Just like with Oxford University, applying to Cambridge almost guarantees that you’ll need to attend an interview before being accepted. There’s a lot of scaremongering that goes on around interview time and you could hear any number of weird and wonderful questions that students have supposedly been asked.
You don’t need to worry though, usually these questions have been taken out of context and aren’t relevant to your subject. For example, you won’t be asked to debate the meaning of life if you’re applying for an Economics and Maths degree.
There’s no need to stress about the questions other people have been asked, after all, it’s your interview and you’re going to have to answer your own set of questions.
The most common questions asked by interviewers are open ended ones with no right or wrong answer. Usually they’re just trying to find out more about you rather than trying to trick you into giving the wrong answer to something.
The exact questions you’ll be asked depend on your course but reported odd questions from Cambridge University interviews include:
“Should a Chimpanzee have human rights?”
“What would you do if you were a magpie?”
“What kind of biscuit would you be, and why?”
“Explain the respiratory system using this snorkel as an aid”
“Would you choose to party over an essay?”
“Who is the most influential – Obama, Merkel, or Adele?”
You won’t just be asked off the wall questions and when you think about the strange questions you’ll realise that actually they’re just challenging you to think differently.
Interviewers want to see that you can think on your feet, communicate effectively, and think independently. These questions will also show you can apply your intellect to new problems and are willing to take on a challenge.
Being able to present both sides of an academic debate and stand your ground when faced with academic opposition will also show that you’re the right candidate for their university – so be brave and answer those questions!