The University of Oxford last week released a list of sample interview questions. We look at the range of these questions and ask what do top U.K. Universities expect from their applicants.
Oxford University interviews thousands of candidates each year
Interviews are one of the many perils of existence. Never more so than when preparing for university. The University of Oxford last week released a list of sample interview questions, saying that ‘we hope they’ll make you think, and help you understand why we ask the questions that we do.’ The assortment of questions provided is certainly perplexing, and includes questions such as:
Why do lions have manes?(Biological sciences)
Why do you think an English student might be interested in the fact that Coronation Street has been running for 50 years?(English Literature)
Is violence always political?(History)
Should interviews be used for selection? (Psychology)
The questions were provided by tutors who have conducted interviews previously and it has been suggested that Oxford has released the interview questions in order to ‘demystify’ the applications process.
Whilst releasing the sample questions is certainly interesting, it might not be all that helpful. The fact remains that Oxford interviews 10,000 applicants for 3,500 places. (Of course, it’s not only Oxbridge that conducts interviews.)
Here are some tips on improving your interview technique, that should help reduce stress and help your children perform to the best of their ability:
Familiarise yourself with your personal statement but don’t stick to a script. Ensure you can back up anything that you’ve written in the statement, but remember that your prospective university has seen this and wants to stretch you beyond it.
Practice on friends and family — practice makes perfect! Friends, family, tutors or teachers should all be happy to lend an ear and give you honest, constructive feedback.
Look beyond the reading list — showing real interest in and passion for your subject requires in-depth knowledge of relevant books and publications.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Questions demonstrate a curious and inquiring mind, which is what your interviewer will want to see.
Click here for UCAS’ tips on undergraduate interviews.
We have tutors that can help you prepare for your university interview. We will match students with survivors of the same university, college (if applicable) and course, who are specialists in interview coaching. Please remember that these lessons are bespoke and will be designed according to the student’s requirements.
If you have any questions about university interviews, or would like to speak to a specialist then please get in touch.
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Good luck to all of our UCAS applicants!
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