University interviews: How to prep

The applications are gone, your personal statement is done and you’ve been invited for an interview. Don’t freak out.

It’s only natural to panic as soon as that interview offer email comes through, but panicking once you’re there won’t get you anywhere.

The best way to avoid breaking down in tears in front of university officials is to be prepared. We wouldn’t judge you if a few tears were shed anyway.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is arguably the most important thing when prepping for an interview. That applies whether its for university, college or a job interview.

First things first: make sure you read any guidance at least twice. It can be easy to miss details of what will happen on the day or what you have to take with you.

Some courses will ask you to bring a portfolio which has specific requirements.

Make a note of your interview time, if you have to arrive early and where it will take place. Mapping this out in advance can save valuable time on the day if you are running late.

Test yourself

Nearly every university interview involves some face to face time with staff from the university. This will likely be your future lecturers so it is the perfect chance to impress them.

They will probably ask you some standard questions, get ready to tell someone why you want to go there for the tenth time, but some out of the box ones, too.

The best way to prepare for the face to face portion of an interview is with someone you know. Ask a parent, teacher or friend to test you in an interview setting.

This can be great for learning how to remain calm if you get an unexpected question.

Some courses will require further testing like a maths or English test. If this is the case they will let you know if advance so that you can prepare at home.

If you don’t do as well as you hoped on the day it isn’t the end of the world. They won’t rule you out solely based on your algebra score that day.

Dress to impress

Pick out a killer outfit in advance so that you can get up and go on the day.

They say you should dress for the job you want, but don’t overdo it. Smart casual is always a safe bet unless it is a course where you will be suiting up everyday. A smart dress or trousers and shirt combination is normally a safe bet.

Keep a touch of your own personal style, at the end of the day they want to know more about you and who you are.

Ask away

They’ll have questions for you, but make sure you have plenty of questions for them too. Towards the end of your interview they will probably ask you if you have any questions – this is your chance to show initiative.

Don’t go over the top and ask them how they feel about the latest update in your field, simple questions will be easier to remember.

Make a list of questions you have about the course content, the campus and the university experience before you go. This will show them how much you want to attend that university and that you are ready to learn.

Before you know it your interview will arrive. You’ll ace it – promise.

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