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PhD Student Interview Questions

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PhD student interview questions shared by candidates

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What experience did I have in laboratory and isotope research and how could I transfer existing skills. Did I have experience in learning new techniques and strategies and working long unsociable hours often on my own.

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Final year project was ideally suited to this role.

Why do you want to pursue a career in research?

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what is your research experience

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5 things you want out of your PhD?

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The process begins with general predictable questions. Q - Tell us about your background. Q - Why do you want to do a PhD? Q - Why do you want to do this specific PhD? After this they asked me to describe the PhD project I was proposing (It was while I was doing this that the institute director interrupted with a question about an aspect of the methodology). The meat of the interview consisted of more specific questions about the specific research project I was applying for, it is important to prepare very well for this part as it is the most important aspect, and the part that they spent most time on. Toward the end the questions became more general again. Q - Can you briefly satisfy me that you will be able to undertake the PhD and bring it to completion within your allotted timeline? Q - Can you describe a recent presentation that you have given? Q - Can you demonstrating to me that you will be capable of writing a PhD level thesis? Q - I'm going to give you one last 30 seconds now to sell yourself (I'd recommend being prepared to do this both quickly and in a steadier manner in case you are not asked the question in this manner). Lastly, at some point near the end usually, you'll a general science question perhaps vaguely related to your project. It is impossible to predict what this will be but it shouldn't be a particularly difficult question. I believe it is just to let them see that everything you are saying isn't just completely rehearsed and that you are competent in your general field.

What's one paper in the group that you like?

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If the photon carries only spin 1, how is it possible that an atom absorbs a photon and gains more angular momentum than hbar?

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Why have you decided to study physics? What are the subjects you know better? Describe your master research project, the tools you used into it, and summarise the conclusions. Some very basic questions on math. I was shown a couple of movies (of flows and flames in pipes) and was asked to mention what were the most relevant physical processes underlying these phenomena.

Day 1: General questions about my educational background. General questions about Molecular Biology. Day 2: Tell us about yourself? Why you applied here? Questions about previous research projects What do you want to do in the future? and Why? Why you chose this paper as your favorite publication?

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