The thought of the PhD VIVA does send shivers down our spine, however all PhD candidates have no choice but to face it up front. If you have some clue about what to do and what not to do it can surely help to ease up your fears so that rather than being a challenging and fearful experience, you enjoy a viva and it becomes a showcase to exhibit your skills and learnings. There are few things you must surely not do in a viva. They are:
1.Do not be very quick to answer your questions, rather take some time to introspect and refer to the relevant part of the thesis if necessary to be prepared as thoroughly as possible
2.Never answer a question that you do not know the answer to. It is always better to not answer or ask for a clarification rather give a response that puts you in a picture of being an ignorant in the eyes of the examiner
3.Even if you know content that is more than what is asked in the question, do not go overboard in answering. You must restrain your answer to precisely what is asked in the question
4.There is a possibility and it is normal to go completely “blank” in your viva. Think of some strategies you could adopt to face a situation like this if it arises, refer to your thesis in the copy you are carrying or you could even ask the examiner to rephrase the question if needed.
5.Under all circumstances, be sure of not bluffing your examiners. It is always better and more of an advantage to admit than to try and bluff. Know that your research has its own set of limitations and it is better to admit those limitations so that you get an opportunity to discuss further research scope.
Some preparation, some practice and lots of confidence in your ability and research are the ingredients that can help you to be able to sail through this last stage of your PhD journey more easily. Research is tough and you put your heart and soul into it, so now also do not let some goof up in the end mess up or dilute the success that you have achieved throughout the long journey. Give your PhD viva with your best food forward.