PhD application interview via Skype / email

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
KisStud
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm

PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby KisStud » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:45 pm

I was requested to do a Skype interview with members of one of the Mathematics departments in UK to which I have applied. I would like to ask from those of you who have prior experience with interviews for Math grad school (either in US or Europe) for advices, tips and/or personal stories on how these go. Are they looking for something specifically? ... Or it could be just a casual chat to establish that I am still interested in their school?

I should mention that my intended research area is a very good fit to this department's strongest group. So, I am especially interested to make a positive impression on them.

Now, my current context would allow me to relax a bit (I have another acceptance, also in Europe at a good school), but I am still nervous about this interview. I think I would turn that offer down in favor of one from this school. I don't have any other experience with academic or job interviews via Skype/email, so you can imagine that this being my first one is somehow frightening.

Also, should I mention my other offer (to which I have a deadline to respond in three days from the interview) and put it like "I would like to know your decision soon, since I have to respond to the other school" or it would be a better idea to say something like "I was so close to accept that other offer, but now I'm thinking to ask for more time and wait for your response" (though I'm not sure if they will grant me more time to decide).

Please share your experience with Skype and email interviews. Any input is greatly appreciated.

cti112
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby cti112 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:05 pm

if it's from the UK, then it's definitely not a good idea to urge them to give u an answer in ANY way. :mrgreen:

think about this way, they wouldn't bother interviewing you if they're not interested, so you can almost be sure that they will indeed give you an answer very soon. Also i think the general consensus on admission deadline is 15/4, at least in the US

abstruse
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:57 am

Re: PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby abstruse » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:52 pm

I think the above advice is nonsense. You want to know if this is going to be the best place for you just as much as they want to know if you're the best fit for them. It is completely fair game to mention -- not as an ultimatum but as a fact -- that you will need to decide on another offer within the week.

Ryker
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:27 pm

Re: PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby Ryker » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:38 pm

abstruse wrote:I think the above advice is nonsense. You want to know if this is going to be the best place for you just as much as they want to know if you're the best fit for them. It is completely fair game to mention -- not as an ultimatum but as a fact -- that you will need to decide on another offer within the week.
Agreed.

cti112
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby cti112 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:58 pm

just my 2 cents, why not? :wink:

scotto3394
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:48 pm

Re: PhD application interview via Skype / email

Postby scotto3394 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:15 am

I just want to preface with the fact that I have no experience with non-US schools so keep that in mind. But I agree that letting the schools you're interested in know that you're pressured to make a decision soon is important. If they can't do anything, then they can't. But I've had grad directors tell me that if I'm pressured to make a decision, I should tell them and they'll rush my decision. Especially true if they're interested in you and are interviewing you.

As for interviews, I've only had one and I think it was more casual than most, so again, grain of salt. But the impression I've gotten is that they probably think you're qualified and want to see if you'd fit with the program. So if what you said was true, just let some of that genuine interest shine through and talk about why you're so interested in their program. So far I've met very few faculty who were difficult to talk to. But again, that's just me.




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