How to Prepare for a University Interview

It can be hard work getting through an interview, especially if you didn’t bother to do any preparation beforehand. If you are asked to attend an interview at the university you wish to study you have to try to make a good impression on the person interviewing you. The head of the department will want to determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for the course you’re hoping to study, as there are only so many places available. It is better to ask you a few questions before accepting you on to the course than for you to be struggling with the workload a few months down the line and then quitting.

To be asked for an interview in the first place you have to send a personal statement detailing your previous academic experiences and extracurricular activities and how these will help you in your future studies. You will have mentioned why you want to study the particular subject you’ve applied for and what you hope to achieve. You therefore need to familiarise yourself with what you actually wrote before going for the interview, as this will probably be discussed in great length. The person interviewing you is going to want to know how what you have learned from your previous studies and what, in particular, interests you.

When applying for a course it is wise to stick to the truth in your personal statement, as you may well be caught out if you decide to include lots of activities and experiences you have had that are not actually true. You’re better off emphasising why you are so passionate about the subject and why you are desperate to learn more, as you obviously want to go to university to improve your understanding; you’re not expected to know everything already.

However, it will look good if you’ve made an effort to think about what is going to be expected of you during your studies, assuming you’re accepted on to the course, as this will demonstrate that you really want to study this subject there. You will certainly leave a positive impression on the person interviewing you if you’ve familiarised yourself with the list of core texts you will have to read; even more so if you’ve actually bothered to start reading any of them. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, though.

Whatever subject you hope to study and wherever you hope to study it you have to be prepared for the fact that you’re likely to be asked to attend an interview, especially when there is quite a lot of competition for places. You therefore have to prepare in advance, ensuring you have some idea of the questions you’re going to be asked and how you intend to answer them, so that all you have to really worry about is dressing up smartly and turning up on time.