There may be other academics who could do just as good a job as your examiners, but they won’t come with the same background, experience and knowledge as yours. When they ask questions about your work and how it relates to the wider field, they’ll do so through the prism of their own research. You can’t anticipate every question like this they might ask, but you can ask yourself two questions to help you prepare better.
- First: how much do you know about them and their work? Think about which papers you’ve read of theirs, and areas they’re interested in (if you don’t know much about either then check their staff pages).
- Second: how much do you think you need to know in order to boost your confidence? Think about how many papers you have time to read, what else you have to do and so on.
Answering these two questions can help shape how you look into your examiners’ work. You don’t need to know everything – you can’t know everything – but you can do enough once you set some parameters. You can be ready for the interesting questions your examiners have ready for you.