There are so many deceiving misconceptions with regards to interviews. The general assumption and expectation is that you’ll arrive, check the clock every few seconds – counting down the moments until it’s your turn, breathe in, breathe out and then most likely have a panic attack, go home feeling doubtful and then possibly cry a little over your likely failure at such a large opportunity.
Wait… what? That’s not how it goes?
Of course not!
Firstly, understand that if the university wasn’t interested in you in the first place, you wouldn’t have even been called to interview! duh. You’re already a star in the sky, this is your opportunity to prove just how worthy you are, and just how great of a decision they’re going to make when they decide to take you on (which they obviously will because you’re clearly amazing). Numbers drop substantially when you consider all of those that firstly apply, get accepted for interviews, and then actually get a place. So if you’ve received invitation to an interview, stop reading for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back.
Next, seize this opportunity. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately and are organised. When considering the ‘grading criteria’ during an interview, both of these play a vital part and are nearly just as important as what you’re about to ramble on about to your interviewer.
The person interviewing you isn’t going to be half as critical as you think. They’re here to support and make sure they see the best within you. They understand and know you’re going to be nervous! It’s likely that more than half the applicants attending an interview day probably haven’t even endured an interview before in their lives – they know this! They’ll never base their assumption of you on your nerves. It’s normal, often uncontrollable and hey, quite frankly a natural occurrence considering the situation you’ve been put in. I promise they wont base their assumption of you on this.
It’s likely, like I did – you’ll receive an interview day guidance booklet (super helpful, make sure you give it a good read!). It will inform you of such things like the day’s general outlines, what to bring with you, when you’ll get your answer, what to do on arrival, how the interview will run and just generally really useful information.
For me, the BA(Hons) Primary Education course with QTS consisted of knowledge tests (Maths, English & Science), and me having to bring in a child’s book, discussing it generally e.g positives/negatives, why I chose it, how I could incorporate it into my lessons and the children’s learning. Then followed by a few scenario based questions which they weren’t expecting perfect answers for. Like any human, I struggled with a lot of these! My interviewer was super helpful, he either knew where I was coming from and would use further questioning techniques to help me speak my ideas out a little better. Sometimes he’d even answer with me! Sharing his ideas to promote mine. This helped trigger in-depth discussions which I felt really helped him see where I was coming from of which perhaps the questions alone wouldn’t have allowed me to speak about. My interviewer felt like more of a newly found friend than someone testing me. And with there being multiple other applicants having their interviews spread around the room, there was no deadly silence, just a pleasant smile to greet me which never seemed to leave his face.
Long story short, if you’ve got an interview coming up, I’m almost certain you’ll do great! I wish you all the best of luck.