All interviews are unnerving, but no more so than a university interview, which could shape the rest of your life. Don’t worry though, because being prepared will help you get through the process and know what to expect. You are only human, and they expect you to be nervous, so if you have prepared, you will do great. Below is some guidance to help you ace your university interviews.
Choosing the Right University and Course
If you want to ace your university interview, you first need to ensure you’ve chosen the right course and the right university. You need to find a course that you are qualified for, one you see a future in and one that excites you. Using Uni Compare can help you to compare universities and courses, such as the University of Bournemouth. Here you can see the points needed to be accepted onto a course, as well as the latest open days and student accommodation choices. If you want to find out more about the University of Bournemouth and other leading UK universities, check out their website.
Before Your University Interview
Well done, you got accepted for an interview. Now you do your research and learn all you can about the university and the course you have applied for before you get there. The university will likely have its own page dedicated to staff members, so you can learn more about your interviewer. Impress them with facts and enthusiasm for their knowledge and you are bound to be remembered. If you are still in school or college, you can talk to your tutor or teacher for interview advice.
Get your interview outfit planned early and be sure to dress formally but comfortably. Visiting for an open day is a great way to meet your interviewer informally and see the campus, so you have a better idea of what student life is like. Get a good sleep before your interview and travel with plenty of time if you aren’t staying near the university the night before. Whilst it can be hard to sleep the night before a big interview, following these tips might help.
Being prepared includes practicing the common questions that are asked at university interviews, so you have a dialogue ready. It may be that you aren’t asked some questions that you practiced for but the more you have thought over the general questions, the easier it will be to answer any question they throw at you. Most interviews start off the same and your interviewer will be interested to know a little more about you. Don’t give generic answers that they can already read in your personal statement. Instead, talk about where you are from, your hobbies and interests and perhaps something interesting about yourself.
You will likely discuss your academic grades, strengths and weaknesses and where you want to head after university. You will also be asked course-specific questions such as why you want to study the course, why you want to study at the chosen university and why the university should choose you. Some interviews also have some form of written test. For more help regarding interview questions and tests, check out The Student Room, with over 10 million students answering and asking questions, you are bound to find some guidance no matter what course and university you have applied.
During Your Interview
Rule number one: always arrive early. This gives you time to go over your personal statement and your answers one last time before heading into the interview and gives you a little time to relax. If you get there one minute before starting, it is likely you will go into the interview rushed and with no time to collect yourself. You will also be required to shake the interviewer’s hand, so be prepared to do this before sitting down and getting comfortable. Whilst you may not feel confident, hold your head up high and smile; this will make you feel more in control.
No matter how nervous you are, if you have prepared enough for this interview, you will get through it. This is the time to show what you’ve got, so be proud of your achievements and talk openly about any extracurricular activities related to your course. At the end of your interview, you must be prepared with some questions. When asking a question, it shouldn’t be one that could have been easily answered when looking at a university prospectus. Try to be unique and ask about specifics of the course or opportunities to study abroad, if your course offers this.
Once you have chosen the right course for you and a campus you are interested in living, you can begin prepping for your interview. Practice common questions and make flashcards to help memorise your answers. Dress well and always be early for your university interviews. Good luck and happy interviewing!