I had applied to a top-10 university for a PhD in mathematics, and the funded vacancies there are limited. I knew that in case of being shortlisted I was going to be interviewed. Hence, I recently checked all the university’s guidelines of how I should prepare myself for an interview. For example, according to those guidelines, I was going to be asked such questions as why I chose that university, what are my strength points, and so on.
Around one month later after my application I was invited for an interview by two leading mathematicians there. However, they directly started asking me ONLY technical questions ranging from foundational mathematical questions to advanced topics, and questions about my CV and the like. Anyway I answered the foundational and CV-related questions normally but I could not answer only two advanced phd-level questions, one of which was not related to my master’s major at all. I also talked about a rare but relevant mathematical topic which I have been reading explaining to them in general what this topic is about and how it is related to my major.
In the end, one of the interviewers asked me if I have an external fund, my response was no and as far as I remember he said in one week I will be informed of the interview’s result, and finally he said “nice to meet you”.
1) Does mentioning the means of funding in a PhD interview imply that the applicant did well enough in the interview? 2) Moreover, it may look funny to ask this but what can “nice to meet you” in the end of a PhD interview imply? Is it a commonly used expression by interviewers or does it mean that the interviewer is pleased to admit the applicant?