How To Prepare For A University Interview


University interviews can be daunting especially if you’ve never had a formal interview before. While they’re optional at some schools, they are an essential way for both students and colleges to gather information about each other. The interview process provides an opportunity to gauge the applicant while also giving students the space to gather information about the prospective schools, ask questions and show their personality. So, prepare for your next interview well in advance and of course- dress appropriately!

Here’s how you can ace your next university interview:

Know The Interview Format

University interviews are generally based on two formats- Informative and Evaluative. An informative interview is a casual conversation that a student can have with a representative from the school. This setup provides a space for dialogue between the school and prospective students, allowing them to find out more about each other. An evaluative interview is intended to assess the student and the interviewer’s performance will be considered to decide whether to offer the student a place. Some university interviews may include both evaluative and informative elements.

Try To Stand Out

Interviewers are likely to be meeting a large number of candidates, so you must make a mark. Schools want to learn more about your academic and professional goals, strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests and experiences. Tell us about yourself- a question that most interviewers are likely to ask in some form requires you to thoroughly understand your motivations to pursue the course. Remember to be yourself and provide answers relevant to your experiences in life. This is your chance to convey your passion for your chosen subject and to showcase qualities you possess that will lead to your academic success.

Re-read Your Personal Statement

Familiarize yourself with things you’ve mentioned in your personal statement. Whether it is hobbies, achievements or an experience you’ve referred to – consider any related questions that might come up in the interview based on your personal statement or application essay. Remember to bring additional documents such as a portfolio if you’re applying for a creative arts course- much of your interview will be focused on this work. Some schools require students to include their resume with the application. It is always advisable to bring one, even if it isn’t required. This provides an opportunity for the interviewer to gather relevant information about skills you’ve gained outside of high school. You can refer to Princeton Review’s tips on how to compose a college admission resume.

Practise Common Interview Questions

Go through a list of common interview questions that might be asked to familiarise yourself with the process. This allows you to polish and memorise your answers in advance. Be clear and specific in your answers, especially why you want to study the course at this particular university. While practising for answers, jot down points that seem relevant to you but don’t overdo them. Your answers should flow naturally rather than sounding rehearsed.

Know Your Subject

An interviewer wants to know why you want to enrol in a specific course, what are your motivations behind it. You should be well-prepared to explain why you’re interested in the chosen subject while also showing interest in what lies beyond the classroom. Gather information and read around the subject so you can draw attention to your curiosity about the course.

Take A Positive Approach

Practise self-affirming behaviour and take a positive approach towards the interview- of course, this is easier said than done! Know that you’ve earned the interview and if you’ve practised well in advance and are honest with your answers there’s nothing to worry about. It is natural to feel nervous before an interview, take a deep breath and try to be positive. Here are some tips on dealing with pre-interview nervousness.

All the best!