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Interview Tips

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In order to succeed at interviews it is vital to be very well prepared, rather like preparing to take an exam.  To enhance your interview techniques, follow the tips below:

Before the interview:
  • Plan and organise your preparation.  Remember to focus on the details such as dress code
  • Research the university.  Browse the website and build up a very thorough and detailed knowledge of the course and the university
  • Revise your A Level syllabi as you may be asked subject specific questions
  • Keep up to date with current affairs by reading a well respected newspaper. You may be asked about new developments in your field of study or current areas of discussion
  • Go through your Personal Statement and think of questions that arise from it.  Be prepared to answer in detail and expand on any of the things you mention in it
  • Ask for help at school.  The Higher Education Advisory Team can provide a formal mock interview to help prepare you.  Collect interview feedback forms from Mrs Stylianou’s office so that you read about other students’ experiences
  • Speak to students who have already had an interview.  Contact them via e-mail or Facebook for tips and advice
  • Sell yourself!! Prepare a list of things which promote you well and introduce them if appropriate.  Use the Skills Profile in the PDF section of this website to focus on your skills
  • Research common interview questions and think about how you would answer them.  Try YouTube to see what videos are available
  • Make a list of questions you could ask in return about the course, the university. Take care that this information is not already available on the website!!!
  • Plan your journey.  Remember to leave enough time to allow for flight delays, rush hour traffic, locating the university and the building

The night before:
  • Go to bed early.  Don’t go out all night with friends before the big day, recharge your batteries with 8 hours of sleep
On the day:
  • Set off early, allowing time for delays on public transport and for finding the interview room
  • If you do get lost or run into difficulties, have your mobile and the number of the university with you so you can warn them in advance
  • Dress formally but age appropriate and comfortable as you may be there all day
  • Switch off your mobile
During the Interview:
  • Make eye contact and present yourself positively by smiling and using positive body language
  • Be focused in your answers and show your passion for the course and the university
  • Pace yourself, don’t rush to say the first thing that comes into your head in response to a question. Give well thought out answers
  • If you don’t understand something ask the interviewer to rephrase the question or to explain what they mean
  • Give substantial answers but avoid waffle
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer and the questions. Remember to answer what you are asked and not what you would like to be asked
  • Relax and be yourself
After the interview:
  • Don’t stress about what you have said and haven’t said
  • Don’t immediately think because the interview was difficult you have done badly.  Interviews are often designed to challenge
  • Take advantage of being at the university and look around
  • Reflect on what you have learnt. Write down tips for other students and things you will do differently next time
  • Finally look ahead and prepare yourself for the next interview

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