Access to HE: The next steps to University

Prep for University

How to ace a University interview

The Interview

is usually stage two of an application process. Not every course has one, but if yours does – make sure you’re prepared to ace it with our advice:

1. Body language

How you present yourself says a lot about your commitment to a university. Dress appropriately, make sure your chair posture isn’t lacking and be enthusiastic. If you can, get the interviewer to smile or even laugh – there is nothing wrong with showing positivity or your sense of humour.

2. Do your research

The worst taboo you can commit is turning up to an interview having no prior knowledge of what you’re walking into. The basic research you should really get to grips with, is the basics of your chosen course, why it interests you, and the University.

3. Prepare questions

No one is expecting you to bring a clipboard and take over the interviewer but prepare a couple of questions beforehand that demonstrate an interest in the University and the course itself. You will be spending your time and money here for at least three years, so it is likely you will have some important questions that you want answers to.

4. Punctuality

Turning up at the right time not only shows that you are keen, but also that you are reliable. Ideally, arriving 10-15 minutes before your interview is a good idea. Turning up just a few minutes before the interview is both stressful and risky. Similarly turning up far too early means waiting around, which won’t do much good for your nerves. If you get a chance, take a practice run of your route. Alternatively, Google Maps is a handy tool if you want to get an idea of how long it will take to make the journey.

5. Know your Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement will be a key part on what the interview will be based on, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with what you wrote and be prepared to elaborate on your experiences in more detail.

6. Be prepared for unusual questions

Occasionally some interviewers may ask questions that may seem a little fun and irrelevant. But the real motive is purely to see how you would react under pressure. For instance, they could ask “If you could be any fruit, what would you be?” This may seem like a random question, but there is a purpose – the content of the answer isn’t that important, but they interviewers would like to see how you react to pressure. Try to have fun with questions like these.

7. Be Yourself

It may seem cheesy, but the steps above are designed to help you relax. If you are well prepared in advance, you should be well equipped to tackle the interview. The rest is a case of showing your personality, so show confidence, and be yourself!

Transforming lives Inspiring Change