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Jenny5

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What are your thoughts on this:

-Some people tell me that before the interview, the POI knows who s/he wants to take already, and uses the interview just to make sure that s/he made the right decision. In other words, the interview doesn't hold THAT much weight.

-Others say that applicants invited to interview all start out on the same level and the interview is the deciding factor of who gets accepted.

Does anyone have insight into the process?
I have been going on interviews so far, and in many of them, it seems like the people I am interviewing with barely ask me any questions and I'm wondering, how can they possibly gauge who is the best match? Sometimes it makes me think that they already made up their mind who they want and by the time they get to interviewing me, they do a pseudo-interview because I was the just-in-case-their-1st-or-2nd-choice-didn't-work-out person.

Thoughts?:confused:
 

guarinis

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That's weird, I was kind of having the same question. I had an interview where my POI didn't ask me anything about my research interests. I don't know if this is good or bad? Either he knows my interests really well or he's not that interested in me. And it was one of those interview days where you interview with a zillion people for like 20 minutes, so I don't know. We talked about his research interests, his lab, the uni, etc. But I know he asked other interviewees about their research interests...Any thoughts??
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I think at the point of interview....the POI will know that you can do the work (or most likely do the work). I think the interview is about 'fit'. If you are going to work with someone for 4-6+ years....you better be able to get along. They may have a 'pre-ranking', but I don't think you can win the nod out right...without the interview. I've seen some paper champions who would be horrendous to work with for any length of time. It may be different in other areas like history or english...but in psych, it seems like there will be much more interaction, and you'll have to be able to have a decent relationship.

-t
 
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apumic

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It would seem logical to me that the interview here would be like any interview for a job or various types of positions in terms of its use and weight.
In my limited experience, when I've interviewed people for a job, it's for fit as well as passion and knowledge of the job. It holds enormous weight in that it's the first face-to-face impression you get of the candidate, but it's also very subjective, so we, as candidates, are largely interpreted into a natural schema that has already been established by the evaluator(s) through their review of previous application materials.

For this reason, it would make sense that all aspects of the process work together without a clear "weighting system." I highly doubt one could simply say the interview is of "more" or "less" weight than any other part of the process, because the interview itself is subjective and interpreted through the lenses of the other application materials.

...Then again...I could be totally wrong!
 

zbombvt

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I don't doubt that certain professors already know whom they will want to take due to what they have seen on paper, and also likely through contact they have had with the applicants over the phone and/or e-mail before the interview date.

The casual questionning though might not be an indication of whether they already have made up their minds. It really could just be seeing if you have meshing personalities. In my opinion asking the very strict research based questions does not lend itself, as well as shooting the breeze, in making this determination.
 

binshka

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It really depends on what applications they get. Sometimes there's a top choice before the interview, sometimes there's more than one. The thing about the interview is that the professors are well aware that any strong applicant will probably be getting more than one offer, so even if you're not a top choice you're still being interviewed for the position because the top choice may not take the offer.
 

Sorg1123

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I'm done with grad school interviews now, aftern meeting with 28 people from 5 programs. I think the purpose of most of the interviews was to see what I am like as a person, to gauge my fit with the program and for me to determine if I liked what I saw at thier program. I was not "pressed" on my research interests, but was expected to have a general idea much in the same way as answering "where do you see yourself in ten years?" At one program the POI and I hit it off from the start and I had a good feeling about my odds and I got in. At another, I didn't think my interview went that well, but I got in there too. I guess my point is that it is unpredictable how the prgrams use interviews. Put your best face on and be yourself if my advice.
 

terrybug

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Based on what I was told at the interviews I went on, I got the sense that interviews are held before March just so they can meet everyone and have decisions in by April.
BUT the big deal breaker at a lot of these schools is whether or not their current students who applied for internships get matched this year. If they get matched, then there's funding for new students.
Since Match Day was on Friday, I expect to be hearing final decisions in the next 2 weeks.
 

CuriousGeorgia

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At my VCU interview - my POI took all her applicants to dinner with her current students to get to know us in a more casual setting and give her schpiel once instead of 5 times the next day. She made a point of saying that all her interviewees were on an even playing field. We are all qualified and went into the interviews equally so they could really gauge our fit. Obviously thats not everywhere - but at least thats 1 place that put all us interviewees on an even playing field!
 
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