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This Category: > PhD Advice / Support

1 to 15 of 17 PhD Forum Posts

Absolutely terrible PhD interview

User: blair - 25 May 2010 10:58

has anyone ever had one of these and still got the PhD? I had one last Tues so by rights they should have got in touch with me by today, like they said they would. I messed it up so bad.... some of their Qs I couldn't even answer - had to say I don't know. Brain went in to melt down and I couldn't answer the most basic of stuff. Really freaked out cos of nerves and brain went blank, BUT before I got in the room I think I was a really strong candidate. I have two masters degress, both relevant to the PhD - well one subject wise and one in rsrch methods & have also worked in the field of the PhD for the last four years.
I just wonder what the chances were of them realising that I was nervous and my brain going blank and if it had happened to others at all? First time for me to have such a bad interview - I got a studentship for my first masters from the same people who will fund the PhD I went for and that was completely fine!

User: teek - 25 May 2010 11:09

It's hard to say Blair, I certainly had the odd brain freeze in interviews without it affecting the result, but I think it really comes down to how you fared relative to the competition. Good luck though, hope it works out for you.

User: blair - 25 May 2010 11:21

This is very true, yes. Thanks. There were eight people in total on the list I think, including me, and two potentially three PhDs going. so five others would need to have screwed up worse than me - which I find very unlikely! I just hope they get back to me soon, as whilst I am convinced that i did not get it, i still feel a bit on limbo land until they let me know. I really wanted this one, but I am sure there will be others so will just conclude it as good experience until the next one comes along. Ta!

User: catalinbond - 25 May 2010 11:22

I've had brain freeze moments in interviews and got the job (not Phd though) In one I couldn't think what cognitive psychology consisted of! (somthing very relevant to the job and something anyone with a psychology degree should easily know)

I didn't feel my PhD interview went well, but was later told I'd been a good candidate so sometimes your percceptions are wrong.

Good luck with the result and try not to be too disheartened if you don't get it. I had 8 PhD interviews over a period of a few years before I got mine. Looking back some of the projects I'm so glad I didn;t get them!

User: LoveHz - 25 May 2010 16:50

Yep, I recently had an interview for funding where I was getting asked all kinds of technical questions and a few times had to either say I don't know, or that my mind had gone blank and I was sorry but I couldn't answer. I got the funding anyway, they do know that people are hugely nervous at these things and most people will take it into account. The ones that don't are going to be a nightmare to work with anyway ;-) We did have a long discussion about a few other things that were less technical, and it felt like that was pretty comfortable, so I don't know if that was what swung it for me.

Oh and it took about a fortnight longer than they said for me to get the letter.

User: Blair - 25 May 2010 17:08

======= Date Modified 25 May 2010 17:10:23 =======
very odd - i wrote a big reply and then lost it!
but thanks guys - the above is of great comfort! :-)))
still no word but they are soo unreliable at that place, admin wise. which is one thing to focus on if i do not get it i guess ;)

User: UnderVerse - 25 May 2010 17:34

Hi Blair. Yes, I had the worse interview ever for my PhD - and it took them ages to get back to me due to *slow* admin - but I got the place in the end. You'll hopefully hear from them soon. But do keep an eye out for the *slow* admin once you get there - I soon realised that it was the running theme. Nothing to worry about, just make sure you're the one who's organised, etc.

User: Blair - 25 May 2010 18:16

heheh. Thanks! :-)

User: Ephiny - 26 May 2010 08:04

I had a couple of really bad interviews, similar problems to what you describe - I could have kicked myself afterwards because I did know the answers to the questions, just couldn't think clearly because I was so anxious and couldn't get my words out in time. and didn't get the place, though the feedback I got was not at all as bad as I expected, and my rejection was more down to other candidates having more relevant experience rather than my terrible interview performance - maybe they were just being generous with the feedback, but I think it's true that these things often don't come across as badly as we think at the time.

On the positive side, I had another interview that went really quite well, and got and accepted the offer. That time I got on really well with the interviewers (prospective supervisors) and didn't feel at all intimidated, I guess because they made the interview more like a normal conversation than an proper interview, so we just had a good enthusiastic conversation about the project and my background, with questions and answers flowing both ways, rather than them firing questions at me in an adversarial way.

User: blair - 31 May 2010 20:17

So Friday I plucked up the courage to write to him to find out and here is his reply:
Dear Blair
I have not written because I have needed to know the funding situation with regard to the outcome for your application in particular, and unfortunately it is still not yet fully clear. Is there a time later today or tomorrow when we could talk about this (over the phone)? What time is good for you? And what number?
Kind regards,

So all hope is not completely lost. I will call him Monday. There were three studentships going but the third was not definite.. I suspect this is still the case & for whatever reason I would have been reserved the third. will find out. Thanks for replies!

User: blair - 31 May 2010 20:17

======= Date Modified 07 Jun 2010 15:01:59 =======
the supervisor just called me to say i was one of the strongest candidates - and that i was 'actually well ahead of the field', but i was third in line overall... and so i have been allocated the exact phd i wanted, but it is the one that they were only 'likely' to get funding for and not 'definitely' getting. they are still fighting for the funding and should hear by next tuesday. fingers bloody crossed!!

User: blair - 31 May 2010 20:18

======= Date Modified 07 Jun 2010 15:04:29 =======
still no word. he said to call him back tomorrow (Tues) to see if he knew whether i had the funding or not. argh - waiting is so hard! just want to know one way or the other!

User: Hpurple - 17 March 2016 16:32

Curious as to what happened

Dear Blair, I know it has been nearly six years since you posted this. I really hope you will see this message. I just finished my PhD interview and I messed up. I feel terrible.

User: SaveMeGod - 26 August 2017 17:42

I know it's been more than seven years since this thread was last active but I thought I'd share my experience and hopefully get a view point of others. I had a phd interview last week and this was my second interview as I had also applied and given the admission test (written subject test) and interview a year before at the same institute with the same supervisor. Though my supervisor had given me clear tips on how to answer specific questions in the interview, I messed up and had a brain freeze and couldn't answer as she had told me. I really want to kill myself for being so stupid and dumb. I was extremely nervous and restless that day with a panel of seven people and as the panel was quite critical in the way that they were asking, one of the interviewers were extremely harsh and even told me that I would not finish within 3 years if I hadn't been more specific and that my attitude is not good. I was extremely exhausted before the interview because I couldn't sleep or get rest from three days before the test and I don't blame the interviewers because I might have been rude in my way of speaking and attitude.(as I think I am when I don't get rest) I regret that I should have been more slow in speaking and listened to the questions more carefully before answering. My supervisor didn't even make an eye contact through out the interview. Should I apologize my supervisor for my stupidity in an email? Maybe I should have sent her an apology mail about this immediately after the interview but I thought that it might not be a good idea to talk on this issue before the result is out. Kindly please advise if anyone has also gone through this and on what would be the best way to make up for my stupidity.

User: Eds - 29 August 2017 14:56

I hope god saves you. I'd be interested to know what happened to Blair though.
1 to 15 of 17 PhD Forum Posts

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