Preparing for a University Interview

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If you are planning on continuing your education by going to university, you should prepare yourself to attend an interview where you will be asked a series of questions. This is dependent on the subject/course you are applying for and the university you are hoping to attend.

Should you hope to study subjects such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, education, music or art & design, the chances are that you will be expected to sit an interview before your application being accepted for the course. Also, interviews for Oxbridge universities (Oxford and Cambridge) are a requirement for all subjects and courses, so if you are aiming high then you absolutely must ensure that you are prepared to impress at an interview.

Preparation is Key

Just as if you are attending a job interview, preparation is key and you should make sure that you are ready with your answers. Be prepared for general questions such as what interests you about studying whatever course it is you are applying for, as well as why you wish to attend the university.

You should also be expecting questions about your personal statement, so read and re-read making sure that you are familiar with what you have written. If you appear to be unsure, this could put the university off from offering you a space, especially if you harbour ambitions of attending one of the more prestigious universities in the country.

Familiarise yourself with the course and what you can expect from it. Universities will want to see that you have conducted your research into the course and university itself, rather than just simply applying for the sake of it. This demonstrates an eagerness to learn, showing that your potential lecturers will not be wasting their time in teaching someone who simply does not want to be there. You will soon realise that this is not school any longer and, while you may have considerably less scheduled time, you can expect to be far, far busier in your studies.

Practise Interviews

The best way to prepare for your interview is to ask family and friends to ask you questions as though they are your interviewer. While you cannot perfectly replicate the situation, having the experience of being faced with the kinds of questions you can expect to be asked will stand you in good stead.

It is important to note that no two universities will ask the same questions, so don’t expect to be able to perfectly replicate the interview. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask several different people to interview you, giving you a varied experience that you can take into the real thing. Most university interviews tend to be discussion led, as opposed to being a rigid Q&A session between interviewer and interviewee. Make sure to demonstrate a good understanding of your area of interest, why you believe you would make a good fit for the course and any achievements/experiences you feel will support your application.


Whatever you do, make sure that you are on time for your interview. A lack of punctuality demonstrates all of the qualities that universities are looking to avoid from letting in on their courses. Organisation and timekeeping are key qualities that the university student, especially one who wishes to attend Oxbridge or other highly prestigious universities, must possess.

Arrive early for your interview, allowing enough time for you to find where it is you must be. You should also dress smartly and comfortably for your interview. After all, this interview will go a long way into determining much of your future, so leave the t-shirt and jeans combination at home.

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