Helpful Hints for Interviews
1. Before the interview, look up the current research of the faculty member you would like to work with during your graduate study. Think of questions you may have regarding his or her work and the feasibility of doing a study that interests you in his or her research area. Call ahead and find out your interview schedule as you will probably be scheduled to meet with more than one person.
2. Dress conservatively and appropriately.
3. Impress the interviewers by interviewing them. Ask any questions that will allow you to size up the program and see if they are a good fit for you. Curiosity and assertiveness will be favorably regarded by the interviewer.
4. Relax! It may help to comment on your nervousness to break the tension.
5. Go in with prepared question regarding the program or the research interests of the faculty member.
6. Be prepared for silence on the part of the faculty member.
7. It helps to know a lot about one specific area so that you will have something to talk about. For example, if applying to a clinical child psychology program, learn about children with ADHD or other specific disorders. It helps if you have taken a related course.
8. Practice controlling your anxiety.
9. Attend social events associated with the interview. Talk to graduate students.
10. Email someone you are interested in working with before the interview.
11. Send thank you notes after the interview.
12. Be able to respond to the question "Do you have any questions for me?" During some interviews, it is the first question asked.
13. Ask questions like:
· What sources of funding are available to students?
· What types of jobs do the graduates have?
· Will there be any changes in the faculty?
· What is the percentage of research work and clinical work in this program?
· What are the strengths of this program?
· What are the weaknesses of this program?
· Are travel funds available for students to attend conferences?
· What are the requirements for a doctoral degree? (master's thesis, major area paper, qualifying exams)
· Did all of the clinical grad students match for internship last year?
· Will I be admitted to work with one faculty member or can I choose whom I can work with?
14. Commonly asked questions by interviewers:
· What is your theoretical orientation?
· Why do you want to be a ______?
· What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
· Why do you want to come here for your graduate training?
· What career plans do you have after graduating?
15. Be calm, friendly, and as natural as possible.
16. Do not say negative things to anyone, not even other applicants.
17. Look up various program faculty members on a relevant database and study their research publications. Show that you know about faculty research interests and have studied the work of at least some faculty members.
18. Ask to see the faculty members you have researched during the interview and ask them about the current status of their research.
19. Be well-prepared and then BE YOURSELF.
20. The content of your answers and the questions you ask the interviewer will tell the graduate program something about your approach and values.
21. Two areas that applicants to clinical psychology programs should ask about are (1) clinical supervision (how handled, hours of individual supervision per week, rotation among supervisors, theoretical orientation of supervisors, etc.) and (2) teaching of clinical assessment (course in test theory, what tests do students learn to administer through practice, are graduate students taught to administer and score semi-structured interviews)
22. Any student who has an interest in obtaining a faculty position should ask about available courses in statistics and computer applications. If you plan to pursue a research career, you must learn as many methodological skills as possible. Be sure that your knowledge is strong in these topics before asking about them.
23. Do not try to fake knowledge that you don't have. If you have not been introduced to a topic, just say that.
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