Without a doubt, the most important part of the applications process for Oxbridge is the interview. This is the main forum in which the applicant has an opportunity to show why they should be offered a place as opposed to the other applicants vying for the same spot.
Over time, Oxbridge interviews have acquired an almost mythical status based upon a number of apparently bizarre and obscure questions which have been posed. Even though these have proved to be the exception rather than the rule, a number of applicants have undoubtedly found this off-putting. Sadly, in some cases, this image may dissuade some very able candidates from applying to Oxbridge.
At Scholasta, we aim to ensure that students feel as well prepared as possible before they go up for their interviews. This means preparing them in a variety of ways including running clinics to ensure that they are communicating effectively with positive body language, and delivering both one-to-one subject specific and general interviews, in addition to panel interviews. It also means that we cover a range of questions, from those a student could reasonably expect, to really obscure questions where the subject link appears tenuous.
It is important to understand that interviewers at Oxbridge are not hostile. After all, they are seeking to admit the best candidates from the available cohort. They recognise that this is a stressful time for all students and will normally adjust the actual interview sufficiently to allow the student to display their potential.
Remember, however, that, while the environment in which the interview is held is likely to be relatively informal and welcoming, the interview itself will be academically robust and searching. Students who have not prepared sufficiently for this often struggle to adjust. Mock interviews, closely mimicking the real thing, provide excellent preparation.
You may well find that your school or college runs mock interview days for this very purpose. If so, we would strongly recommend that you attend these events If your school has the resources, you may also be able to ask different teachers if they would be prepared to give you mock interview practice. The greater the diversity the better as it will enable you to recognise and adapt to the style of a particular interviewer.
Building confidence in your ability to perform strongly in an interview and being prepared for the type of environment which you will meet is a prerequisite for maximising your chances of success on the actual interview day(s).
If you would be interested in attending one of our interview preparation course days, or you would like to know more about the one-to-one preparation that we offer, please get in touch, and we will be happy to answer your questions.