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Any tips on UArk interviews please?


Xixixixixixi
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Hey guys.

It's my first interview in this application season and I can't believe I received it 5 days after the application deadline. Compared to their previous timeline, I think they started interviews really early this year. Now I am 100% thrilled but worried at the same time since I am in the middle of online applications and don't have enough time to prepare for interviews and read papers these days so I don't know if I can't keep the conversation going once it gets really academic. Any suggestions?

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Is this a phone/skype interview....or on campus?

 

Honestly, they aren't really going to expect for you to engage in a deep conversation about academic research. They know you, along with pretty much all applicants, are green when it comes to research. If it's a skype/phone interview they will probably just be trying to get to know you. They'll probably ask things like "Why are you interested in a PhD in accounting?"; "Why are you interested in Arkansas?"; "What types of research interest do you have?" (which they would only expect a broad answer to, they don't expect you do know exactly what research you want to do); etc...

 

Schools often use skype/phone interviews to get a better idea of language competencies as well. Being able to speak and write effectively in English is important, and a TOEFL score only tells a small part of the story. Through a skype/phone interview, schools can get a much better understanding of your abilities.

 

Overall, the accounting group at Arkansas is super friendly and is a great group of folks. I wouldn't stress too much about it, just try and be yourself and answer the questions honestly.

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Congratulations!!!

 

I think you have to find the time to prepare for the interview somehow. I know you said you don't have enough time, but that's the life of a PhD student: too much to do and not enough time.

 

It doesn't make any sense get an opportunity like this and then go without preparation. If you did your research about the faculty and the school before applying, it shouldn't be too hard. I don't think they expect you to have any deep understanding about the papers, but you gotta take a quick look at least. Do you know who will be interviewing you? If you know, that can help a lot. You can also ask.

 

From my experience, the interview is very similar to what they expect from your statement of purpose. So, that should help too. Questions like Why a PhD, why UArk, why that research interests, some strengths and weaknesses.

 

I don't know when is your interview. But, for one of my interviews, the professor sent me an e-mail saying he wanted to talk to me just a few hours later, on the same day. And it wasn't a professor I had listed in my Statement of Purpose, so knew almost nothing about him. You gotta be always ready for an interview, don't expect them to give you time.

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Is this a phone/skype interview....or on campus?

 

Honestly, they aren't really going to expect for you to engage in a deep conversation about academic research. They know you, along with pretty much all applicants, are green when it comes to research. If it's a skype/phone interview they will probably just be trying to get to know you. They'll probably ask things like "Why are you interested in a PhD in accounting?"; "Why are you interested in Arkansas?"; "What types of research interest do you have?" (which they would only expect a broad answer to, they don't expect you do know exactly what research you want to do); etc...

 

Schools often use skype/phone interviews to get a better idea of language competencies as well. Being able to speak and write effectively in English is important, and a TOEFL score only tells a small part of the story. Through a skype/phone interview, schools can get a much better understanding of your abilities.

 

Overall, the accounting group at Arkansas is super friendly and is a great group of folks. I wouldn't stress too much about it, just try and be yourself and answer the questions honestly.

 

It's a Skype interview so I guess they just want to have a better idea of who I am and my communication skills. Thank you!

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Congratulations!!!

 

I think you have to find the time to prepare for the interview somehow. I know you said you don't have enough time, but that's the life of a PhD student: too much to do and not enough time.

 

It doesn't make any sense get an opportunity like this and then go without preparation. If you did your research about the faculty and the school before applying, it shouldn't be too hard. I don't think they expect you to have any deep understanding about the papers, but you gotta take a quick look at least. Do you know who will be interviewing you? If you know, that can help a lot. You can also ask.

 

From my experience, the interview is very similar to what they expect from your statement of purpose. So, that should help too. Questions like Why a PhD, why UArk, why that research interests, some strengths and weaknesses.

 

I don't know when is your interview. But, for one of my interviews, the professor sent me an e-mail saying he wanted to talk to me just a few hours later, on the same day. And it wasn't a professor I had listed in my Statement of Purpose, so knew almost nothing about him. You gotta be always ready for an interview, don't expect them to give you time.

 

Thank you for your suggestions on the time management.

 

I did research on the school and their faculty research before applying, and I mentioned the professor whose research fits my interests in the SOP and he happens to be the one that is going interview me. I guess it will be easier for me to prepare with what I have at hand right now.

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Thank you for your suggestions on the time management.

 

I did research on the school and their faculty research before applying, and I mentioned the professor whose research fits my interests in the SOP and he happens to be the one that is going interview me. I guess it will be easier for me to prepare with what I have at hand right now.

 

Yeah, check the research you already did about the school/faculty/professor, shouldn't be too hard.

 

Also, make a list of things you want to ask. It is your chance to know more about the professor and the school, and that information can be important to make a decision later if you get more than one offer. I learned a lot during my interviews, many things I could only learn when talking to a professor.

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If they are doing a Skype interview, you've ticked the boxes on paper. This means your grades/GMAT/LORs all are ok. Don't feel like you have to prove yourself.

 

If there is anything that stands out on there (for me it was a lower quant score in my GMAT) - they will ask - not to try to disqualify you, but because they want to be reassured that whatever the issue is, is not an issue. So look at your app holistically and look at where they might try to poke a hole, and just make sure you have a good answer.

 

But more importantly than the above, is they want to check for fit. People like to work with people they like. The most basic question: can they stand to be around you ;)? As a researcher, do your interests complement what's going on in the department? Are you good communicator? Do you seem resilient? Do you seem interesting/creative? Don't try to be someone you are not, be yourself, have fun and show them why you are excited to go there.

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If they are doing a Skype interview, you've ticked the boxes on paper. This means your grades/GMAT/LORs all are ok. Don't feel like you have to prove yourself.

 

If there is anything that stands out on there (for me it was a lower quant score in my GMAT) - they will ask - not to try to disqualify you, but because they want to be reassured that whatever the issue is, is not an issue. So look at your app holistically and look at where they might try to poke a hole, and just make sure you have a good answer.

 

But more importantly than the above, is they want to check for fit. People like to work with people they like. The most basic question: can they stand to be around you ;)? As a researcher, do your interests complement what's going on in the department? Are you good communicator? Do you seem resilient? Do you seem interesting/creative? Don't try to be someone you are not, be yourself, have fun and show them why you are excited to go there.

 

Thank you! I have the same quant issue in GMAT with you and fortunately they didn't bring up during the interview haha.

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As as said, things your research about schools/faculty and your statement of purpose should help you with. Questions like "Why UArk?" or "Why a PhD?" may seem innocuous for someone who did a good job before the application and have a good idea what they are getting into (and that seems to be your case). But that's not the case for many people who seem to be interested in a PhD, and then they can have a hard time answering questions like that.

 

I know that kind of thing is covered in the statement of purpose, but the statement is very limited and I think that's good they checked again in an interview and gave you the chance to express your reasons directly. As StrategicMGMT wrote, you had ticked the boxes on paper, now they had to check with the interview.

 

Not being able to tell is actually good too. Because usually we can't tell when it went well, but we can tell when it went bad.

 

Did they tell you if there will be another interview, or what should you expect next?

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As as said, things your research about schools/faculty and your statement of purpose should help you with. Questions like "Why UArk?" or "Why a PhD?" may seem innocuous for someone who did a good job before the application and have a good idea what they are getting into (and that seems to be your case). But that's not the case for many people who seem to be interested in a PhD, and then they can have a hard time answering questions like that.

 

I know that kind of thing is covered in the statement of purpose, but the statement is very limited and I think that's good they checked again in an interview and gave you the chance to express your reasons directly. As StrategicMGMT wrote, you had ticked the boxes on paper, now they had to check with the interview.

 

Not being able to tell is actually good too. Because usually we can't tell when it went well, but we can tell when it went bad.

 

Did they tell you if there will be another interview, or what should you expect next?

 

What you said here is true. Preparations that I have done when I wrote my statement of purpose really helped a lot!

And yes, they said there will another campus visit in January and I shall hear from them in this week.

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