In addition to fielding questions from faculty, an important part of the interview is my ability to ask them questions. Here are some questions I’d like to ask. The list will likely grow as I go…
- What are your current projects and where do they stand?
- Would I work on your projects, my own projects, or a combination?
- Who are your main collaborators (e.g., linguistics department)?
- How would you describe your style as a mentor?
- How would you describe your lab culture?
- If your lab had a motto/mascot, what would it be?
- How many students do you have, and how many are you taking?
- How often do you meet with your students individually, and as a group?
- How are your students funded? Research, teaching, or a combination?
- How many courses do students typically teach?
And here are some questions for the graduate students:
- What is your favorite part of this program/lab?
- Is there anything you wish you’d known before coming here?
- How many hours per week do you work (including courses, meetings, and lab)?
- How would you describe my potential mentors’ style?
- Do students collaborate well (e.g., study groups, publishing together)?
- Do students work in more than one lab? What are the pros and cons of that model?
- How have you funded your time here? Any problems or need for student loans?
- What’s the cost of living here? How much do you pay in rent, groceries, etc?
- What’s the social life like here? What do you do in your free time?