Zoe blogs about preparing for interviewsTuesday, October 29, 2013 12:00 AM
Zoe, one of our student bloggers, shares some helpful tips on how to prepare for interviews.
So now that everyone has begun to send their UCAS forms in, I've been lucky enough to be asked for an interview! My first reaction was to gawk at my response for a while before it finally sunk in.
Now recovered, I've been preparing as best I can for my interview and I thought I'd share what I've discovered. Mainly I've found that as the day draws nearer my mind can't seem to keep off the subject; I've been constantly going through possible questions and desperately trying to think of answers.
It's best to be prepared, but not to the point that nothing you say seems a natural response, otherwise you'll struggle. It's fine to plan answers, its fine to have a practice with someone you know, but you have to let it all come naturally. I thought about writing some answers down, but quickly decided not to, for this exact reason. Who wants to have a mind block in the middle of an interview because they're desperately trying to remember what they wrote? Not me!
Practicing with someone, on the other hand is so useful, because it helps you realise that you may repeat yourself a few times, and that's ok! You have to remember this isn't an essay; so to use similar examples is fine, you're showing transferable skills after all.
A few extra hints I would give you is to have a copy of your personal statement with you on the day and read it the night before as well; you don't want to be caught out because you've forgotten what you've written! They WILL refer to your statement, because that's all they know about you so far.
I'd also say its worth having a look at the university's prospectus or website the night before also, as they may ask you why you'd like to go to THEIR university in particular. If you've got your reasons and can back them up with knowledge of what the university provides for students, then you'll come across more determined and focused.
For those of you that are nervous, don't dwell on the idea, otherwise you'll overthink. Take some water in with you, get a good night's rest and remember that this is also an opportunity for you to get a feel of the university and see if that's where you want to go, because you may have never been there before.
That brings me to my final tip: ask questions. I don't mean really obvious ones that you could find out answers for easily, but ones that are specific to your course. This way, you are showing your determination and curiosity in your course while presenting yourself as an interested and active student, exactly what a university is looking for!
I hope this has been useful and I will let you know how I get on!
Until next time,