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THE MOST PROBABLE QUESTIONS AT GRADUATE ADMISSION INTERVIEW by Ruslan Zalogin
Being aware of the questions that appear during the interview is the most important for this stage of the admission process. Here you will find the questions usually asked at interview. Yet, the suggestions below the questions are not necessarily to be followed directly - honest and candid responses are more valuable
The form the interview takes
Of the previous years' experience, the interviews were scheduled to take (and mostly had taken) 20-30 minutes while some of them took 40 minutes. In the beginning, the interviewer, who is typically the professor of your chosen department, will introduce himself welcoming you and checking your name against information in his check list. In return to his introduction, you may say your name. It is not necessary to make full introduction of yourself especially as you will be asked the questions to describe yourself in the best way.
Normally, the professor questions first letting you do that at the end of the conversation. It would be better if you prepare one or two questions that really interest you, about the program or institution. That will prove your interest. But they should be well grounded on information in the materials issued by the university. The materials are supposed to be scrutinized by the applicant. As one of the Internet sites on admission interviews says, "Don't ask things that are on the first page of the catalog." If the question you have is weak, better give it up.
THE MOST POSSIBLE QUESTIONS
What are you doing now?
Describe your occupation. It is better if the job you do is relevant to your chosen field of study. If it is not, do not stop on your major occupation but go swiftly to and emphasize on your extracurricular activities that must relate to your study major - having mentioned your current position, refer to them at ones (may be by using the word but). If what you say will specially interest the interviewer, most of the following interrogation will be based upon what you have already said. It will eliminate the formal progress of interview and naturally prompt you to tell about your deeds.
What is the most challenging in your field of study (in your country)?
Review your field of intended study. What do you believe to be the root problem? Or, what do you believe to be the weakest point, etc. Recount it when asked and ground your opinion. It is good if you have solution of your own to tell. May be you see your personal challenge in your field (about it you may also be questioned specifically) - define it and point it out at the interview.
What disciplines in the curriculum are the most appealing to you?
You have to know the information on curriculum before the interview (and you had better before writing your statement essay). It is implicit that you are familiar with curriculum from the materials you are provided with by the university. Choose the three (the number usually asked) most attractive to you courses, better from the core (not those from the introductory term or the ones weakly related to the major stem). Be prepared to explain your choice.
THE HARDEST ITEM
In fact it is not the question but rather offering opportunity to represent yourself. Usually the interviewer will invite you to be bold recommending yourself for the program in telling your positive qualities and aptitudes in persuasive manner. Recall the information you gave in your essay and/or Resume. Explain what you are able to contribute to the program. You may remind your achievements along with TOEFL score (if it is high). However, your answer might be unusual but then you will not know what impact it might make, negative or positive. Both outcomes are possible in this case. It may badly influence the interview result. On the other hand, interviewer may appreciate your honesty, frankness and independence of thinking.
LESS PROBABLE QUESTIONS
Are you ready for multinational (or abroad, or cross-cultural) study?
While answering, recall any multinational experience you had. It is amusing but multinational environment is allover us. Many ethnic groups contribute to our societies. If you do not have international experience, you may connect the every-day life experience of interaction with the representatives of these groups with your preparation for living in the multinational environment. Also, you are able to remark your tolerance towards other nationalities whether based on your experience of socializing with other ethnical groups or believed to be possessed by you. You do not have to consider tolerance towards you or be worried about questioning you on it since to foster tolerant academic environment is the policy of the university.
Are you ready for another language (or just different) environment? (Have you any problems with it?)
Recollect any experience of living in distinct from your habitual environment. You may have traveled abroad or CIS and Baltic countries or even regions of your own state (for instance, Western Ukraine for Eastern Ukrainians) with language different from your native. Explain it in positive way as your adjustment to such an environment. Plus, you may love traveling and learning other languages. Use it as an argument in answering this question.
What do you expect to gain from the studies?
This question had to be answered in your statement essay. Address to the information in your essay, summarize it and add what you think is necessary. Review what the program offers you. Analyze why you have decided to apply to this program. Tell the results of these considerations to answer this question.
What skills do you expect to apply to the studies?
This question you may have covered in your essay. If you have, update it and rework for oral presentation. If you have not, consider the skills you have. Resume, Recommendations (if you know the information in them) and your essay may assist you. Decide which skills are applicable for the studies. Note them and restate when asked.
What specific interest within your field of study do you have? (or, What is the probable topic of the research you hope to conduct at the university?)
This is a personal essay item too. You have to have the issue within your field that stimulates you and is worth of revealing in subsequent thesis if program requires it. It doesn't have to be your final decision. It may be changed or elaborated on later. Your having it is about your involvement into and interest in the field.
What researches have you carried out previously?
List any researches you have previously (or recently) conducted whether at the university (even though they are irrelevant to the field of your intended study) or for an article. If you have many relevant to the field researches, you may mention irrelevant ones in passing.
Why have you changed the specialty comparing to the previous one (if you have)?
While responding, narrate the story of the growth of issue importance personally for you caused by whether the topicality of the subject for society or some special personal experience that nurtured your high concern about the topic. Besides, you may have changed the specialty during your professional experience and now you are striving to heighten your professional level. In this case you may recount the circumstances of it. Why have you decided to continue your education? To answer, consider the reasons brought you to undertake this educational endeavor. They may be well various: further education may develop your professionalism, bring new opportunities, implement your plans about something specific, or lead to scholar career, etc. Decide yours.
Why have you decided to apply to this university (to this individual program)?
Again, this question must be answered in your statement essay. If it is not, to reply, take into account university's significant, unique points. Materials issued by the university usually emphasize them. Pick these peculiarities out and rephrase in your own words when you are asked this question.
Specific details questions
Be ready to answer the questions about concrete facts concerning your field. For example, you may be asked to name some organizations in your field (in your country). Or you may be offered to express your feelings about advancing NATO to East. Or you will be proposed to name a few major problems in your field (in your county) in your opinion. You must be aware of the field of your chosen specialty to corroborate the gravity of your concern.
SOME OTHER POSSIBLE QUESTIONS
- What recent publications on the subject relevant to your field do you have?
- How do you see yourself in five (ten) years?
- What would you say about your country to a person who has no idea of it?
- Give examples of your resolving problems in your life.
- How would you describe the situation in your field in the world (or in your country)? (or, What is situation in your field in the world (or in your country) in your opinion?)
- What books have you read (or read currently)?
- What do you do with your spare time?