9 Questions You’re Likely to Hear at a University Interview

This is a guest post by Eleni Cashell from WhatUni.com.

Congratulations, you’ve submitted an amazing application and you’re through to the university interview stage. But now it’s time to prep…

Here are 9 questions you’re likely to hear at a university interview, why they ask them and how to answer them…

9 Questions You’re Likely to Hear at a University Interview

1. Tell Me About Yourself

This is normally the first question you’ll get asked, so it’s worth preparing in advance for this one!

Tell them about the school you go to, the A Levels you’re studying (and why you picked them) and generally anything else that’s school related. Keep it academic though, they don’t want to know about your Netflix marathons or that you have a dog called Keith. 

2. Why Do You Want to Study Here?

You could have applied for any one of the many hundred universities, so why have you picked them specifically? It’s time to suck up to the admissions board and tell them how great their university is.

Got a #university interview? It’s time to suck up to the admissions board. Click To Tweet

Think back to when you were researching universities, what made the university stand out to you? Was it the modules? Their reputation? Good things you’ve heard about them from current students you know? Whatever the reason, tell them. Unless it’s purely because there were attractive students in the prospectus or because it’s got a great nightlife, if that’s the case, maybe think of something else to say.

It’s always worth doing some research about the university too. If they’ve won any awards or are particularly renowned for good teaching, research or general excellence in the subject you want to study, let them know that you’re aware of it. 

3. Why Do You Want To Study This Subject?

If they’ve asked about why you want to study at their university, they’re likely going to ask why you’ve picked that particular subject too.

This is where you need to show your passion for the subject and the history of you studying it. Have you enjoyed it since primary school? Did you develop a fondness for it because of a good teacher? Or do you just devour anything on that subject?

Whatever the reason, explain it passionately and enthusiastically. Use a tone that could put them to sleep on the spot and they might think you just picked their university out at random. 

4. Who Inspires You In This Subject?

They want to know that you know your stuff both in and outside the classroom, so asking who inspires you will test your knowledge and show that you aren’t just turning up, making notes and doing homework, and that you’re actually engaging with the topic.

Can’t think of anyone? Think of authors, spokespeople, organisations or it could even be a teacher from your school! 

Who inspires you? Authors, spokespeople, organisations, a teacher from your school? Click To Tweet

5. How Are Your A Levels Going?

They want to know if you could cope with the workload and if you’ll take your education there seriously rather than spending all your time in the SU bar.

Tell them about any revision techniques, how you’re organising your homework and how you manage deadlines. Show them you’re serious about your education, that you can keep up with a heavy workload and can also manage your time effectively.

If you don’t do any of those things, then start doing them before the interview. It’ll help you in the long run, especially when it comes to exam time. 

6. What Are Your Weaknesses?

This is a toughie. Sell too many weaknesses and they’ll think you don’t have any confidence (or that you’re just plain terrible), tell them you have none and you’ll look incredibly arrogant. So what’s the balance?

The best thing to do is tell them a weakness where you can show you’re doing something to combat it. Choose a weakness that doesn’t make you sound lazy and that wouldn’t affect your education in the long run.

Just a warning, they might ask about your strengths too, so have something ready for that as well. 

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? These are questions you'll be asked at a university interview. Click To Tweet

7. What Have You Done Outside School?

Basically this means have you done any work experience or general subject related activities. It’s always good to do either or both of these things either pre or post submitting your application as it shows you aren’t just learning in school, you learn in your spare time too.

If you don’t have any work experience or relevant hobbies, tell them about your general hobbies or achievements, what skills you’ve learnt from it and how it’s relevant to their university and the subject you wish to study. 

8. What Would You Do As a Graduate?

They want to know that you’ll actually do something with the degree you earn and that you aren’t just using this as a gap year until you figure out what you want to do.

Think of your dream career and how you could achieve this by having a degree in this subject. Show them you’ll be an alumni of their university that they’d be proud of. 

9. Why Should We Offer You A Place?

It’s time for the final big sell. The final impression you’ll make, your last chance at convincing them that you deserve a place at their university. Think of it like you’re an Apprentice candidate and you’re in the boardroom. It’s time to fight for your right to study there…using just words obviously.

Think of it like you’re an Apprentice candidate and you’re in the boardroom; it's time for the big sell Click To Tweet

Conclude everything you’ve told them so far. From why you want to study there and why you love the subject to why you’ll be a model student.


Questions to Ask Them…

Once they’ve asked you questions, they may ask if you have any for them. While it might be tempting to say no and head straight for the door, it’s always worth asking something. Here are some suggestions…

  • What themes/modules would I be studying?
  • How is it taught?
  • What sort of feedback do you get from students?
  • What is the university most proud of?
  • What student support do you offer?

Eleni CashellEleni is the editor for Whatuni.com. She writes advice, general guides and silly features for sixth formers to help them find their dream university. For more information and advice on universities, head to whatuni.com.

Do you have any questions about university interviews? Leave them in the comments below.

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