How to stand out in your PhD interview – 6 important topics you must prepare - PhD Guides

How to stand out in your PhD interview – 6 important topics you must prepare

You are not required to appear for an interview at every university; however, some universities do require this process.  If you got an invitation for the interview you don’t need to be panicked about it.

Consider the interview as an opportunity to learn more about your field from an expert while also demonstrating your potential to the committee.

Do your homework before attending such an interview. Maintain a conversational tone to avoid being monotonous for both you and the interviewer. Even though no one can predict what questions you will be asked in your interview, we have compiled a list of important topics for you to study before your interview.

Let’s take a quick look at the most important topics:

The goal of your PhD

Discuss your PhD goals and aspirations in depth. What do you hope to achieve in the short and long term, how do you intend to contribute in your chosen field, and so on? You have an excellent opportunity to discuss your PhD goals with an expert in your field; do not waste it.  Make the most of this opportunity by having a good discussion about your PhD goals with the expert in your field.

Your area of research interest

Discuss your research interests in addition to your PhD goal. Why did you select this particular research topic? What are your plans for conducting additional research in your field, both specifically and broadly? How will your research benefit the community? What is the challenging and exciting part of it? Remember that you must demonstrate your knowledge of your research while also gaining valuable insight from a subject matter expert.

Significant issues in your field

Discuss the issues you discover while conducting research in your field. While discussing, provide references from relevant books and articles. Keep your viewpoints intelligently with viable solutions, and most importantly, be honest. If you haven’t read about it, don’t pretend to read every fact or reference mentioned by the interviewer. Instead, admit that you were unaware of it and express an interest in learning how it relates to your work. This will portray you as someone eager to learn more.

Your PhD resume

Carefully examine your CV. The interviewer may inquire about the experience that qualified you for a doctorate, such as research experience, internship experience, or any other significant experience in your field. As a result, plan your response ahead of time. Furthermore, if you have taken a gap year to learn a skill relevant to your PhD studies, make sure to include it in your resume and prepare an explanation for why you learned that skill.

Mentoring experiences

If your PhD degree requires you to be a teacher or mentor to students, the interviewer may ask a question about that. As a result, be prepared to answer questions about your mentoring experience. The interviewer might ask you questions like, “What inspired you to become a teacher?” How you can help students with their studies, and so on.

 Question about the PhD programme

Make the interview more conversational. Demonstrate an interest in learning new things about your field from an expert. Ask the interviewer relevant questions about your field on occasion. Do not ask basic questions that are already available on websites or about things you are already familiar with. As I previously stated, this is an opportunity to gain insights from an expert, so don’t squander it. You can ask detailed questions about your department that you don’t know but are curious about.


An interview is a great way for a PhD student to interact with an expert and learn more about their field. You must take full advantage of it and prepare thoroughly for all basic and detailed questions. As an interviewer can ask anything, you should be fully prepared to answer any question.

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