This list provides a sample of interview questions and has been provided to all academic departments at the School. Whilst your interview may contain additional questions, the following should help you in preparing for it.
Motivation for doctoral study (at the LSE)
- Please tell me something about you, what you have been doing/studying/working on during the past year?
- What made you apply for this programme at this particular time? Why did you choose the LSE? What made you choose this department?
- Where do you anticipate/hope a PhD will lead in terms of your career development?
- What contribution do you think you will be making to your chosen field of research?
Readiness for doctoral study
- What academic skills do you possess?
- What is the relevance of your previous study to your proposed research?
- What potential areas of research have you identified? How did you arrive at these? What interests you about them?
- Have you previously led seminars/taught undergraduates?
- How do you intend to fund your study?
Understanding of doctoral study
This is likely to be an area in which information is being exchanged between you and the interviewer(s). The interviewer(s) might provide information on:
- The programme/department/School
- What past doctoral students have gone on to after completing their PhD
- What opportunities there are to develop transferable skills, within the department/School
You might be asked questions such as:
- Are you aware of the requirements of the programme (including taught courses)?
- What are you expecting by way of supervisory arrangements?
- How do you anticipate combining the demands of doctoral study/completing a PhD with other commitments you might have? What do you expect those demands to be?
Special consideration for part-time study
If you are applying to study on a part-time basis, you will be asked the same questions as for full-time applicants. However, it is likely that your interviewer(s) may wish to focus on particular aspects such as how you expect to balance your other commitments with doctoral study. You might be asked:
- What do you expect by way of arrangements as a part-time student i.e. what access to your supervisor(s), services and facilities are you expecting?
- What do you expect your attendance at the School (for taught courses) to be?
- Have you considered a forward-plan of how commitments to employers will harmonise with the intensive requirements of doctoral study?
- Have you reached a formal agreement with your employer?
- What time/travel demands do you think will be necessary to undertake fieldwork? How will this be managed with your employment?