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Preparing for a university interview: what to expect

Some of the courses you apply to may require an interview, audition, or assessment event as part of the application process.

This is something that can be researched and considered prior to selecting university choices through UCAS.

Interviews are not everyone’s strength but, with a bit of preparation, you can leave feeling positive about your performance. Universities will be looking for enthusiastic students who can work independently and who will thrive through their academic life alongside outside interests.

How university interviews work

These interviews and auditions are designed to find out more about your potential, ability, and personality, and will be considered along with your application information and personal statement.

Universities may request that you provide examples of your work at interviews (such as a portfolio or an essay).

You will be sent invitations for interviews or auditions directly or through UCAS Track, where you can accept or decline the invitation, or ask for alternative dates/times. It can be difficult for universities to change the times and dates of interviews and auditions due to the volume of applications being processed. If you are unable to go on the suggested date/time, you should contact the university as soon as possible.

Telephone or Zoom/Skype interviews can often be arranged and some universities may have representatives conducting regional or country-specific visits. There can sometimes be a degree of flexibility and it's always worth checking.

Once interviews or auditions have taken place, the university will inform UCAS when they’ve made a decision and will let you know the outcome via UCAS Track.

University interview advice

Plan

  • Make sure you've confirmed with the university that you'll be attending the interview.
  • Check where your interview is and look on the university’s website for maps and directions to make sure you know exactly where to go.
  • Plan your travel and any accommodation ahead of time.

Prepare

  • Be ready for questions about your application.
  • Emphasise why you chose the course and what you enjoy most about your current studies too.
  • Writing out answers to potential questions can be very helpful.
  • Keep updated with the latest information about developments in the subject area because the university might ask you for your views.
  • You may have a chance to ask about the course and the university. Have a question prepared.

Practice

  • Practice makes perfect; if you can arrange mock interviews with a teacher, adviser, or someone at home.