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application_and_interview_process [2020/07/03 19:30]
mwgorges
application_and_interview_process [2020/07/07 02:05]
nagaraj [Timeline]
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 In the below section, we outline an ideal timeline for an applicant. Of course, we recognize that most people will not follow this timeline exactly, and many will be able to complete some steps in this timeline more quickly. Rather, this timeline should serve as a benchmark as you go along your PhD application journey. For reference, most programs have application deadlines that range from early December to early January. In the below section, we outline an ideal timeline for an applicant. Of course, we recognize that most people will not follow this timeline exactly, and many will be able to complete some steps in this timeline more quickly. Rather, this timeline should serve as a benchmark as you go along your PhD application journey. For reference, most programs have application deadlines that range from early December to early January.
  
-{{:​illustrative_application_timeline.png?​direct&​400|Illustrative Application Timeline}}+{{:​illustrative_application_timeline.png|Illustrative Application Timeline}}
  
-Some quick notes on the timeline. We include a section that involves “Assist faculty member with research.” Though this is not 100% necessary, our experience indicates that research experience gives your application a strong edge in the selection process. The reason for this is three-fold: 1) prior research experience shows that you know what you are getting into and demonstrates your commitment to academia, 2) research experience signals some degree of preparation which may make you more successful in the PhD program, and 3) if you work on research specifically in a business school this can give you an “in” to the research community you are hoping to join. Notably in our survey, we found that 44 of our 46 surveyed admitted students had some form of research experience before applying. We will discuss this step in more detail in the section ​on the the RA path to the PhD.+Some quick notes on the timeline. We include a section that involves “Assist faculty member with research.” Though this is not 100% necessary, our experience indicates that research experience gives your application a strong edge in the selection process. The reason for this is three-fold: 1) prior research experience shows that you know what you are getting into and demonstrates your commitment to academia, 2) research experience signals some degree of preparation which may make you more successful in the PhD program, and 3) if you work on research specifically in a business school this can give you an “in” to the research community you are hoping to join. Notably in our survey, we found that 44 of our 46 surveyed admitted students had some form of research experience before applying. We will discuss this step in more detail in the section ​"Path to PhD: the Rise of the Predoctoral Research Job."
  
 We do not include your graduate or undergraduate studies as part of the timeline, though they remain important in the application. Broadly, the expectation is that you perform well during both of those periods. Of the admitted students we surveyed, the average GPA was roughly a 3.85 with a standard deviation of .12. However, we saw GPAs in the survey range from 3.5 to 4.0. In general, the common wisdom is that a strong GPA is necessary but not sufficient for a successful application. We do not include your graduate or undergraduate studies as part of the timeline, though they remain important in the application. Broadly, the expectation is that you perform well during both of those periods. Of the admitted students we surveyed, the average GPA was roughly a 3.85 with a standard deviation of .12. However, we saw GPAs in the survey range from 3.5 to 4.0. In general, the common wisdom is that a strong GPA is necessary but not sufficient for a successful application.
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 =====Common questions and preparation===== =====Common questions and preparation=====
 Interviews for PhD programs are very similar to interviewing for competitive jobs, and the questions are usually fairly standard and intuitive. [[https://​docs.google.com/​document/​d/​1JWzMdFJiC_DwdzIrp4e8_aSqlehnQp6aqR-khkaO1fg/​edit?​usp=sharing|Here is a list of all of the questions we were asked]] in our interviews (schools anonymized). Some commonly asked questions (and their equivalent versions) include: Interviews for PhD programs are very similar to interviewing for competitive jobs, and the questions are usually fairly standard and intuitive. [[https://​docs.google.com/​document/​d/​1JWzMdFJiC_DwdzIrp4e8_aSqlehnQp6aqR-khkaO1fg/​edit?​usp=sharing|Here is a list of all of the questions we were asked]] in our interviews (schools anonymized). Some commonly asked questions (and their equivalent versions) include:
-*Tell me about yourself. +  ​*Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your background and interests. 
-   *Tell me about your background and interests. +  *Why do you want to do a PhD? 
-*Why do you want to do a PhD? +  *Why did you choose to apply to this subfield rather than other subfields? Why business academia instead of psychology/​sociology/​economics academia? 
-*Why did you choose to apply to this subfield rather than other subfields? +  *Why this program? Which faculty would you see yourself collaborating with? 
-   *Why business academia instead of psychology/​sociology/​economics academia? +  *Is there a particular research question you are interested in pursuing? If you were in a PhD program right now and had unlimited funding, what study would you want to run? 
-*Why this program? +  *What questions do you have for me? (Megan had multiple interviews where this was the only question asked, so it is important to have a sizable bank of questions prepared.)
-   *Which faculty would you see yourself collaborating with? +
-*Is there a particular research question you are interested in pursuing? +
-   *If you were in a PhD program right now and had unlimited funding, what study would you want to run? +
-What questions do you have for me? (Megan had multiple interviews where this was the only question asked, so it is important to have a sizable bank of questions prepared.)+
  
 You may also be asked to articulate a vision for your career (e.g., 20 years down the line, what do you envision yourself doing and what impact would you have made on the field?), identify your favorite researcher or favorite research article, share about your strengths and weaknesses, or discuss one of your failures and what you learned from that experience. For some programs, interviewers may delve deep into the methods (e.g., experiments,​ statistics, identification for econ-related fields, etc.) you may use to test a research idea proposed in your statement of purpose, ask you to interpret the results in some hypothetical data, or analyze a research paper (shared in advance to allow time for you to prepare your thoughts). You may also be asked to articulate a vision for your career (e.g., 20 years down the line, what do you envision yourself doing and what impact would you have made on the field?), identify your favorite researcher or favorite research article, share about your strengths and weaknesses, or discuss one of your failures and what you learned from that experience. For some programs, interviewers may delve deep into the methods (e.g., experiments,​ statistics, identification for econ-related fields, etc.) you may use to test a research idea proposed in your statement of purpose, ask you to interpret the results in some hypothetical data, or analyze a research paper (shared in advance to allow time for you to prepare your thoughts).