If you are invited for an interview following your application for an internship or for a graduate position, it usually means that your papers are convincing, and that you are in the small group of people who are being considered seriously for the position. For internships, in fact, you may be the only candidate.
Interviews can be held in person, or over the phone. They can last 15 minutes or two days.

What are they trying to find out?

It is important for the principal investigator (or the program admission committee) to establish the following:

All questions are asked with these points in mind. There may or may not be a brief science examination, and you may be asked to comment on the current work of the group (or the department).

Some questions

Some questions that get asked very often: 


The best way to prepare for an interview is to gather as much information about the research activities of the group or department as possible (i.e., by reading papers and reviews), and by making sure you know why you would be excited to join this group or department. (Only scientific reasons count.)
Good luck!

© Sebastian Springer 2006-19. Please contact me with suggestions for improvement.