University Interviews - Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be asked to attend an interview?

There’s no single answer to this – whether or not you get an interview is up to the individual universities and their departments. However, you should be able to find out after a bit of research.

Check out the admissions section in your chosen university’s prospectus or website and you should be able to find out.

My university interviews – will I get one?

This is also difficult to say, but generally the better regarded your university, the more likely you will be to get an interview.

The same rule applies if you’re taking a particularly competitive course like medicine or law. Some other subjects also have a reputation for interviewing, such as teacher training or art and design.

You may also find you don’t get asked for interview if your grades greatly exceed the entry requirements. Many universities won’t waste the time interviewing the best candidates, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get an interview from your insurance choice.

Is Oxbridge special?

Yes, in some ways. As competition is so fierce, Oxford and Cambridge want to know more about you than just what’s on your UCAS form, and therefore interview many more students than most other universities.

Oxford interview around 90% of their applicants and Cambridge state they interview 'the vast majority', so unless your grades or personal statement really let you down, it is highly likely you will get an interview if you apply to one of these institutions.

When will my interview be?

This tends to vary - interviews generally start taking place from early November and continue all the way through the academic year, although the earlier you apply, the earlier you’re likely to be interviewed.

Many universities and departments interview at specific times, but they don’t always publish this information. Try looking at the admissions section of the university's prospectus or website to see if it tells you.

How should I prepare?

  • First, have a thorough look at the prospectus, paying particular attention to the course you want to study. If you’re already familiar with the university and the course, it will show the tutors you’re committed to studying at their university. It will also save you from having to ask simple questions.
  • Go over your personal statement, as it’s an obvious source of questions for admissions tutors, and is often used as a first question in the interview to help put you at ease. Make sure you have answers prepared for the common ones such as 'why do you want to study here?' and 'why have you chosen to study this subject?'.
  • Do some mock interviews with teachers, career advisors and/or parents. If you can, arrange to have the interview with a teacher or adult you’ve never met before, to make it a bit more realistic. The idea of a mock interview is to help you prepare for questions you might get asked in the real interview, and to give you a feel for how an interview goes. If you’ve haven’t applied for a part time job or other position of responsibility, this may be the first interview you’ve ever had to attend, and the mock interview should make your real one a bit less daunting. When you go for your actual interview, you may find it’s nothing like your mock – don’t be discouraged though, it’s all good practice.
  • If you’re applying for subjects such as medicine, biology or economics, it may be worthwhile reading around in magazines for information on the latest developments in your field. You may be asked for your opinion on these during the interview.
  • Finally, get plenty of sleep the night before so you feel refreshed and ready for your interview.

I’ve been asked to attend an open day

Rather than holding interviews, many universities invite you to attend an open or visit day. This is an excellent opportunity if you are able to go, as you will probably get a tour of the university, visit your department, meet and ask questions to the lecturers and possibly even have an informal interview.

What are informal interviews?

Sometimes universities describe their interviews as 'informal', which can often cause confusion, as students don’t know how seriously to take them.

Informal interviews are generally used as a chance for you to find out more about your university and department as well as for the tutor to find out about you. You shouldn’t take them as seriously as formal interviews, though you might still want to prepare some questions and look over the course information.

This is because they are often held before universities make offers, so your performance in the informal interview may influence whether you are offered a place or not.

What should I wear?

It’s probably a good idea to wear what you are comfortable in, but still look presentable enough to make a good impression.

This could range anywhere between smart-casual and a suit and tie. We would advise against trainers, jeans and t-shirt, because you want to show you’ve made an effort, but if you really don't feel comfortable in anything smarter then wear that.

It's far better to be badly dressed and confident than it is to be well dressed and look really uncomfortable in the interview.

At your interview you will see people wearing clothes with different levels of smartness ranging between smart-casual to a full suit and tie - so whatever you end up wearing, there are likely to be people who are both smarter and less smart than you.

Also remember that interviewers aren’t going to dress up for you, so there’s no need to dress up for them.

For a guide with some quick pointers on attending an interview see the interview tips page.

Comments

interviews by guest at 13:54 3/10/2007

how hard are they

Comment by guest at 01:13 30/11/2007

Cheers.. rele helped me out for my Informal Interview coming up on saturday.

Comment by guest at 11:41 10/12/2007

i have an interview tomorrow for radiography. could you tell me some frequently asked questions?

Hi by guest at 16:01 5/05/2008

I have got an interview at nottingham uni 4 learning disability nursing. do you know wot time of questions they might ask?

Comment by guest at 18:14 29/09/2008

this was good thanx

Nursing by guest at 15:47 28/10/2008

Hi :) i have a interview for university of dundee nursing course on thursday :( i am really nervous :/ just wondering if anyone could give me some tips on what they are likley to ask me about & what the written exercise is like ? my email address is smcculloch-x@hotmail.co.uk :) i would really apprecciate it if somebody could get back to me :) thankyou x

help!!! by guest at 17:04 12/11/2008

ok so i got an interview for english at cambridge and now im really nervous because i'm only doing 3 A Levels and although i got 3 A's at AS I'm well aware of the tough competition. Any advice on likely questions or things I could do in the meantime to boost my chances of getting an offer???

Comment by guest at 21:16 21/01/2009

I am a student of Access to Physiotherpy course. I have University Interview next week which kind of Questions will they ask me?

Comment by guest at 11:59 28/01/2009

i have an interview to do nursing at stirling university.... was sort of question might they ask me?

Comment by guest at 17:46 14/02/2009

hi, i have an interview for physiotherapy next week and am wondering what sort of questions they will ask. i am up against people who are in second year of the course i am currently in which is a higher cert. how do i put myself ahead of the second yrs in the interview?

Comment by guest at 14:34 3/03/2009

i have an interview for mental health nursing what questions will i be asked

Comment by guest at 20:21 13/03/2009

hie, i want to study economics and i am going for an interview in a weeks time. What kind of questions an i likely to be asked.Also, how can i give the best answers without showing that i am nervous

Pharmacy interview nottingham by guest at 13:33 17/03/2009

I've got an interview for pharmacy in notts next week... does anyone knows what questions are likely to be asked?

Comment by guest at 14:33 11/06/2009

Iam going to attend an interview regarding my application to an interior design degree,what sort of questions concerning interior design do you think i should be prepared for?

career in radiography by guest at 08:13 5/10/2009

Hi! I have applied to study radiography. i will be called for an interview soon. pls assist and advise what sort of questions would i be asked and what are the best answers to give. i do not want to take any chances. pls help me

social work degree by guest at 09:27 6/01/2010

what are the questions likely to be ask

Comment by guest at 04:13 20/03/2010

Thank you for the interview tricks.

admissions interview by guest at 10:20 5/04/2010

good day all, I have group admissions interview for this month. advise me. what are the step to take to be the best amoung others. I wish to study international business.

Comment by guest at 13:11 18/01/2011

I've been told I need to attend an interview for my Mental Health Nursing course, but they havn't given me a date, how do they find this out and will they contact me? Also, what questions should I be preparing for?

Comment by guest at 13:44 8/02/2011

Hi :)I have an interview on friday at leeds uni for midwifery...it would be very much appreciated if someone could help me out on what question are asked or he current affairs in midwifery nat_lou_12@hotmail.com thannxxxxx :))))

Confidence by guest at 00:37 12/02/2011

I had an interview yesterday and i did not go well at all. I felt so scared and lost my words that i wanted to say. i am a really concerned that confidence is bringing me down. What can i do next time i have a interview? and how can i boost my confidence?

computer desgn by guest at 07:50 14/02/2011

computer desgn by guest at 07:50 14/02/2011

digital design by guest at 07:51 14/02/2011

Southampton University Interview by guest at 10:19 14/03/2011

Hi, I've got an interview for a Foundation degree in Science. I would like some tips about the questions I would be asked, thx.

Comment by guest at 13:06 9/04/2011

I have an interview at Cardiff University to be a Mental Health Nurse. What kind of questions are going to be asked ??

Comment by guest at 18:28 14/05/2011

its helpfull

Comment by guest at 16:43 8/06/2011

university scholarship by guest at 13:04 28/06/2011

I have an interview tommorrow with a university that is offering scholarship to people in arid areas,what queries should I expect?

university scholarship by guest at 13:04 28/06/2011

I have an interview tomorrow with a university that is offering scholarship to people in arid areas,what queries should I expect?

Comment by guest at 15:42 2/07/2011

I will be having my interview on monday,at winneba nurses training,could you please help me with the likely questions to be asked.

Comment by guest at 07:09 7/07/2011

well, i have an interview on the 18th of July...hope i get through

Comment by guest at 19:18 18/07/2011

just go with the flow, y on earth would you want to prepare if you know you are have what it takes to get in!!! losers!!!

What to wear :) by guest at 21:11 31/10/2011

I'd advise dressing in a full suit for an interview. Then when you go in, assess your competition. If they're all wearing suits, you're good. If they're casual, you can always take off your jacket and tie, put your tie in your jacket pocket and carry it over your shoulder/under your arm - remember, you can dress down when you get there, but you can't dress up

90%?? by guest at 18:22 17/11/2011

We had talks about Oxford and Cambridge interviews and I'm reasonably certain the guy (who was from Oxford btw) said that Cambridge interview approximately 80% while Oxford only interview about 2 or 3 candidates to one place (I don't know about other subject but I'm applying for law which has about a 15-20% acceptance rate, so they must interview about 40-50%). Just a point. x

To the guy above who claims to be an interviewer. by guest at 18:27 17/11/2011

Firstly, I would have expected someone who claims to be an interviewer to have better grammar. Secondly, both Oxford and Cambridge websites say to wear what you're comfortable in and not to bother about wearing a suit or anything like that. Dress does not influence academic potential as far as I am aware.

Comment by guest at 13:04 29/12/2011

Hi, do you know any good law university interview prep books? As i have a interview at queen marys. Thanks

Brighton University - Education Studies Interview by guest at 19:55 15/01/2012

I have an interview on Wednesday at Brighton Uni for Education Studies, I was wondering if anyone has any tops

art by guest at 14:07 16/01/2012

Hey, i have applied for a model making course in Bournemouth and i would really like to get some ideas on what questions they might ask me at my interview, so i can prepare myself. could you maybe email me some questions they might ask. my email is kateparr@fsmail.net thank you.

I have an interview to do physiotherapy in 4 days by guest at 15:59 4/02/2012

I have and interview at university of hertfordshire in 4 days then another at kings college the following week, but I'm not sure what kind off things i should know, and whether i should read around the subject. what preparations should i make?

Comment by guest at 13:05 22/02/2012

I've been invited to a uni applicant day at st Georges after been given an offer just wondering if I should bring a parent is it common?

Interview time! by guest at 23:39 6/03/2012

Hi i have got an interview on the 22nd of march. I suffer really bad with nerves. I am looking for ways to prepare myself as that normally helps! so... how long is the interview and how many people attend each interview staff and pupils? I did here about the nursing code of practice do i need to know about that? Any other relative information would be fab! Thank you

Comment by guest at 00:25 22/03/2012

I have an interview next weak for radiography. could you please tell me some frequently asked questions?

Comment by guest at 23:56 27/07/2012

what questions normaly i get at nuiversity of london

Interviews by guest at 18:07 31/08/2012

I live in Derbyshire, but am applying to Universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, will I have to attend an interview at the Universities themselves?

Adult nursing interview! by guest at 10:48 8/11/2012

Hi, just wondering if you can help me, I've got a adult nursing interview at university and just wanted to know what type of questions they will ask? Many thanks