UCAS application

Preparing for your university interview - top tips from students

By Rebecca Hughes (Digital content producer, Which? University) - 05 November 2013

University of Essex student tutor interview

If you’ve been invited to a university interview, you'll want to be as prepared as possible.

With that in mind, we've been asking students to share their interview experiences, including how they managed to impress their university interviewers. Here are their top tips.

Think about why that particular course

Read about the course, become familiar with what it is they will teach you and why the particular content and structure of the course attracted you.  Second Year Zoology Student | University Of Birmingham

Have questions at the ready - it shows you're keen

Research as much as you can about the course and if you have any questions about it, then ask. Initiative always looks good. Third Year Psychology Student | University Of Aberdeen

Mock interviews are great practice

I had a couple of practice interviews with different people beforehand, and I think that these are worth doing. You should be able to find a teacher willing to practice with you, but it doesn't need to be anybody particularly qualified to conduct a formal interview - you could also ask parents, friends or siblings to help. First Year Pre-clinical Medicine Student | University College London

Positive mental attitude...

It is important to be very enthusiastic and convinced of your own worth when going into the interview - don't convince yourself beforehand that you don't stand a chance. To calm yourself, look on it as a brilliant opportunity to gain an insight into the university and enjoy some challenges related to your area of interest. First Year Philosophy Student | Durham University

Be prepared to elaborate on your personal statement 

Make sure you know your personal statement inside out, and that anything you write in there is not exaggerated. If you say you've undertaken voluntary work, read a book or entered a competition, be prepared to talk about it! Third Year Maths Student | University Of York

Research, research

I read the department's website thoroughly and got to know roughly who lectures in what field and what they research. When it came to the day of interview we were all given a list of lecturers and who would be interviewed by them. I felt relaxed and comfortable because from my research I knew what my interviewer looked like and what her area of expertise was. This made it much easier to ask her questions that were relevant and I think she was impressed by my knowledge of the department and her research. Third Year Anthropology Student | University College London

Enthusiasm is key

I think the point of an interview is not so much as to find out how much you know about the chosen subject matter, but more to see how suited and committed to the course you will be. Learn a few basic areas of the subject applied for, but just have a clear, concise reason as to why you want to study that particular course at that particular university - and really be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for it. Third Year Mechanical Engineering Student | University Of Liverpool


We’ve also got some advice for you if you’re an Oxbridge applicant or want to know whether to expect interview questions of the more odd variety...

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