What should I expect?
Normally, the session will begin with a welcome talk from the interviewers – they’ll tell you about the college and fill you in on how the interview session is going to work.
For AS Level and A Level applicants you will be asked to take part in a group interview. This is likely to involve discussing a question topic with other applicants. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have during the session.
If you are applying for GCSE Pathway you will undertake an individual interview, this is your chance to show your interest in the subject and your suitability for the course. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
What kind of questions might I be asked?
You can’t predict exactly what you’re going to be asked but you can be confident that the interviewers will cover a few obvious themes.
They’re also likely to base some of their questions on information you included in the personal statement on your application form.
For example; Why have you applied? What makes you well-suited? Are you prepared?
What will interviewers want to know?
The interviewers will want to establish that you are prepared to start college. They’ll want to know that you’ve thought about the practicalities:
- Do you intend to commute to college or will you be moving out of home?
- Why have you decided to apply to college rather than spending another year at school?
- Do you hope to go on to study a higher level of qualification after this?
- How much do you know about what the course involves?
- What are group interviews like?
Group interviews will be appropriate for some subjects but not for others. If you do have one, they provide an opportunity for interviewers to see how well you respond in a group situation similar to that you will experience at college.
Chances are you’ll be asked to discuss with other potential students a topic or question related to the course subject. Try and contribute to the discussion as much as you can, for example;
- Listen to what others have to say and respond to their comments
- Pose questions to the group
- Give examples if you can to back up your arguments
- Even when you’re not talking, show that you are interested and engaged.
How can I prepare?
Good preparation will make all the difference:
1. Make sure you’ve read all about the course and the college as interviewers will want you to show that you understand what it involves.
2. Please prepare a personal statement to support your application to study at college. It’s a chance for you to articulate why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for your chosen field. (maximum of 200 words).
3. Think about the types of question you could be asked and how you would answer them? Practice!
4. Write down and revise 3 or 4 bullet points for each of the following:
- Your reasons for choosing (a) the course (b) the college
- Your most relevant skills and qualities
- Examples of when you have demonstrated these skills
- Your most relevant experience and achievements
How should I behave on the day?
Be on time and plan your journey in advance.
Dress appropriately. You need to be clean and smart but you don’t need to be too formal.
Bring a pen and anything else you've been asked to take e.g. a copy of your qualifications/ school report.
Look interested, engaged, and enthusiastic. Make eye contact with the interviewer. And smile!
Try and relax, sit comfortably, and take your time with your answers.
Remember, nobody’s trying to catch you out at an interview. The staff will expect you to be a bit nervous so they’ll want to put you at ease. You might be surprised by how informal it feels. Prepare well and you’ll be totally fine.