After six years, I recently finished my PhD, while the average in the field is 3.5 to four years. Personally, I think it is mostly my supervisors fault by letting me work on irrelevant tasks and poor communication regarding what the actual goal is. Obviously, I do not want the interviewer to think its all my fault, but I feel like blaming entirely my supervisor in a job interview is not a bright idea.
I thought about answering by giving multiple reasons. Some things that come to my mind are:
- Admit that the delay is to some extent my fault
- Give a few examples of the irrelevant tasks mentioned above
- "I enjoyed working at a university and was not in a rush"
- Working on a second degree in parallel
- Mention colleagues that took as long as I did
However, I am afraid that giving too many reasons may sound overly defensive and I do not want to sound like I have to have a good reason (like its a big deal). Ideally, I want to give a concise answer and then we carry on.