I am going to attend my PhD interview online. The PI asked me to present my previous work and a research proposal in 10 min. I made a 8 slide presentation. Is it very big for 10 min?

And the other thing he told me is, at the end he is going to give me some time so that I can ask questions. What kind of question should I ask in this case? Related to subject? What other areas (other than subject) should I consider to ask questions?

  • Speaking from my experience, when I give talks, If I count only the slides with actual content (that is, not counting title page, acknowledgements, outline, etc), I usually take 1 min per slide. And I talk quite fast. So if your 8 slides are with figures, data, results to discuss, that's certainly enough. Of course, sometimes there are slides just to flash a figure from another paper without going in-depth, and sometimes there are slides where the picture merits a thousand words - these can be very short or very long, respectively.
    – LLlAMnYP
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:51
  • Please don't ask two very different questions in one post - it makes your question less useful for future generations. I think your second question is a duplicate of What are the best question to ask a committee panel after a PhD interview?. The answer to your first question is most likely, as @LLlAMnYP comments, "it depends". See also PhD interview - short (!) presentation. Apr 17, 2016 at 20:03
  • @StephanKolassa Thank you for directing to the previous question. I will take care of asking two question in one go.
    – Bionerd
    Apr 18, 2016 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


Well, depending on the your topic but 1 min per slide seems the norm. However, for a presentation with a possible PhD, you might get a way with less number of slides for more details/discussion (maybe neglect literature review or discuss it while transitioning between slides) since he is familiar with the topic (I'm assuming so). Keep in mind that when I met my current advisor, I met him in a conference and we talked for few minutes (he asked me very detailed questions (2 questions)). so I'm building my answer based on my case.

Regarding your second question, maybe you can ask regarding what equipment do they have in the lab. How many students do s/he have? Do you get to work with the advisor directly? Or senior/post docs and rarely meet him/her? Will you be fully funded (if applicable)? Will be an RA or a TA or both?

  • Thank you for your answer. I will keep these points in mind.
    – Bionerd
    Apr 18, 2016 at 3:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .