Preparing for interviews at a University

Wednesday 11 November 2020, Applicant

by Tabitha Hempshall

Preparing for interviews at a University

Tabitha Hempshall

The prospect of having to do an interview is nerve-wracking. For many it involves singing your own praises, answering unknown questions on the spot and having your personal statement pulled apart, all of which push people out of their comfort zone. Here is a list of a few key ideas, which I have found helpful in preparing for interview and that have made me feel more confident!

Research questions based on topic

Just Google “interview questions for [insert course]” and you will find questions that cover key topic areas. I found the best way to use these questions was to sit down with my mum and get her to ask me them. It may sound strange but getting to grips with the questions whilst talking to someone familiar and that you trust is a great way to get your initial ideas together. I then worked on the questions where my answers did not come as naturally or were a little underdeveloped.


I definitely recommend searching your course and the university who you have an interview with in YouTube as they quite often have recorded mock interviews. This is great as it allows you to gain some insight into everything from the type of questions the university likes to ask, the people who might be interviewing you, to the setup– all of which can make you quite nervous if they are completely unknown.

Personal Statement/Submitted Work

Make sure you have re-read or re-watched any of the titles you mentioned in your personal statement or essays you submitted as part of the application. One of the most helpful things I also did was annotating my personal statement. I printed it on A3 paper so I had a lot of space around the outside and I just brainstormed all the key comments I would make. Areas where you cannot write as much you can then work on!

Mock Interviews

They will never fully replicate the real thing especially if they are not subject specific but they are a great way to test your ability in a similar environment and build your confidence. Often the interviewer in your school or college will not be specific to the course but this can be beneficial as you are forced to explain in more depth and this allows you to show off your understanding!


Sites like UCAS or The Student Room offer first hand experiences from students who have gone through the interview process and you can learn from both their successes and failures.

Most importantly remember to stay calm and good luck!

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