Every year, last week of May, NCBS conducts interviews for admission to our Ph.D. and Integrated Ph.D. program. If you are invited to the interview, this post is for you. This is not an official post, I am writing it as a student who went through it.
You should report at the campus by 7:45 am (I know this is too early and cruel). To reach the campus, you can use auto/cab. There is shuttle service between IISc and NCBS but it won’t be of any help in early morning. Food is not a problem for you or your parents. If you can’t report at campus by early morning, do contact people given in your brochure/information sheet/email.
There will be volunteers to help you throughout the interview process. You’ll get to know them during your orientation. Catch any of them, ask anything; they will sort most of your problems.
Interview process consists of two stages for both Ph.D. and Int. Ph.D. candidates. Results are usually announced post dinner at the end of last interview day. Try to be calm during the process, it helps your chances.
Interviews will be in your area of expertise. You really don’t have to prepare for it. People are interested how you think about scientific problems and not how much you know (which is always useful). The interviewers will not have access to your marks-sheets etc, you won’t be judged according to grades or your performance in written test. They will start afresh; it all based on interview from now on.
If you are from different background such as physics, computer science of engineering, they will ask you general question which is easy to understand (why plants have flowers/fruits?). For goodness sake, don’t just say random things if you don’t know the answer. Do not throw any jargon at them in guise of an answer. Try to answer logically and in simple terms — from the first principle . Or ask them to ask another question if you feel clueless.