I have that phrase about “a particular set of skills” from the movie Taken in my mind a lot when I start workshops. Not for the attitude, because I don’t want PhD candidates to see the viva as a fight to the death. The phrase resonates because candidates come equipped with a skill set, knowledge and experience to match what their examiners bring to the table. When it comes to examiners’ questions, candidates know a lot and can work out a lot because of the talent they’ve built up during their research.

Don’t forget: you can’t do a PhD without developing your particular set of skills.