours, etc.)

- Most common question(s)? Why I fit the site, what my research is in and why, what I was looking to get out of internship, supervision experiences and preferences, case descriptions - most successful/challenging/do-over/cultural and family aspects, career trajectory/goals, vignettes (this was very true of child clinical - I think all of the vignettes I received were child)

- Any question(s) catch you off guard? If you matched here, what would disappoint you the most? Why X population instead of Z population? Do you believe there is magic in therapy?

- If I were to do it all over again, I would: limit the interviews I accepted. It ended up being incredibly expensive and time-consuming. I actually really enjoyed most of it, but once you hit a certain number of interviews at your top sites, I wonder about the need to interview in person at those lower in your list. Of course,I was a ball of stress at the time and so I accepted them all. So, yes, I realize that this is easier said in retrospect than done in person, but truly if I were to do it again, I would have asked for Skype interviews at sites that I wasn't as interested in and/or turned them down if they were truly not open to Skype interviews (of course, in person all the way for the ones you really want!). Interviews didn't change my perceptions of sites as much as I had anticipated.

Good luck, everyone! It's a painful process, but you're almost there!
 
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RejectClinical

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I think the best advice last year I got was working on my nonverbals. Look excited (lean forward, nod, etc.) even if you're feeling tired. Try not to fidget (e.g., put your hands in your lap and don't move them constantly). Look over practice questions that other people have provided. You'll probably still get at least one question you haven't seen before and that's fine. It is also okay to ask for a few minutes to think over a question before answering (another good piece of advice I got). The biggest thing is really to KNOW the site. That shows your interest and helps you tailor your questions so that you can make an informed decision later. I spent most of my time preparing for each site by having questions I wanted to ask them and looking over the brochure in detail. Although it shouldn't have to be said.....avoid doing anything socially inappropriate. When in doubt, don't do it. In conjunction with that, I think it is good to get an idea of whether the interns are evaluating you. That can really change what types of questions you can ask them. good luck. You'll be fine.
 
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blacklab

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Hi, all!

What are your thoughts re: thank you notes? Yes/no? Email? One to each interviewer or simply one to the training director? Interested in your thoughts on this. Can't seem to find anything in previous posts. Thank you in advance. And, as always, best of luck to all through this hell of a process.


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RejectClinical

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Hi, all!

What are your thoughts re: thank you notes? Yes/no? Email? One to each interviewer or simply one to the training director? Interested in your thoughts on this. Can't seem to find anything in previous posts. Thank you in advance. And, as always, best of luck to all through this hell of a process.


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It is truly site dependent. For sites that specifically say, "Do not send us thank you notes" or we don't care, I wouldn't bother. I don't think it matters overall, but if your anxiety is high, you can send it to the director (email; don't waste your time with hand written). I think the way I handled it was by inserting it into follow-up emails in which I had additional questions that came up after interviewing at other sites. With the exception of maybe one site, I never wrote "just" a thank you note.
 
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