phone interview for admitted students

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arieszen
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:01 am

phone interview for admitted students

Postby arieszen » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:44 pm

anyone knows anything about what is asked at these phone interviews? i haven't gotten an acceptance yet but I read somewhere, about people being requested for phone interviews by profs. I just want to be prepared coz the grad school dept at the top of my list is a very small one and I have a feeling they wil definitely want to get to know their students better. I'm an international student. is there a chance I'll be rejected (that is assuming they're even considering my application) if i can't answer a technical question assuming that's the reason they call up, to test the candidates knowledge in the area they want to specialise in?

if i have confused you with my question, it's because of my state of mind.

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noojens
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby noojens » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:23 am

Eh, I get the sense that interviews are pretty rare in physics - and usually they happen after you've been accepted. Either way, if they do call you should expect it to be pretty informal. You ask them about their research, they ask you about your interests/experience/plans, you shmooze about the school/city/department, if you're feeling bold you probe them a bit about how long their students take to graduate, where their last few students are working now, and so on. No putting you on the spot with obscure technical questions, unless the interviewer's a big asshole in which case you don't want to work for him/her anyway :)

So it's not a big deal really. If you're admitted already you'll almost certainly be funded, so all that's riding on the interview call is TA vs. RA vs. fellowship.

"In my opinion, I mean, and I'm probably totally wrong!"

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CKtalon
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:25 am

Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby CKtalon » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:39 am

I was interviewed by a famous prof from a top sch whose name appeared on my SOP. I was asked technical questions that was closely related to the professor's research.

arieszen
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:01 am

Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby arieszen » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:08 am

In my opinion, I mean, and I'm probably totally wrong, it seems like good advice to take it easy when talking to profs. still i need to be prepared coz CKtalon confirmed my fears. i just know i'll get really nervous and mess it up but.. anyway we'll see coz there is a big ifff involved.

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noojens
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Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby noojens » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:40 pm

CKtalon wrote:I was interviewed by a famous prof from a top sch whose name appeared on my SOP. I was asked technical questions that was closely related to the professor's research.

was s/he a big asshole? :P

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grae313
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Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:44 pm

Different schools do admissions differently. MIT admits people into groups, so if this was from MIT or a school with similar practices, it makes perfect sense. Your admissions is more based on whether a given professor wants you in their group than anything else.

You guys gotta remember, it's just a bunch of professors sitting in a room here reading applications. If one professor thinks they like you and may want you in their group after you called them out specifically in your SOP saying you wanted to work for them, why wouldn't they call you up and give you a real, technical interview?

Other interviews might originate from other motives. Maybe you are international and they want to check your English, maybe they are just deciding between TA/RA/fellowship and want to get more of a sense of your personality. Whatever. I'm sure it varies.

CKtalon
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:25 am

Re: phone interview for admitted students

Postby CKtalon » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:18 pm

noojens wrote:
CKtalon wrote:I was interviewed by a famous prof from a top sch whose name appeared on my SOP. I was asked technical questions that was closely related to the professor's research.

was s/he a big asshole? :P

I wouldn't say the professor was an asshole. The professor seemed sincere although the questions were really hard and came in parts (from easy to hard). I usually only answered the easy ones, but the hard ones were details I couldn't remember offhand. It isn't MIT :)
I know another friend who got called up by the same professor and was asked technical questions (of the same type).
It's probably only this particular professor.




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