Top Oxbridge interview tips

Applying to University is a stressful process all in itself, often more pressured if you’re applying to Oxford or Cambridge. With the 15th of October far behind us, and with entrance exams also gone by, students are now facing the final hurdle before crossing the finishing line; the dreaded interviews.

As most of you know, some Oxbridge courses are more competitive than others. For example, English and History joint honours at Oxford University is one of the most competitive and exclusive courses, with a mere 14% of applicants receiving offers. Similarly, Medicine at Cambridge has a very low acceptance rate, roughly 21%.

Therefore, it is important to maximise your chances in the little time there is left, by ensuring that you ace your interview.

We have spoken with our extremely experienced Oxbridge admissions specialists, to compile a list of some hot top tips that will help you excel:

🎓 Be as relaxed as possible. We know that this is much easier said than done, but this easy trick will prevent you tripping over yourself and answering questions in a panic!

🎓 Many tutors found that, while they had read well around their subjects, their interviewers asked and intentionally pushed uncommonly difficult questions designed specifically to throw them off balance. In these situations, do not worry if you don’t know the correct answers – the interviewers are interested in hearing your ideas and, more importantly, how you tackle and think around the question. 

🎓 Despite the pressure, maintain your eloquence. There is nothing that will make you panic more than using a word in the wrong context, and then having to explain and justify why you chose to use that word. Therefore, make sure you brush up on your vocab and that you feel comfortable talking to multiple people simultaneously.

🎓 Try to tactically mention your extracurricular activities and interests to promote yourself as a well rounded person. This may appear difficult to do, but after practising a couple of times, this will become like second nature to you.

🎓 Lastly, make sure that you dress in a presentable, yet comfortable way. As a girl, there is nothing worse than sitting in a challenging and important interview, and being distracted by the blisters on your feet and having to continuously shift in your seat to shuffle around your uncomfortably stiff shirt.

We wish you the very best of luck and, despite the pressure, try to enjoy the interviews.

If your fast approaching interview seem daunting, call our office to engage an Oxbridge interview specialist to help you feel confident and ready when your time comes.