A number of universities invite students to interview as part of the application process for certain degree schemes. The key to interview success is to prepare, and you can support your students with this by trying the following techniques.
Preparing for the Interview
- Encourage your students to research the University and course they have applied for. Being able to talk about specific modules within the interview will show the interviewer that they have an established interest in the course.
- If your student is invited for an interview, ensure that they carefully read any information sent in advance and review information on the University website.
- Before the interview, the student should re-read their Personal Statement and be ready to answer any questions about the content within it. The interviewer is very likely to ask questions based around the Personal Statement, so this is very important.
- The student may be asked to give examples of specific skills whilst in the interview, so students should consider the key skills relating to their course in preparation for the interview. Although it is a good idea to have some examples ready, we don't suggest that they should prepare full answers as it may too scripted in the interview.
- It is great practice to conduct mock interviews with your students and provide detailed feedback on their answers. This will allow the student to gain more confidence in answering questions and will hopefully relieve some of the pressure of the interview.
- Ensure your student has their travel arrangements prepared in advance and they are confident in where they are going. It is a good idea to make a note of the University contact details in case they are lost or delayed. We would also reccommend to arrive at least ten minutes before the start time to give them time to relax and reflect before the interview.
- Although interviewers will primarily be assessing the content of the interview, it is important to make a good first impression, so students should wear appropriate and smart clothing.
During the Interview
- During the interview, students should be mindful of their body language and ensure they make eye contact with the interviewer.
- Listen carefully to the question and tell students not to worry if they need to take some time to think about their answer or ask the interviewer to repeat the question - a fully developed and thought through answer is better than just diving straight in, even if it does take a minute to think about.
- The interview is a two way process, so students should be encouraged to ask as many questions as they like to the interviewer. It is a good idea to have a couple of questions to ask the interviewer to show them that they have a genuine interest in the University and the course.
After the Interview
- If your students have more University interviews to prepare for, it is a good idea to get them to make a note of the questions they were asked and to briefly reflect on how they did, or if they have anything they wish they would have done to write it down for future reference.
- After that, encourage your students to not dwell too much on the interview - there is nothing more that they can do and over thinking the interview can increase stress levels.
At Lancaster, we interview students for our Medicine and Surgery Degree, Social Work and Physics. We want to ensure that students have the support they need to succeed in University interviews and therefore have developed interactive workshops which allow students to test the skills needed to perform well. If you would be interested in us delivering an interview workshop with your students, please do get in touch.