I have been invited for an interview at University in Germany. They have asked me to prepare a 10-15 minutes presentation. What should I expect in the interview and what should I include in the presentation? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

  • 6
    Please add information about the concrete position you applied for and the research field. Feb 4, 2017 at 14:26
  • 4
    Ask the guy who invited you.
    – Karl
    Feb 4, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    Prepare a short powerpoint presentation about a research project you've been involved in. Start with your title and acknowledgments. You can give the motivation, the research question, your approach, your findings, discussion, conclusion, limitations and future directions. Try to tie the future directions into some of the interests people in the target university have. Feb 5, 2017 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


For a Ph.D. position, they want to know:

  1. Are you really familiar with your master thesis' subject? Can you answer questions about it? Can you explain your thoughts? This is mandatory.
  2. Which relevant experience do you have for the institute and the future research? Some of your competitors may not have any. This is where you can enjoy the interview and get information for yourself.

So ideally you start with reporting about your previous research (your master thesis). Then you can say something like "as I wrote my thesis, I noticed that (bla bla), and as your institute does (bla bla bla), which is somehow similar, I hope to deepen (bla bla)." This would be very good. First, because it shows that you have relevant experience and second, because it helps you to check if the institute is actually relevant for you.

Remember that a job interview's purpose is to get to know each other, it's not a one-way police interrogation. For a Ph.D. position, this is especially important because in Germany, your final failure at a Ph.D. programme would also make you inadmissible for similar programmes in Germany. So it's vital for you to sense possible (interpersonal, academic, financial) difficulties early.

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