I just got an email from a manager of student service in one of the schools that I am applying to. She was referred by the professor with whom I have been in touch since I decided to apply to the school where his research team is. I have exchanged several emails with the professor, talking about his research projects, my research interests, and the school. He encouraged me to consider a campus visit early next year to meet him and asked the manager to coordinate the meeting. That's why I got her email this morning.
She would like to know my schedule to arrange a meeting with the professor, the current PhD students, and the Director of the PhD program. I am not nervous of meeting the professor, but am hesitated to meet the Director. I guess it's because I have plenty to discuss with the professor, but less to say when meeting with the Director. Since I have submitted all of my application materials, I have plenty of time to prepare the interview. I suppose that some of the interview questions be like:
1. Why Ph.D.
2. Why this school
3. Why this professor/research team
4. What motivates my desire to pursue a Ph.D./Why leave my current company
5. What's my career goal
6. My research interest
7. Asking about the papers I read
8. Asking about my work experience/current company
9. Asking about my research assistant experience
10. Asking about the courses in which I got B's at the graduate school
11. My questions regarding the program and the school
12. How will I cope with the inevitable setbacks during my research?
13. How do I cope with pressure and deadlines?
My questions to ask:
2. Working/studying hours
3. The progress of the current research project the professor is working on
4. Questions I encountered when reading the professor's papers
5. What motivates the professor to pursue research in this field of interest?
6. How many applications the program received this year?
7. How many applicants will you accept this year?
8. Do you think if I have a good chance to join your research team?
Thing to do before the interview:
1. Refresh my memory about the results and further research of papers I have read
2. Refresh the research questions I have taken notes.
Things to avoid during the interview:
1. Dismissive attitude
2. Arrogant attitude
3. Convoluted story of why persuing a PhD (just tell a concised, sweet, and emotional version.
Things to do after the interview:
1. Thank You letter
Any others? I am still thinking...