Imperial College London PhD Student Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Imperial College London PhD Student Interview Questions

Updated Mar 9, 2017
16 Interview Reviews

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PhD Student Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Imperial College London in January 2017.

Interview

The interview process is scheduled over 2 days. First day is a panel interview, for which we are given a paper to read beforehand. They ask you to summarise the main points of the paper, some technical questions on it and to describe your research background. This is followed by a poster session in the afternoon where groups that have a position available present their current research. If you are successful, they invite you back for the second day for 1 on 1 interviews with group leaders. Was not invited back.

To be honest I was rather unimpressed with the whole process - and I was thinking this at the time and not just because I didn't get through! Firstly, the sent us the interview details and paper one day later than they said they would. I say sent, but they just provided a link to the paper, which was behind a paywall. This is problematic for people such as me that are not currently in the academic system. Luckily I was able to have a friend access the paper for me. They did eventually email everyone the PDF but not until only a few days before the interview day! The paper was rather lengthy and so I feel this was unfair and did not leave everyone with adequate time to prepare.

Also, I feel they invited way too many candidates to the interview stage. Perhaps 40 - 50 for only 10 available projects. They seemed to be running late the entire day and I had to nervously wait in the hall for 10 minutes past my scheduled interview time before being invited in. As a result, the interview felt rushed and I do not feel I had adequate chance to put across my research experience.

I was rather lucky in that my interview was scheduled for later in the afternoon and so I didn't have to wait around for too long until the poster session. Some people however had their interview at 9:30 and then had to wait around for the poster session until 16:30! (Although we were free to leave and come back). There was nothing scheduled for the rest of the time, such as tours of the facilities or the like. We were all crammed into a rather small waiting room for the day and as such it was rather noisy, which made it difficult to read over my notes in preparation for the interview and poster sessions. It would have been nice if we had been giving access to the library or some quiet reading area.

My final observation extends to the poster session. The number of candidates made it very difficult to talk to the current PhD students at each poster or to even get a clear look at the posters at all. Towards the end of the time, it did clear up a bit as more and more candidates left the room and the couple of PhD students that I did manage to talk to towards the end were very friendly and helpful in answering questions.

All in all a rather disappointing experience and I was not as disappointed to not get through as I thought I would have been. I would have liked to have met with my first choice group leader though as I feel that my background would have been a good fit for the group's research. Oh well.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Imperial College London

  1.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Imperial College London.

    Interview

    I got two interviews, both by Skype. Nothing technical, they were just looking for an highly motivated candidate with some previous experience which were adaptable to the project. You can find the questions by googling it. The interviewers were super friendly

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    no negotiation phase.

  2.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Application was conducted via an unsolicited email to a potential supervisor. First barrier is usually having a first class degree from a top UK university to be eligible for EPSRC or CASE studentships. Interview dependant on group

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Send in CV and cover letter with academic references. Prepare for the interview and read a lot of literature. Answer the questions concisely and to-the-point. Be prepared to be asked about your long-term plans. Be confident and know you stuff.

    Interview Questions

    • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?   1 Answer
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    PhD Student studentship oil/gas numerical modelling Visual C++ rock fracture simulation

    total 56 candidates
    final round 6 candidates and there were four interviewers 1 from the company and 3 from the university

    final round 6 candidates and there were four interviewers 1 from the company and 3 from the university

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Imperial College London (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    Attended a PhD programme studentship interview after application with a personal statement.
    Interview consists a panel of 4 people lasting around 30 min.

    Interview Questions

    • Try to be prepared they will challenge you on the knowledge of the field and justify your interests (depends on individual panel really)   Answer Question
  7.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Imperial College London.

    Interview

    CV submission and skype interview

  8.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Imperial College London (London, England (UK)) in July 2013.

    Interview

    It was a one stage process consisting of a panel interview with PI, supervisor and senior post doc. I had previously talked on the phone to the supervisor, and been to visit the lab for an afternoon, but this was for my own benefit rather than being part of the interview.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the difference between a technician and a scientist?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    It wasn't possible to negotiate

  9.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at Imperial College London (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    Read recent papers by staff member which you get asked about in telephone interview. Prepare statement of intended research with bibliography. Fill in departmental application form with background and request two references from previous study.

    Interview Questions

    • More about background theory of staff member's papers. Why should we get funding for you?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Mainly about receiving scholarship to fund studies during PhD.

  10.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Imperial College London (London, England (UK)) in November 2012.

    Interview

    I contacted one of the professors of the Physics department per Email directly, and asked if I could fly to London to visit their group an discuss opportunities. I had to send reminder Emails to get an answer, and I was surprised it didn't mean any lack of interest from the professor. Staff was very friendly and interested about previous experience and majors during studies.

    Interview Questions

    • 2 hours discussion about my masters project, including technical details and exam type question (i.e. "can you explain the background of this equation theory", "what equations can one derive from that theory", etc). Very little outside my project however.   Answer Question
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