15 tips to prepare for your university interview
Interviews are always nerve-racking, but if you?re a student looking to study in another country they?re likely to be even more worrying than usual.
There is no need to panic, though. Whether you?re flying across the country or the world for a college or university interview or just catching a train to the next city, it?s unlikely that the interview process will differ very much ? wherever you are.
Here are a few pieces of advice on how to prepare for, and succeed in, your university admission interview.
- Try not to question or change the time or date suggested for your interview unless absolutely required. Attempting to make changes to a scheduled interview might inconvenience the tutors, prove impossible, or at worst make you look disagreeable or like you don?t value a place on the course highly enough.
- Ensure you?ve got the time, location and name of the person who will be interviewing you well in advance, and know how long it will take you to travel there ? you don?t want to find yourself panicking, stuck on a motorway ten minutes before you?re due in the interview room.
- Make sure you have all the information about the particular course ? the kind of modules on offer or some of the required reading, for example ? and don?t confuse it with any other course you might be applying to.
- Remember what you wrote in your application essay and personal statement, and be ready to elaborate on the details.
- Expect the unexpected questions ? be up for the creative or lateral thinking challenge. Tutors will want to check that you can think quickly and whilst under pressure.
- But don?t forget to prepare for the obvious questions, such as why you want to study the course or what your favourite things about the subject are. You might encounter more complex questions than this, but make sure you?re prepared for the basics first!
- Be prepared to discuss the specialist areas of those interviewing you, but don?t pretend you know everything about their subject ? because they definitely will have a deeper knowledge of it than you do. Instead, be open to and able to engage with the ideas they present.
- Make sure you have some questions ready ? admissions tutors want to teach students with inquisitive minds, not those who are passive in their learning.
- Also be prepared to discuss yourself and your personality, rather than just your academic achievements.
- Practice beforehand! A parent or current teacher is likely to be the best person to help you with this.
- Exercise in the days before an interview will clear your head. Make sure you?ve slept well the night before, and eat a good breakfast on the day to make sure you feel on good form mentally.
- Make sure you?ve got all the extra documents, if any, that you?ve been asked to bring along.
- You might not have a long time to shine in the interview, so make sure you?re aware of your strongest points and how you want to get them across ? but don?t interrupt your interviewer!
- Smile and be friendly, even if you?re nervous.
- Be positive ? it?s a chance to see if the course is the right fit for you, as well as the other way round, so remember that it?s not only you that?s being tested during the interview.