University Interviews tips: What to do before, during and after the interview
By Haaroon Younis
Have you been invited or expecting to be invited for an interview at a university? Interviews can be nerve-wracking but the thing to remember is that getting an interview means that the University Admissions tutors are impressed with your application and personal statement and you’re almost on your way to receiving an offer. Read our tips below to know how to prepare and to make sure you perform your best on the day.
Before the day:
- Find out what the interview will be like if possible. If you know whether it’s formal or informal and how many people will be interviewing you, you will know what to expect and won’t be taken by surprise.
- Read over your subject notes, especially the subjects most related to the course you are being interviewed for.
- Look over your UCAS application, in particular your personal statement. The personal statement is most likely to be basis of some of the interview questions. Be prepared to go expand on what you have said in your statement.
- Also read around the course/subject. For example, read quality news articles and magazines because interviewers may ask for your opinion on current topics in your subject area.
- Have a list of questions prepared to ask at the end. For example, what teaching styles are used? How is the course assessed?
- Have lots of mock interviews. Try and get a teacher to do your mock interview to give you an idea of what it could be like.
- Plan your journey and allow yourself enough time to get to the University and the actual room where the interview will be held.
On the day:
- Set off early to make sure you arrive early.
- Dress smartly. First impressions count.
- Make sure to turn off your mobile or have it on silent. You don’t want any distractions during the interview.
During the interview:
- Listen to the interviewer properly. Answer the questions asked rather than what you prepared for and would like to answer.
- Ask the interviewer to repeat a question if you don’t understand it.
- Pause and think about your answer rather than dive straight into answering the question. It’s important that you give full, detailed answers and not waffle and make up answers as you go along.
- Be yourself. The interviewers want to get to know you. Don’t come across as too structured and structured, or start reciting facts you have learnt.
- Make sure you are enthusiastic about your chosen course and that your interest comes across in the interview.
- Ask questions that you have prepared.
After the interview:
- Make the most of your being at the University on campus. Have a look around the campus and the city.
- Try not to worry if you found the interview hard as you can’t do anything now to change the result.
- Think about what you have learned and areas for improvement.
- Write down the questions you were asked and the answers you gave. This could come in handy for any future interviews.