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University Interview Tips

Been invited to a university interview, but struggling to prepare? Read our tips below to make sure you give your best performance on the day, and check out our University Interviews Guide for further help.

Before the interview

  1. Find out what form the interview will take – if you know how many people will be interviewing you, and whether it will be formal or not, you will know what to expect.
  2. Read the prospectus – have an idea about the course and university to show you're committed to studying there.
  3. Look over your UCAS form – it’s often the basis for interview questions so make sure you can talk about the things you’ve said on it in detail.
  4. Read over your A-Level subject notes – you may be asked why you took a particular A-Level or what parts of your A-Levels you enjoy.
  5. Read a quality newspaper or magazine related to your subject – interviewers may ask for your opinions on current affairs or developments in your field.
  6. Have a mock interview – get a teacher you’re not familiar with to prepare a formal interview to give you an idea of what it will be like.
  7. Speak to students who’ve already had an interview – ask them what to expect or if they have any tips.
  8. Think of points you may want to make in the interview – prepare specific things you want to say or subjects you want to discuss if you get the chance.
  9. Prepare answers for common questions – for example, why do you want to study this course or at this university?
  10. Think of some questions to ask in return – how is the course assessed? What teaching methods are used? Although make sure they’re not already answered in the prospectus.
  11. Plan your journey – take into account rush hour traffic and finding the room/building so you arrive in plenty of time.

On the day

  1. Get a good night's sleepbe ready for your interview and don’t stay up all night drinking or worrying about it.
  2. Arrive early – allow 20-30 minutes for traffic and finding the place. If you have extra time, take a look round the university or talk to other applicants.
  3. Contact the university if there’s a problem – if you’re going to be late or unavailable due to circumstances beyond your control you should be able to rearrange the interview.
  4. Dress smart but comfortably – formal clothing may be uncomfortable if you’re at the university all day, and dressing scruffily may give a bad first impression.
  5. Turn off your mobile – you don’t want any distractions in the interview and it will not impress the interviewer.

During the interview

  1. Be aware of your body language – look at the interviewer, make eye contact and try to smile from time to time.
  2. Be enthusiastic about your course – make sure you get your interest in the course across to the interviewer.
  3. Take your time with questions – don’t feel pressured to answer immediately, take a little while to develop your answers to avoid saying the first thing that comes into your head.
  4. Say if you don’t understand a question – interviewers don’t expect you to know everything and will often prompt you or rephrase a question if you ask.
  5. Give full answers – the interviewer is trying to find out about you, so make sure you tell them something. Don’t waffle just to make your answers longer though.
  6. Don’t try to bluff questions – admissions tutors will know a lot more about their subject than you will. If you don’t know the answer to a question be honest and admit it.
  7. Listen to the interviewer – answer the questions asked rather than the ones you’ve prepared for.
  8. Ask questions – use ones you prepared earlier or new ones you’ve thought of. It shows you’re enthusiastic and will help you get more out of the interview.
  9. Try to relax – interviewers will expect you to be nervous and will try to make you feel comfortable.
  10. Be yourself – interviewers want to know about you, not just what tips you’ve read off the internet!

After the interview

  1. Don’t worry if you found it hard – some interviews are designed to stretch candidates.
  2. Make the most of being at the university – talk to students, have a look round the city or sample the local pubs.
  3. Think about what you’ve learned – the interview also allows you to find out more about the university and course. How have your opinions changed?
  4. Write down your answers to questions – this will come in handy for other interviews you may have.
  5. Discuss your interview with other people – they can give you feed back on how they think you did and give you advice for other interviews.
  6. Don’t worry about whether you’ll be offered a place or not – prepare for your next interview or just enjoy yourself, as you can’t do anything to change the result.

For more information and advice on preparing for your university interview, please see our University Interview FAQs.

You can also read example questions for:

Comments

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All tips are nice,but i want to know about how i can get over hesitation.

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Hey great piece the only thing i think you should add is have an interesting maybe slightly out there question to ask at the end if they ask, any questions? this could be finding something out about your course or uni that only the staff or current students would know i.e a course change, you could ask if that would affect you and it would show your dedication to that particular uni (especially if you are asked how you found out about said question)

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Ok so got an interview at Salford for Social work in March, It will be my third interview so kinda know what to expect. But other members of my class (am on Access at Manchester college) have interviews before me, and found out straight away. Is there any reason for this?, We all sent our UCAS on the same day. Is it better to attend an interview day first or last? it just kinda feels like the uni wasn't sure about this last group.....

Adult Nursing INTERVIEW

Hi everyone,

I have an interview at Worcester for Adult Nursing and wondered if anyone knew what to expect or could advise me on the type of interview or questions they will have. Also good luck to anyone else in my position

Alz12@live.co.uk

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hi i have an interview next week at UWS for BA in childhood studies. Was wondering if you could give me any tips on what sort of questions they may ask me? im very nervous and not good when put on the spot, so trying my best to be prepared. any help would be greatly appreciated, my email address is aussie.lisa2008@yahoo.co.uk

hi i have an interview next

hi i have an interview next week at UWS for BA in childhood studies. Was wondering if you could give me any tips on what sort of questions they may ask me? im very nervous and not good when put on the spot, so trying my best to be prepared. any help would be greatly appreciated, my email address is aussie.lisa2008@yahoo.co.uk

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These interview tips are very useful to who prepare for interview.

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Can a current Radiographer at University of West of England email me the interview question he/ she was asked? Was there any written questioners as well? If yes would be thankful if could email also. Email : alchemy121@gmail.com.Many thanks

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Thankyou.

I've applied for BSc Adult

I've applied for BSc Adult Nursing undergraduate course at UWS, I have been invited to attend the testing, could you please provide me with information on the different types of essay questions that would be asked and information on the numeracy test please.
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