What does a university interview involve?
Some universities have an interview stage in the application process, usually after you have submitted your personal statement. University Interviews can vary greatly in length depending on the institution and course, but all interviews are essentially an opportunity for admissions tutors to get to know you better. The interview is your chance to display your best qualities, discuss your interests, and further demonstrate how you would be a good fit. Some interviews may involve an activity or small test in which admissions tutors may see your thought processes and how you go about solving problems.
Potential questions asked in an interview could be:
- Why did you choose to apply to this course/university?
- Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
- What do you think is your best quality?
- Can you describe a challenge you have overcome?
Oxbridge interviews are known for being difficult and usually involve subject-related questions. However, the overall intention to get to know you and your potential is the same. It is therefore important in every interview to really sell yourself as the ideal student; while your application is evaluated holistically, the interview is your chance to make yourself stand out positively. You can increase your chances of succeeding in interviews by thoroughly preparing for them beforehand.
How to prepare for an interview:
There are numerous ways in which you can ready yourself for your interview. Among these are:
- Research the course and university. Refresh your memory about why you applied to them and what they offer.
- Consider what questions you will be asked and how you might go about answering them.
- Practice interviews with family, friends, or teachers.
- Revise your personal statement. Think about what questions the interviewers might ask that are based on your statement, and how you would elaborate answers on each point you made within it.
- Do some extra reading or work experience that is relevant to the course, which you can then discuss with the interviewers.
Top tips before and during the interview:
- Remember that you have done well to get to this stage and that the interviewers are genuinely interested in you. Think of this as an exciting learning experience (especially since you will inevitably have to do interviews throughout your life) and keep in mind that the interviewers want you to succeed.
- Wear smart but comfortable clothing.
- Be yourself. This is all about you and how well you fit; pretending to be someone you are not would benefit no one. You are unique in what you have to offer so have faith in your ability.
- Always have a go at answering questions, even if you’re not confident in your answer. Showing determination and a growth mindset is a good thing, so mistakes can be turned into strengths. Furthermore, if you don’t understand or didn’t hear the question, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Interviewers will not mind repeating themselves or rephrasing the question, and having it asked in an understandable way will help you respond well.
- When asked a question, give yourself time to think of a response. Do not feel like you have to answer immediately – take your time and don’t rush. If it helps, verbalise your thought processes; this can be helpful for the interviewers too, as they get to see the way you think.
- Ask them questions too! This can be a good way of showing interest or clarifying anything you are unsure of.
- Enjoy the process. This is your chance to chat with people who are very knowledgeable in your chosen subject, so you can also learn a lot from them!
For interviews more generally:
All of the above advice can apply to any kind of interview you sit. If you are applying for a specific career, for example, researching the industry, evidencing your claims and showing a clear passion for the career is essential. It is fundamental that you present yourself as professional, approachable, and knowledgeable. Practicing interviews and thinking about what you might be asked can be a really useful way of preparing yourself. Interviews are a really exciting opportunity to talk to people in the field who may even be future colleagues, so enjoy the process as much as you can!
How Mayfair Consultants can assist you:
At Mayfair Consultants we want you to feel confident in yourself and your application. We can provide you with quality tuition that will prepare you for the interview. Our interview tutors have direct experience of the application and interview procedure as well as holding degrees in their subjects. We offer one-to-one tuition in which we can assess and expand your interview skills. We will also suggest suitable placement, work experience, and further reading options that can boost your application. If you would like to arrange private lessons or have any questions about our Interview Courses or Interview Technique tuition services, please call us on 02076656606 or send us an email via our contact form.
University Interview Resources
https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/after-you-apply/undergraduate-interview-invitations UCAS Interview Advice
How to prepare for interviews:
YouTube guidance videos: