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Phd Interview Questions and Answers

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Questions on the PhD interview shall include but not limited to:

  • Do you understand what a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is and what the degree entails?

PhD is about:


Creating/advancing new knowledge

Developing technologies/tools/solutions

Applying old tools innovatively to new challenges

Or perhaps bit more….

Developing capabilities to think (critically), focus, analyze (objectively and independently) and help resolve challenges

A PhD is the highest academic qualification available in the UK and it involves

three to four years of original research on a specific topic. By undertaking a

PhD you will be contributing to the development of knowledge in your subject.

  • What are your financial arrangements for this PhD

I have been saving towards my program. Presently, I am on full time employment with a competitive industrial standard monthly salary. With that, I can comfortably take care of my PhD funding and my domestic bills.

There is also plan to apply for funding assistance with Federal Government of Nigeria as a backup.

  • Why are you pursuing a PhD when you have a good job in industry?

To achieve something significant as a seasoned consultant

To discover and learn something new

To improve myself and my life

To mentor others with same passion like me

  • Can you give some details of your academic background and personal qualities?

I studied NEBOSH International Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health in 2008 and I passed with credit. I used the NEBOSH Certificate to apply for a top-up Bachelor of Science program in Occupation Safety, Health & Environment with The University of Greenwich. I was awarded B.Sc. (Hons) Occupational Safety, Health & Environment (2nd Class Division) in January 2011.

I started MEng Advanced Safety Engineering and Management with University of Alabama at Birmingham USA in August 2012 and the degree was awarded on August 9, 2014.

I attempted 4 modules of MSc Piping Engineering with University of Zaragoza and I passed in all. I have also attended several short term courses in engineering such as Root Cause Analysis conducted by Center for Process Safety.

My personal qualities that will assist me in the PhD program are:

  • Enthusiasm (eager/passion)
  • Perseverance (urgency)
  • Integrity (honesty)
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-reflection
  • Responsibility (taking blame, accountability)

  • Why are you motivated to pursue a PhD and why in this specific field of Environmental Protection Engineering, Reliability and Safety Management

The following motivated me to pursue PhD in Environmental Protection Engineering, Reliability and Safety Management:

1. To be at the cutting edge of scientific discovery in petrochemical industry considering the hazardous nature of the industry. An invention that will prevent mishap to the persons, environment and assets is my major target.

2. To be able to work with intellectual people who share a common interest.

3. The chance to engage in something which is motivated by a desire for knowledge, and not just a desire to innovate.

  • Why did you choose The University of Greenwich?

I am an alumnus of The University of Greenwich and I was impressed during my Bachelor of Science program especially in staff dedication, quality of training material/modules, and exceptional tutorial support. My Research Supervisor (Mr. Terry McDonald) was very supportive and prompts in commenting/feedback.

The University of Greenwich has been rated as high in carrying out top-world class quality research and led by experienced Research Directors. The School of Engineering also has well equipped research centers.

I am also impress by the awards The University of Greenwich has been wining in research such as national awards, including Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education, research to tackle Africa’s tsetse fly, which spreads the killer disease sleeping sickness, was named as one of the eight most important discoveries to be made by a UK university over the past 60 years (Universities UK, 2009).

  • What experience do you have that makes you a suitable candidate for this particular PhD and in what way?

PhD Environmental Protection Engineering, Reliability and Safety Management is a continuation of my earlier BSc and MEng degrees. Apart from my educational background, my hands-on experience in Technical Safety and Risk Engineering provides me with in-depth knowledge of the field as well as assisting me in developing the following skills:

  • Research/Investigative skill (since I have to troubleshoot and offer solution to technical problems in refineries and petrochemical plants),
  • written communication skill (through writing of technical reports and technical notes),
  • creative skill (by proffering simple and cost effective solution to technical problems),
  • Time Management Skill (since I am using CTR – Cost Time Resource in managing all project activities and deliverables – This help me to be organised and highly disciplined; understand my priorities and ensure my carve out enough time for my own work; and complete urgent, but perhaps less interesting tasks such as marking up of drawings, as quickly as possible.),
  • Resilience skill (trouble shooting a process problem and proffering solution needs patience and endurance and may sometimes be criticized. Therefore, I have a thick skin to handle the invariable barrage of criticism of my work, I am receptive to constructive criticism, and I have the confidence to defend my views and resolve issues as I see fit.),
  • Presentation skill (through training of subordinates, presentation of technical solutions at meetings)

Interpersonal & Leadership Skills

  • Facilitate group discussions or conduct meetings
  • Motivate others to complete projects (group or individual)
  • Respond appropriately to positive or negative feedback
  • Effectively mentor subordinates and/or peers
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Teach skills or concepts to others
  • Navigate complex bureaucratic environments

Project Management & Organization

  • Manage a project or projects from beginning to end
  • Identify goals and/or tasks to be accomplished and a realistic timeline for completion
  • Prioritize tasks while anticipating potential problems
  • Maintain flexibility in the face of changing circumstances

These skills will help me during the entire research and presentation of the research outcome nationally and internationally.



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