Question 1. So why do you want to study here?
This is a popular question that universities ask at entrance interviews. The key to answer this question is to match your answer with your application. Express your interest in the university based on your research. Explain how you're impressed with the successes and achievements of the department or a particular academic that will be involved on your course demonstrate your enthusiasm to study at the university. And most importantly explain how you trust it to be the best place to develop your experience and skills.
Question 2. What makes you different from the other candidates?
This question is not requesting that you attack the character of your fellow candidates or compare yourself negatively to them. It is shorthand for "why should we hire you" or "Why are you special?" Again think about the person specification and make sure you know what sort of academic they are looking for. Talor your own responses to that as much as possible. Make sure you give examples from your own history to support your assertions. So for example, if it is an open coming department looking for a high flying rsearcher to boost their reputation, emphasize your role in this. If there is anything you do that makes you stand out, for example scalar area of experience, mention that here, too.
Question 3. What are your plans for research?
This question is obviously asking you to look forward to the future. So drawing up one-year, five-year and ten-year research plans is helpful before going into an interview. If you are completing a PhD and looking for your first job, this might sound a little excessive, but believe me it will make you stand out and be taken seriously. They will not just want to hear about the topics you wish to cover, but will crucially be interested into other areas — research funding and your output, ie. publications as well as telling them about your exciting projects. Tell them how you're going to pay for them which grants you will be playful and what published benefits will be in concrete terms. Aim high at this point. You don't want to sell yourself short. You can write that monograph or get an article into a world renowned journal. The scope of your ambition will help to sell you as the ideal candidate here. So don't worry about sounding arrogant.
Question 4. What courses could you offer to teach?
You want to be seen keen and flexible and show that you are happy to fit in with the department's teaching requirements. But they also want to hear about new courses that you would like to offer. In order to answer this question, you need to look at the department's current undergraduate curriculum. That way you can be sure the courses you have invented will fit in with what they offer now. So if the department already has a course on neuropsychology, do not propose to offer a new one. You have to be careful here. Do not let your creativity run away with you. If you do get the job, your new colleagues might say "I love that course you proposed in your interview. Can you run it next year?" Make sure you suggest something that you could feasibly teach, preferably based on your previous experienc. Think about whether you would offer it in the first, second or third year and briefly state what some of your teaching exercises and assessment strategies might be. If you could make use of technology, then mention that, too.
Qustion 5. What are your greatest strengths?
This is your time to shine. If you've asked the question, it gives you permission to go all out with listing your best skills. But be careful how many skills you list. Reeling off a list of skills with no evidence won't impress the panel. Instead focus on three or four skills that make you a great candidate and provide examples you might be creative, a quick learner, flexible, hold great people and teamwork skills. Whatever you're good at, let them know with examples.
Qustion 6. What are your greatest weakness is?
This is a tricky question that answer nobody is perfect after all. Instead state something which is or was a weakness, but also expalin the steps you put in place to change this. You could always just provide weaknesses the interviewer already knows, such as lacking a post-grad qualification or state weaknesses that aren't related to the course.
Qustion 7. What skills do you have that will help you succeed on this PhD?
In order to answer this question correctly, you need to make sure you know the area of research like the back of your hand. You need to know what extra duties will be involved, such as teaching practice. When you know this, you could match your skills to what is required. Don't be shy in reminding the interviewing panel what is required of a PhD candidate and explain how your skills which you probably mentioned by this point. Match those prerequisites perfectly.
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