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What to expect at interview

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a two-day recruitment event at the ICR in Sutton on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 January 2018. Most critically, this will involve an interview with an academic panel on the Monday, and interviews with individual supervisors on the Tuesday. There will also be a range of talks and activities.

The purpose of this event is to find out whether you have the ability, enthusiasm and motivation to succeed at PhD level. In particular, please be aware of the following guidance for interviews.


Before the interview

  • Prepare to talk about your previous research experience
  • You should be prepared for the panel to ask you questions on these so they can assess your understanding of the scientific process and motivation to pursue a PhD
  • You should know about the project(s) for which you have expressed a preference and have some questions prepared

At the interview

You are likely to be asked some or all of the following questions:

  • What really interested you about your degree / degree project?
  • Why do you want to do a PhD?
  • What interests you about the project you have expressed a preference for?
  • What do you intend to do after you have completed your PhD?
  • How will you cope with the challenges and setbacks intrinsic to academic research?
  • How do you cope with pressure and deadlines?

Above all, remember that all students called for interview are going to be highly qualified – so you need to prepare carefully, to ensure your key skills and experience shine through and you stand out from the crowd.

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