University Admission InterviewsSee All Uni Advice Articles
Applying to university is a difficult and stressful process with or without admission interviews and tests. However, never let the possibility of you having to take a test or sit an interview defer you from applying to a university that you want to attend or a course you wish to take.
Lots of universities ask potential students to take admission test or attend an interview because they receive so many applicants – thousands more than they used to – and they help to filter through the application pile.
Popular degrees that have admission interviews are childcare, primary teaching, nursing, medical degrees or if you have been out of education for a while. Some of these subjects also feature admission tests to ensure you are up to the right standard that is needed for you to be at the beginning of the course.
Admission interviews are the opportunity for the institution to meet potential candidates face to face and get to know you; you are more than the details on a sheet of paper! They are a godsend for you because it is your chance to show off your best assets and discuss in depth areas of your application that are particularly strong or lacking.
The majority of the time universities do not take their interviews too seriously because they understand that you’ll be nervous, but they use it as extra support for your application. Department head or the admissions staff want to be able to put a face to a name and talk to you about why you want to study there and why you picked the course to study.
When applying to university, if you are asked to attend a university interview, it would be to support your application, and even though the university’s decision isn’t solely dependent on how well you do during this interview, it should be taken seriously. The university will invite you to attend an interview and give you information on what to expect from the day and any preparations you might need to complete before the day arrives.
Always arrive early, dress smart, read up on your university and course and discuss what interests you about the material in the degree you’re applying for. Also, set time aside to work on questions or activities set by the university beforehand and remember that it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious! Admission interviews, they’re easy!
Do I Need to Go on an Open Day Before an Admissions Interview?
An open day visit is not essential, but it is necessary. Let us explain. Basically, you are under no obligation to go to an open day if you don’t want to, but what harm can come of it? Going to an open day will arm you with knowledge about the university itself, will give you an idea of where everything else and most importantly of all, it will also allow you to understand more about the university and help you to make your mind up about it for the future.
What Do I Need for an Admissions Interview?
Nothing but your smile! No, but seriously, you do need to bring yourself and plenty of knowledge about the course and the university itself. There isn’t anything physical that you need to bring, like your personal statement or anything like that. You will need to be able to answer admission interview questions. For instance, if you’re doing Midwifery, your university does not want to hear how much you love babies or how you’ve always wanted to be a midwife, they want to know why it means so much to you, what you believe the best things about midwifery are and what the responsibilities include, the more knowledge you display, the better.
Who Will My Admissions Interview Be With?
It depends on the university. Many universities like the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford have people that run their admissions for them, however, other universities will most likely have you speak to alumni, or to lecturers or to people that run the course. The reason for this is to make sure that you are actually suitable for the course and who better to ask than the people that will actually be running the course!?
Why Do Universities Hold Admissions Interviews?
There can be any number of reasons why universities hold admissions interviews for their prospective students. Many reasons tend to stem from overcrowding or the overall popularity of a particular course. Some universities are unable to meet the demand, so they have an interview process in order to, ahem, separate the wheat from the chaff. However, some universities, such as universities that are in the Russell Group of Universities, will have a huge interest in preserving their graduation rates.
Universities care about their graduation rates and they care about the amount of money that is going to their university. The more money that goes in, the more money they can spend on facilities, but funding is only provided if the university can prove that they have a successful turnaround of students.
Unfortunately, a lot of universities will see you as a graduation figure and not necessarily a student. This shouldn’t dishearten you, however, the more that you work and the harder your own, the better it is for everyone. Those who graduate with a high honour can often reap benefits in both the job market and also with being asked to return to the university to speak to prospective students.
Admissions interviews aren’t always fun, but they are a necessity at many universities, so for that reason, we recommend that you do as much as you can to prepare yourself for it. Dress smart, get a good nights sleep and try and eat a healthy breakfast before you go. Eating healthy at university is important, and it will be before you go too! So make sure that you’re prepared and that you don’t worry too much, remember to let your personality shine through too, as much as universities want to see that you will be a valuable member of the university’s society, they want to be charmed by you and your personality, good luck!
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