Weird Questions that Most People Ask PhD Students

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Enrolling yourself for a PhD doctorate program can, in itself, be a tough decision to take for any student. In addition to facing the pressures of years of research and uncertainty, PhD students also need to explain and convince their family or relatives that they have taken the right decision.

This article looks at the most weird and hilarious questions that PhD students often encounter on a regular basis, not only from their parents or relatives, but also from potential employers.

From close relatives or friends:

  • Why are you doing a PhD? Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue on the importance of a PhD program, other than adding to your educational credibility.
  • Why this subject? The slightly more-learned types may come out with this question, without having any clue of the potential of your subject.
  • So, you are going to become a faculty teacher? Surely yes, if you are aiming for a career in academia. Else, there are plenty of other career avenues for PhD graduates.
  • Will doing a PhD get you a higher salary? The presumption of most people is that higher degrees are only for getting a better salary, and not for your interest in research work.
  • Are you going to get a real job? This is a very common one. Doing the latest research in your field is also a real job.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, is it? Why philosophy? That is just the title. I am not doing any research in philosophy.
  • You are a doctor, but don’t practise? Well, some PhDs are into medical practise, but not all.

Additionally, PhD students also get some interesting interview questions to test their creativity and independent thinking. Here are a few:

  • What would be your plan to solve the world’s hunger problem?
  • How would you fit an elephant into a refrigerator?
  • Tell me 5 uses of a stapler with its stapler pins removed.
  • Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?
  • If you keep the door of your refrigerator open in a small and closed room, will the temperature of the room falls or would the temperature inside the fridge rise after some time?

As a student pursuing your PhD, you are sure going to get your own weird set of questions. Be ready for such questions, and respond to them in a casual and friendly manner.

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