Preparing for an interview with an academic
Whether this be to do an undergraduate research project or to apply for a masters by research, interviews can be quite nerve-wracking. There are however a few things you can do in advance to prepare for such interviews.
1. Do your research – It is important you go in knowing what research they focus on. Read some of their published work and look at their research group website to get better ideas about their work.
2. Find out what exactly you want to do – Doing your research on the academic is one thing, but you also want to go in knowing what exactly you would like to do in the future. Especially when applying for a URSS or a MSc by research, you want to have vague ideas about your fields of interest.
3. Speak to other academics as well – Although you may have had your heart set on working with one academic in particular, it is good to have a discussion with other academics as well. This could be because the one you wanted to do your project with already has other commitments during the summer and may not offer the URSS. You may also find yourself finding someone else’s research more interesting or suited to you after speaking to a different academic.
4. Don’t be nervous – I know it’s easier said than done, but at the end of the day the academics are also trying their best to help you. If you can show them the dedication and willingness to learn than they should be happy to take you on board.
I hope these tips have been somewhat useful. For those of you that have exams coming up soon, Good Luck!