Three Top Tips for Tackling a University Interview

University interviews are often a make or break situation and could be the difference between an offer from a university or a rejection.

It’s easy to get nervous in these situations, but with our help, and some thorough preparation, you can ace that interview and ensure you get an offer.

Here are three top tips for tackling a university interview:

Prepare, prepare, prepare…

Fail to prepare at your own peril and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The best way to make sure you walk into that interview feeling confident is to prepare for all aspects of the process so you know what you’re going to say.

Thoroughly reread your personal statement – you WILL be asked questions about it – research the university and the course so you know exactly what’s on offer at the university you’re interviewing with, formulate answers to the big questions such as “Why do you want to study at this university/this course/this subject?”

Make sure you know what kind of interview process they’ll be using. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ll be interviewed on a one-to-one basis and arriving to find you’re having a group interview.

If this isn’t mentioned when you’re sent the interview invitation then get in touch with the university to confirm.

Plan your journey well in advance of the day, leaving yourself with enough time to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview. The last thing you want to do is go rushing into the interview with seconds to spare.

Have your own set of questions ready

An interview is as much as about you interviewing the university/staff as it is them interviewing you.

Having your own questions to ask shows that you’ve done your research and you’re using your initiative.

Questions about teaching methods, how much support you’ll receive, and career prospects are all good places to start.

Example questions include:

  • “What can I do to prepare for this course before the start of term?”
  • “How will my academic performance be evaluated? How often and by whom?
  • “Are there are international study opportunities for this course?”
  • “How will this course help me to prepare for my future career?”
  • “When will I hear if I have been successful? Who can I contact if I need further information?”

Follow up with a polite email

Regardless of how you think the interview went, follow it up with a short, polite email thanking the interviewer for their time and expressing that you look forward to hearing from them in due course.

This isn’t the time to squeeze in a few final points about why you’d be great for their university, you should have made that clear in the interview, but the email will refresh their memory of you and make you look mature, conscientious, and ready to take the next step in your academic career.