University Interviews

During the university application process, you may find yourself being invited to one or more institutions for a face-to-face interview. These interviews help universities to decide whether they wish to offer you a place on the course so it’s important to be prepared.

Why am I being asked to attend an interview?
You will be asked to attend an interview if the university would like to meet you in person. This may be to conduct admission tests, to assess how enthusiastic you are or to see how well you interact with others.

When are the interviews?
Dates may vary however interviews usually take place in the spring after you have applied for your chosen universities. Once you have been given an interview date, it’s important to start planning as soon as possible to better prepare yourself. Some universities may tell you when your interviews are on an open day, although this is somewhat unlikely.

The Different Types of Interviews

Veterinary
You will most likely to be asked questions surrounding your enthusiasm of the profession. If you’re looking to study a Veterinary degree, he interviewer may ask about any previous Veterinary experience you have gained and what you have learnt during this time. This is a great chance to show them your existing knowledge of the subject. Experience in the field is a great start to your career and will better prepare you for the hard work to follow. The interviewer may broaden the questions to the general Veterinary science world, including improvements, latest news and views and opinions, for example, animal testing.

Dentistry
Reflecting on past personal experiences at the dentist shows good intuition and observational skills to an interviewer. The interviewer will ask why you want to go into the profession, what interests you about the subject and about your past experience.

A Dentistry degree is connected to medicine, science and the NHS so research and keep yourself up to date with the latest news in these areas as they may come up during your interview.

Nursing
Nursing is a very broad area that spans child, adult and mental health. Each type of nursing requires a different learning programme to personalise your training to a specific field. The interviewer will assess how you deal with stress and ask you about your views on healthcare. They will also be interested in your people skills and how you can conduct a high level of care for all types of people, young and old.

When it comes to the interview, think about your previous experience in the field whether it is personal or volunteer work or if you did some voluntary work on a gap year. Ensuring you know the role of a nurse and all health issues will show your interviewer you are committed to the subject.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy interviews will most likely be a part of a group interview, this allows the university to see how well you work within a team. The interviewer will be interested to see how you conduct yourself with others and how well you cope with the workload of the job. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire, take some admission tests and/or to write a short assignment in these interviews.

Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy requires you to be supportive and helpful, and the interviewer will be looking for these qualities as well as a passion for the job.

Key things they will look for is how you cope with difficult patients and treatments, your fresh ideas for the role and your outlook on the job role in general. The interviewer may even ask for examples from your day-to-day life that show you possess the qualities required to be a successful physiotherapist.

Teaching/PGCE
Teaching is another university subject that may be conducted as a group interview. Teaching is a very important career path because it requires you to work with children and in most cases to a government curriculum and standards. If you’re unsure what a PGCE is, you can check out our University Terms Glossary and see more there.

Depending on whether you choose to study an education-based course at university or complete an unrelated degree before taking your PGCE, the interviewer will like to know why you chose this route into teaching. Previous experience is an advantage as you will have already worked in the field and would have already had a CRB/DBS check.

The interviewer will want to find out what age range you are interested in teaching, your ability to cope with different learning abilities and the passion you hold for teaching towards the private and national curriculum.

Radiography
When it comes to studying Radiography, the interviewer will be interested to know what appealed to you about the profession and what you think the job role entails. This gives you the chance to show how enthusiastic and passionate you are about the job and to discuss your previous knowledge of the subject. The interviewer may ask about different techniques and areas of Radiography, such as therapeutic or diagnostic to find out where your passion lies.

Social Work
A Social Work degree is incredibly popular! Studying social work or health and social care is a people-related degree and may be conducted as a group interview. The university will be interested to see how up to date you are with relevant issues and how you feel about current affairs regarding social issues. The role of a social worker is a serious one with great repercussions so they will want to guarantee they have students who are passionate. They may ask you to recall any previous experience you have to show you can deal with difficult situations and high levels of stress.

Art and Design
Interviews for Art and Design courses give the institution the opportunity to look through your previous work. To ensure you have a wide variety of work to show, you should begin to put together a portfolio once you start studying for your A-Levels.

The main qualities that universities are looking for is passion and enthusiasm. Talent is not the most important part of creating art, but the personal journey each student takes throughout their course.

Interview Tips

Prepare
Check where and when your interview is. If you are applying for a university far away, makes sure you have a planned route and then check travel updates so you won’t hit delays on the way. Prepare yourself for the types of questions they may ask and familiarise yourself with the information they have provided you.

Have a good night’s rest beforehand and make sure you have a substantial breakfast so you can perform well in tests, interviews and any interactions you may face.

The interview
Remember to dress to impress and those first impressions can mean the world. If you dress smart and present yourself well then this will get you off to a good start.

Try not to be late, but if you are travelling make sure you have all contacts with you so you are able to call ahead and explain the situation.

They may ask surprise questions or something unfamiliar, usually, this is to see how you work under pressure, or to see what type of personality you have, remember just to do your best!

Lastly, remember to ask the interviewers questions too. When you ask questions it shows that you are passionate and have been thinking responsibly about the course.

Afterwards
Give the universities enough time to process the interviews, remember some universities, such as the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge or other Russell Group universities, can interview up to 80% of their applicants so it may be a while before they reply. The best thing to do is to use this time to focus on your studies to guarantee your place at your chosen institution. Reflect on how the interview was and what you believe you could improve on so you are better prepared for any interviews you may be invited to.

Most popular interview questions

Why do you want to study at this university?

Why do you want to study this subject area?

What are your career aspirations?

What are your academic aspirations?

What do you think you could bring to the course?

What are your opinions on the current news in this area?

How do you deal with stress?

What previous experience can you relate to?

What have you done to prepare yourself?

Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?

Do you have any questions for us?