Hey guys 🙂
In my last blog I talked about completing your personal statement for your UCAS application… Today I’m going to talk about what happens next…
So… You have an interview for your course… First of all don’t panic, Universities aren’t trying to catch you out, they just want to make sure that you are an ideal candidate for the course and that you will be able to cope with the demands of your chosen course before making you an offer. Secondly… Prepare, prepare, prepare! If you are prepared for your interview, you will find it will be so much easier…
There is lots you can do to make sure that you are fully prepared for the big day – from arranging mock interviews to arming yourself with information about the University and your chosen course.
- Make sure you know where you need to be and when you need to be there. Visit the University website for a map and directions. Don’t always rely on Sat-Nav to get you there – make sure you have a map as a back-up. If you need any more information about where on campus you need to be, contact the University
- Remember that knowledge is power – Make sure you have read the prospectus and that you have looked at the University’s website. Make sure you know about the course you are applying for – it will make you seem keener during your interview. If there are things you would like to know that are not in the prospectus, make a list of questions you would like to ask.
- Make sure that you are familiar with what you wrote in you application form – the interviewers will base their questions on the content of your application and will probably ask you about some of the things you have mentioned.
- Be familiar with ‘hot topics’ in your subject area – you may be questioned about them. Interviewers commonly ask for your views on these areas. For teaching, a good place to keep up to date with hot topics is in the Times Educational Supplement, currently you can subscribe to the TES for just £1 for 6 issues at http://www.tes.co.uk/publications.aspx?navcode=91
- Remember that practice makes perfect. A mock interview is the best way to make sure you know exactly what you want to say and how you might answer certain questions. Ask a teacher or a careers adviser to run through a mock interview with you.
- Try and relax – the night before try and get a good nights sleep, you won’t be at your best without one.
At the Interview
Interviews are always nerve-wracking, but try to remain calm and be yourself. Be enthusiastic and be sure to ‘sell’ yourself and what you have to offer
Interviewers are looking for students who show an interest, who can think independently and consider new ideas.
They are looking for students who will thrive well on their course and enjoy a varied academic life alongside their outside interests.
- Dress appropriately – make sure you turn up looking smart, remember first impressions really do count!
- Make sure you arrive on time, allow plenty of time to get there and make sure you have a contact number, just in case the worst happens and you get delayed on the way.
- Be aware of your body language, make sure you are giving off the right signals, don’t slouch or yawn, sit up straight and look alert and enthusiastic
- If you don’t understand a question ask for it to be repeated or rephrased… Also allow yourself some thinking time before diving in to answer a question… A good way to do this is by saying something along the lines of “That’s a good question…” then answer.
- Expect the unexpected – while interviewers aren’t trying to trick you, some will want to see how you react under pressure. A surprise test or exercise isn’t unheard of so stay calm and think clearly.
- Ask questions – Usually at the end of your interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. You will come across as enthusiastic if you ask appropriate questions. Use this opportunity to find out the answers to any questions that weren’t answered in the prospectus or on the website. If you are a have no questions to ask, you could say something like “You have already answered any questions that I had, thank you.”
Now it’s time to sit back and wait, you will either hear back from the University directly or you may hear back through the UCAS track system.
Nobody likes interviews, but with a bit of preparation, ‘selling yourself’ and showing knowledge and enthusiasm in your answers will become second nature, landing you a place on the higher education course that’s right for you.
Good luck with your applications and interviews!
Thanks for reading, don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter at @Jen_EHU