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I applied for a PhD position in stellar astrophysics in Belgium, and I was offered an interview this coming Friday and they said this in the confirmation email:

In response to our call, we have received an impressive number of high-quality applications and we have the pleasure to inform you that you have been selected on our short list. To make our final choice amongst the few remaining applicants, we now invite you to an online discussion in the next days. You will be able to make a short presentation (10 min maximum) of your current research.

Any clues what I should expect and how I should prepare for the presentation? Is this formal interview with a bunch of staff or informal discussion with the supervisors?

I am so nervous because it is my first interview for PhD program and any suggestion will help.

Thank you!

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  • There are several very similar questions. academia.stackexchange.com/search?q=phd+interview – Anonymous Physicist Dec 16 '20 at 4:04
  • Have you considered asking who is attending? – Jeroen Dec 16 '20 at 7:57
  • As Jeroen says, ask them, but I would prepare for a formal interview. Make some slides and practice presenting them. Also prepare answers to common interview questions, like "why do you want to do your PhD here/on this topic?" etc – astronat Dec 16 '20 at 9:09
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There is really no way to predict who will attend unless you ask. But I would suggest that you think of it the same way you should think of a Statement of Purpose document. Focus more on what you expect to accomplish in future rather than what you have already done. Use the past only to support a trajectory into the future.

What questions are you looking at? Are you close to resolution? What do you see farther out? How will this place help you achieve the goals?

Ten minutes is no time at all. Don't spend time clearing your throat.

But be yourself.

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