Had a nice conversation with the Prof. Nice and friendly, with some laughing sprinkled here and there. But after putting the phone down, I couldn't laugh much.
Broadly, the conversation covered some issues - 3, to be precise. The first is that because of my undergraduate major, it is unlikely that the PhD Director would allow me to take a particular track/discipline, should I get in. So I need to explore and consider whether I am game/suited to take another track.
The second issue came in the form of a very frank question: "What happened to your (undergraduate) grades? (laughters followed....)" I had a C and a D in my undergraduate transcript. Prof said that people who do PhDs have more of As and Bs (or did she say "more of As than Bs"... anyway....). So I tried to give a short explanation without sounding that I'm justifying too much.
The third issue has to do with how serious they think I am in getting into academia. They have this concern because of my current work. I shared with the Prof my plans and how my work would be useful for research. And this issue is the major bomb. Near the end of the discussion, I asked what was the main weakness of my application, and the Prof said that this was it - how serious am I? The school wants to train researchers who are very keen in pursuing academic careers.
Basically, I think I'm in the shortlist - otherwise, I would not have this conversation with the Prof. But the challenge is on how convinced the ad comm is of my seriousness.