University interviews can seem daunting. Scary even. If you receive an interview don’t look at it with horror. Instead, think of it as your foot in the door, you’ve done it, you’ve impressed someone enough to get your statement to the desk! Naturally, it’s going to be daunting but here are some top tips on how to prepare for university interviews, feel confident and ace everything.
University interview preparation tip #1
Study the university course guide, look back over what you’ve done at A-level or other relevant qualifications and revise like you would an exam. Make sure you are an expert and while studying write down areas you’re not so confident in.
Knowing your weaknesses can be your strength. It’s likely you’ll be asked what your weaknesses are and this can work just as well in your favour. It might feel odd listing the odds against you, but simply adding “an area I’d like to work on” or “I’m not as sharp as I know I’m capable of at…” demonstrates a commitment you’re going to make in the area and separates you from the know it all waiting outside for their interview.
Speaking of waiting outside – think time! Can you rely on traffic working well enough to get you there? Is it worth booking a hotel? Set your watch half an hour early. You might be bored but it gives you 20 minutes to linger elsewhere and still arrive 10 minutes early. It will show you’re committed and won’t take up too much of their time either. If you are going to be late, add an extra 5-10 minutes to your planned arrival time, nothing looks worse than” I’ll be there in 5 minutes” and a minute later “sorry make that 10 minutes”…
Ace the interview and feel confident by… Looking great!
As any spy knows it’s less what the disguise is and more the confidence you have in it. If you feel great you look great. Choose nice outfits and err on the side of formal rather than informal.
Smile – you’re on your way! Expect to be accepted and smile on the outside even if you aren’t on the inside. See the interview as a part of the process and not a dependent factor.
Prepare questions to ask at your university interview
Turn the interview on them but test the waters first. Don’t reel off a bunch of questions right away, see if they react with a smile to your first one or two and gauge their body language as an invitation to ask more. Practice with parents, friends or even the cat! Simply selling yourself to the mirror will work, ask what they felt worked well and what you can improve on. This might all seem obvious but so many people fail to prepare and fail to achieve the place that was waiting for them. Remember that you are there to impress them but also to assess if the university is right for you too.
Personal tips to prepare for your uni interview
Once you have done your research and have prepared your questions, here is an unusual way to up your confidence. Watch a film that makes you feel confident! Picture yourself as that character and assume their charm. Don’t act like them but feel the confidence of being them. Body language is key, practice in front of a mirror holding an upright and open pose. Think of athletes after winning a race, it’s a natural instinct of success to raise your arms and releases the same confidence-inspiring endorphins as winning!
Give yourself credit for getting this far!
Prestigious universities and highly subscribed courses conduct interviews. So to make it this far is a worthy achievement. If it doesn’t go to plan and the interview goes badly don’t beat yourself up. Just be sure to ask for feedback so you can do better next time around.