Jan 25, 2013
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Psychology Student
When attending an interview weekend knowing that you haven't received other invitations is it a good idea to be transparent about this to the program/other applicants, or try to convey the same level of confidence that another applicant might who has multiple interviews/acceptances?

I know that it is not a good idea to come off as too desperate, but there seems to be no sense in pretending that you have other options either.

Anyone in the same boat might have similar feelings, or possibly success stories from others who may have only had one interview?
 

PhDMiss2014

Pre-Doctoral Intern
Nov 12, 2012
115
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The year I applied I only had two interviews. I never let on to anyone how many interviews I had. I ended up being wait listed at both schools and eventually accepted off of one school's wait list. A guy that was accepted into our lab last year was very competent and very confident, I had no idea he only had one interview. He played it as if he was as strong a candidate as the next guy and never gave any sign of being desperate. It worked for him !
 
Apr 16, 2012
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I don't think you should advertise how many interviews you have either way--just be as confident as you can and don't talk about other interviews unless you are asked about it. If a faculty member does ask you this (I only had one school ask me this kind of question), I would recommend saying that you are still waiting to hear back from other schools and leave it at that. Obviously this doesn't work as well if your interview is in March (because at that point most schools have notified applicants at the very least about interview dates, if not acceptances), but I think that's a perfectly acceptable answer. I also don't think there is anything wrong with saying that this is your only interview--it's not like schools are competing to accept the people who had the most interview invites. If they want you, they'll want you regardless of how many other schools want you :)
 

Pragma

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You may have to talk about it. I remember on one interview the POI asked me every single place I had applied to, what the status of my application there was, and then went into some observations about how the programs differed.

Ironically, this is the place I ended up! But I struggled mightily with explaining the other programs, because I had really applied to a variety, all of which I was intrigued by. I left the interview feeling terrible, but obviously didn't make a fatal stumble.

You know, aside from a confidence issue, you might also consider that the POI may like knowing that you'll probably give an answer faster if fewer places are involved. They may believe they are more likely to get you if you are who they want.
 
OP
P
Jan 25, 2013
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Psychology Student
You know, aside from a confidence issue, you might also consider that the POI may like knowing that you'll probably give an answer faster if fewer places are involved. They may believe they are more likely to get you if you are who they want.
This was the same thought I had, perhaps it could potentially benefit me to disclose this info to my POI. Especially since we have been in contact.

Thanks for the other responses, it seems there may not be an overtly wrong way to approach the situation.

Personally, I just know I will struggle with being snobby about what the program can offer me like I have been advised to do, since I know it is likely to be my only opportunity and can't afford to be as "choosy" as other applicants.

"It only takes one"... I have seen this phrase used a few times to console anxious PhD applicants. Must try to stay optimistic :luck:
 

Markp

Clinical Psychologist
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When attending an interview weekend knowing that you haven't received other invitations is it a good idea to be transparent about this to the program/other applicants, or try to convey the same level of confidence that another applicant might who has multiple interviews/acceptances?

I know that it is not a good idea to come off as too desperate, but there seems to be no sense in pretending that you have other options either.

Anyone in the same boat might have similar feelings, or possibly success stories from others who may have only had one interview?
What's the difference between the student that only applied to one program and the student got only one interview. Confidence. Remain confident.
 
Jun 16, 2012
93
1
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Psychology Student
This was the same thought I had, perhaps it could potentially benefit me to disclose this info to my POI. Especially since we have been in contact.

Thanks for the other responses, it seems there may not be an overtly wrong way to approach the situation.

Personally, I just know I will struggle with being snobby about what the program can offer me like I have been advised to do, since I know it is likely to be my only opportunity and can't afford to be as "choosy" as other applicants.

"It only takes one"... I have seen this phrase used a few times to console anxious PhD applicants. Must try to stay optimistic :luck:
You could just say that they are your top choice school and leave it at that.
 
Nov 18, 2010
19
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Status
When attending an interview weekend knowing that you haven't received other invitations is it a good idea to be transparent about this to the program/other applicants, or try to convey the same level of confidence that another applicant might who has multiple interviews/acceptances?

I know that it is not a good idea to come off as too desperate, but there seems to be no sense in pretending that you have other options either.

Anyone in the same boat might have similar feelings, or possibly success stories from others who may have only had one interview?
I know two people, one from my current program and one from the lab I used to work in, that only applied to one program each. Because those were the only programs that they each wanted to go to. And they got in. It sounds crazy, and I certainly didn't do that but... why should a program care who else you applied to?

Maybe you only have one interview because their program is the only place you could see yourself at...:p
 

Pragma

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why should a program care who else you applied to?
Tons of good reasons. They might want to know how committed you are to that particular research area, how likely you are to remain in the program (they make a huge investment iin you), and if your values match theirs.

For example, what would it tell the POI if you applied for their child-track program but had also applied to a bunch of adult-track programs at other schools. Are you really committed to pediatric psych, or is their program just another on a list or in an area you want to be in? That's just one idea off the top of my head...and if they are going to invest all of those years of tuition waivers, stipend funding, and BST (blood-sweat-tears) of training, I think it is a very fair question, especially if it helps separate applicants by perceived level of motivation. POIs can be very savvy about this (sometimes based on bad experiences with students).
 

bmedclinic

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I only applied to 4 programs coming out of my MA program. I had a pub coming out and took the attitude of "If I dont get in this year, I'll apply to 15 or so next year, etc.". From those 4, I got 1 interview. Waitlisted, and accepted an offer on the 16th-- totally unexpected. So, it worked for me. I wish I could tell you that I was able to choose between 4 great programs, blah blah, but the reality is that I got into a great program and fit in very well, even though I only had 1 interview and was not their #1.
 
Jan 3, 2013
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Thank you for starting this thread! I am in the same boat- somehow I managed to get an interview to the most competitive program I've applied to, with radio silence from 9 other schools. It's my top choice and I'm beyond thrilled. However, I'm nervous for the "Where else are you interviewing?" question, because I feel interviewers at such a prestigious program are going to expect that the candidates they selected are competitive and therefore have multiple invites. Oy! Of course I will be honest if asked directly, but otherwise I agree with the previous commenters about confidence. I think this is a "fake it 'til you make it" scenario.
 
Dec 13, 2012
31
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Pre-Psychology
I'm in the same boat as well.

Is it ok to say that I am still waiting to hear from other schools? Even though their interview dates have passed? I haven't received any flat out rejections.....so it wouldn't be a lie, per se...
 

AcronymAllergy

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I'm in the same boat as well.

Is it ok to say that I am still waiting to hear from other schools? Even though their interview dates have passed? I haven't received any flat out rejections.....so it wouldn't be a lie, per se...
My take is that if you haven't heard, then you haven't heard; saying as much isn't a lie at all.
 

Doctor Eliza

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Jul 30, 2010
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My take is that if you haven't heard, then you haven't heard; saying as much isn't a lie at all.
Agreed. I actually got a call from the DCT of a (respected) school in April saying that they hadn't been able to fill their class (of 6) and were re-evaluating applicants that they had not interviewed. LOL! I had other options by that point, so I politely declined. I share this by way of saying, you never know when you might hear something!! :)

Good luck!
Dr. E
 
Dec 13, 2012
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Pre-Psychology
Agreed. I actually got a call from the DCT of a (respected) school in April saying that they hadn't been able to fill their class (of 6) and were re-evaluating applicants that they had not interviewed. LOL! I had other options by that point, so I politely declined. I share this by way of saying, you never know when you might hear something!! :)

Good luck!
Dr. E
This is a good point! And reassuring...:D
 
Nov 21, 2012
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I only applied to 4 programs coming out of my MA program. I had a pub coming out and took the attitude of "If I dont get in this year, I'll apply to 15 or so next year, etc.". From those 4, I got 1 interview. Waitlisted, and accepted an offer on the 16th-- totally unexpected. So, it worked for me. I wish I could tell you that I was able to choose between 4 great programs, blah blah, but the reality is that I got into a great program and fit in very well, even though I only had 1 interview and was not their #1.
I had a similar situation years back. I only applied to 2 doctoral programs that I really wanted to go to, and figured that I could cast a wide net the following year if needed to. I ended up getting in to my top choice. I found that because I had few interviews (only 2) I had enough energy and time to prepare thoroughly and produce a very high quality application. There are some advantages to this scenario as opposed to going on lots of interviews. Because you are going on 1 interview, I would do a mock interview if possible so that you can kick ass on interview day (I would have done so if I had thought about it).
 
Dec 13, 2012
31
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
I had a similar situation years back. I only applied to 2 doctoral programs that I really wanted to go to, and figured that I could cast a wide net the following year if needed to. I ended up getting in to my top choice. I found that because I had few interviews (only 2) I had enough energy and time to prepare thoroughly and produce a very high quality application. There are some advantages to this scenario as opposed to going on lots of interviews. Because you are going on 1 interview, I would do a mock interview if possible so that you can kick ass on interview day (I would have done so if I had thought about it).
This is exactly my plan :D
 

weeblewobble

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Sep 9, 2012
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Agreed. I actually got a call from the DCT of a (respected) school in April saying that they hadn't been able to fill their class (of 6) and were re-evaluating applicants that they had not interviewed. LOL! I had other options by that point, so I politely declined. I share this by way of saying, you never know when you might hear something!! :)

Good luck!
Dr. E
I got an offer sans interview in April (I assume because not enough applicants accepted from the interview process) from a well regarded school. I had already accepted an offer elsewhere, so I declined (with some regret, because this school had been near the top initially). A friend of mine got an offer in July to start a well regarded program in August, which she accepted and is very happy at. Point is- we expect things to happen in a certain way, and usually they do, but your path may be different in the best of ways :luck: