Visiting a graduate school and meeting with faculty

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Visiting a graduate school and meeting with faculty

Post by rmhism » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:42 pm

So, I'm not really good with interviews. I have an interview with a graduate school I applied to and I have to meet with a couple of their faculty. I chose some professors who are doing research in areas that I am (or might be) interested in, but I wouldn't be able to talk about those areas if they wanted me to. So what sorts of things should I be looking to ask and answer? I know I should probably ask "What kind of research are you doing" but I'm not really sure I'd understand much and I feel like asking them to overexplain will make me look bad. Also, how should I prepare?

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Re: Visiting a graduate school and meeting with faculty

Post by seanlikesmath » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:28 am

I'm also interviewing, but I generally have good success at job interviews, so here's my 0.02. I think the most important thing is to be polite and professional, and after that try to relax and be yourself. You're looking at spending 4-6 years with these people; both of you are going to get to know each other eventually, and it's best to find out if it's going to be a good fit now.

After that, I think it's fine if you don't understand some of the things they're researching. Be honest and say "X is really interesting to me, but I haven't had much exposure to it yet." Talk about what you have had exposure to and why you're interested in different things. Also, remember that if they're having you out for an interview, they're already interested. This is part review and sanity check (make sure you're well adjusted and didn't lie on your application) and part recruitment. They want you to leave there interested in them, and it's ok to ask about what they can do for you.

Out of curiousity, what school are you headed to?

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