Oxford University Interview Questions

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Generally the more prestigious the university the more likely you are to need to interview before being accepted. This means that if you’re applying to Oxford University you’re going to need to attend an interview.

The questions asked by top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge are notoriously hard and sometimes seem completely random but if you want to earn yourself a place then you’re going to need to answer them.

Here are some of the top interview questions, from a range of subjects, prospective Oxford University students might be asked:

History: “Which person (or which sort of person) in the past would you like to interview, and why?

There’s no right or wrong to this question, you could choose any historical figure, what the interviewer really wants to find out is why you want to meet that person.

For example, if you wanted to know more about a famous war General’s leadership style it might be better to ask someone who knew or worked with them, rather than asking the famous person themself.

Modern Languages: “In a world where English is a global language, why learn French?”

The interviewer wants to know why you want to study French, or any foreign language, and talking about the culture, history, or literature of the country will show you have a good knowledge of your subject.

You could also turn the question around and ask if English really is a global language. Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are also widely spoken and could be classed as an alternative to English as a global language.

Experimental Psychology: “Should interviews be used for selection?”

You’ve probably asked yourself this question whilst waiting to be called in! The interviewer could be trying to prompt a discussion about human judgement and how it is open to error.

They could also want to know your thoughts on the validity of the sources of information used in the Oxford selection process. This could lead on to a discussion about how you would conduct a research study to find out how well different information sources did.