University Interview Tips
So you’ve tackled the UCAS application, got through the first round and have the university interested. The only issue is they now want you to turn up and let them know exactly why you’re the perfect candidate for their course. Gulp! Don’t worry, as with everything, a little bit of preparation prior to the university interview can make all the difference.
Preparing for a university law interview…
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Well, university interviews are no exception to this rule. Ladies and gents, it’s time to get your heads down.
The interview format can vary widely depending the course and university. Some universities just bring people in for an informal chat; for others you’ll undergo a more formal, challenging interview process. Therefore, it’s worth trying to find out as much as possible about the university interview at your chosen institution.
Types of university law interviews
You will need to know how much emphasis is put on the interview, how many people will be quizzing you, the format of the interview and what kind of questions they are likely to ask. For example, it’s pretty likely that they’ll ask you about what you put down in your UCAS application and yes that includes all those books you claimed to have read in your personal statement. With this in mind, make sure you read over your application several times before the interview and that you are prepared to talk about your personal statement in further detail.
Depending on how important your interview will be, you might also want to do some further reading around your subject. This might involve regularly reading relevant news publications or getting a couple of books out of library. AllAboutCareers.com has got a very useful article on university interview questions which is well worth a read.
You should also find a willing practice interviewer! Ask someone in your family or a teacher at school to give you a mock university interview. Inevitably they will ask you things that you haven’t prepared for, so it can be a good way of getting used to unexpected questions during the interview.
At the university interview…
We won’t bore you with the importance of being polite and presentable during the university interview, as you’re undoubtedly already aware of this. Factors such as eye contact and body language can play quite a big part in impressing at a university interviews. Admissions tutors are looking for people who are confident and comfortable with themselves, so keep your body language open, don’t avoid eye contact, and no slouching please!
It is important to take your time when answering questions. Don’t rush into offering an opinion if you’re unsure of what they’re trying to ask. By being measured in your responses, you will be able to put your views across more effectively and remain calm throughout. Remember, there is no shame in not understanding the question. Simply ask them to re-phrase it or elaborate.
Be enthusiastic! This is not to say that you should be jumping up and down on their desk screaming “I LOVE LAW!”. Strangely, this would not be appropriate during a typical university interview. However, it does mean that you need to show a little passion for the subject you intend to study for the next three years of your life. This will go a long way to convince the interviewer that you really are interested in the course.
The university admissions tutor will usually invite you to ask questions following the interview. This can be a good time to demonstrate how much you know about the course and the institution itself. So prepare a list of questions you might want to ask and try to avoid anything that can easily be answered by looking at the university’s website or prospectus.
What happens after your law university interview?
The university interview can be tough, very tough. Don’t fret if you found it particularly difficult, many universities use it as an opportunity to challenge and stretch candidates.
The most important thing at this point is to not over-analyse the interview. It’s over, you did your best and there is nothing else you can do. Once it has ended, you can use the rest of the day to have a look around the university and get a feel for the campus. Sometimes your experience at interview will really help shape your decisions when it comes to accepting university offers. In fact, the university interview is a good chance for you to interview them and see whether you think the university is the right place for you too.