Most Frequent PhD Interview Questions – What Will You Be Asked?

Your PhD interview can seem you may have no idea where to start. But a little preparation need to be done. In particular, the upcoming PhD interview questions how best to answer them can give you the confidence you need to start your journey to achieving a Ph.D. So you can start with not only your questions.


Being prepared by questions we have gone into above can mean the difference between being accepted and obtaining the PhD will further your career or missing out on an exciting opportunity could have been achieved with just a little more preparation.

MD PhD Interview Questions & Answers

Why have you applied to do a PhD interview here?

To give a flawless answer you must have done research of the university you are holding. This demonstrates not only your ability to seek out and retain information but also makes you appear keen and interested in a particular university, causing you to be a promising candidate interviewer. Use your research to show there are specific reasons your choosing a particular university – not just it had a lower offer than others so was easier to get into! Choice of equipment or resources; good results in polls of student satisfaction or your respect lecturers’ work or research are all great reasons choosing a particular university.

What will completing a PhD do with you?

Interviewers use questions like these to learn what your reasons pursuing MD PhD interview are and, from ascertaining how motivated you are likely to be. Universities want students who highly motivated, keen and interested in their field as this is how good results are produced, boosting the universities’ ratings. Therefore having long-term research or career goals that can be obtained with a Ph.D. shows you have thought long and hard about whether is the right path, demonstrating you are prepared to be dedicated at PhD interview.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

This is all about phrasing your answer in a way weaknesses appear as strengths. Example: “I am too much of a perfectionist” is, here, described as a weakness but seeking perfection only be considered a strength to interviewers as it demonstrates diligence and dedication. Focus more on professional traits than personal ones as these are usually easier to fix, example being unfamiliar with new software. Before your interview separate a list of your skills into knowledge-based (gained from education or experience such as languages or computer skills), transferable (skills that are taken from different situations like communication or planning skills) and personal traits (your own qualities such as being flexible, dependable or punctual). When it comes to the strengths aspect do not just rely on words like enthusiastic or patient, provide real examples of these traits.

Tell us about a challenge you have overcome in the past.

Research-based challenges are the most appropriate in the situation, but if you choose to talk about a personal or career-based challenge then explain how you used to research or project-management skills to solve it. Try to think of a challenge related to your psychology PhD interview or from your previous work during your degree as these will be the most relevant. Include why you consider it to be a big challenge and avoid personal stories as they are rarely well-connected to the research you will need to complete to obtain your PhD. Keep the story concise and free from dramatization; explain the problem and then how you solved it, referring back to your own strengths mentioned in earlier.

Do you have any questions to us?

The answer should always be yes! Ask that you demonstrate your interest in the university and reflect on the reasons you gave by applying in the first place. For example, asking for information you couldn’t find through your research such as the availability of particular equipment or popularity of the particular department. Make a list of questions in preparation for your interview and use this last question to learn everything you are about the university and department you have applied. Not only will this benefit you but you will appear curious and genuinely interested in the university making you a much more promising candidate for interviewers.

Use our guide to give you the best chance at being prepared and confident you, and will let you know how to prepare for PhD interview. Most importantly do your research of the university you are applying but also ensure that you are well-read on the subject you plan on studying. This knowledge undoubtedly be slotted neatly into your answers to show your extensive understanding and interest in your chosen subject and potentially help you with your defense.

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Use our guide to prepare for your PhD interview and you are sure to give a confident and convincing performance which is sure to earn you a place!