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If you are called for an interview, first find out if it is part of the selection procedure, rather than a visiting or open day.

Prepare for the interview by predicting questions like ‘Why are you applying here?’ ‘Why have you chosen this particular course?’. On highly selective courses, you may get questions which are intended to be hard to anticipate and test your ability to think laterally (‘Is this question logical?’). Ask your teacher/tutor to give you a mock interview. Look at one of the guides to interview technique.

Here are some thoughts to start you off.

  • Show you have the personal qualities for a degree such as enjoying learning, reading, writing essays, doing lab work, wanting to argue and talk about new ideas, and being eager to find out things for yourself.
  • Don’t forget an interview is a structured conversation, so avoid answering in monosyllables.
  • Be positive – avoid answering ‘No’, when you could answer ‘Not precisely but I have ...’
  • If you have more than one interviewer, reply to the one who asks the questions and then bring the others in.
  • Don’t mumble, don’t chew gum, don’t pick your nose, turn off your phone.
  • Relax yourself as much as possible and wear what you feel comfortable in (yes, wearing red really is fine).
  • Try to repress all distracting mannerisms.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer at the end.
  • Above all don’t be cowed: you’re interviewing them too.

If you have a disability, make sure you let the college know of any special requirements (eg communicators or parking facilities) before you attend.

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