Ultimate oral interview guide

14. 11. 2019 | Admission

Smiling hr employer handshaking successful job applicant hiringHave you been invited to a university admission interview and are wondering how to prepare? Read our tips for university interview success including the most common questions asked at university admission interviews…

1) Review the course information

Take a close look at the university’s website and re-read information on the programme you are applying to, the classes offered, the activities of the school and the entry requirements. This will help you show that you have researched the course thoroughly and are highly interested in becoming a part of it. This could also help you ask some useful questions to the committee, which you will likely be given an opportunity for during some point of the interview.

2) Re-read your personal statement and motivation letter

The interviewer(s) often refer to things that applicants have mentioned in their personal statements or application essay, whether it’s about a certain hobby or a claim about one of the achievements. Read again what you wrote and consider any related questions that might come up in the interview, such as questions about your experience, a research you have conducted and a foreign language you speak.

3) Think about how you can stand out

Interviews will very likely ask you (in some form) to tell them about yourself. This is your chance to stand out from the other candidates and describe your passion for your chosen field of study, your career ambitions and the qualities you possess that make you the preferable candidate.

4) Plan some answers to common university interview questions

As well as ‘tell me about yourself’, it is highly likely that you will be asked why you want to study this course at this particular university. If you’re a foreigner applying to a Czech university, you may also be asked why you want to study in the Czech Republic particularly, and what attracted you to studying abroad. You should show your interviewer that you’re enthusiastic about your subject and very keen on their university; be as specific as you can with these answers. You can find the list of most common university interview questions at the end of this article.

5) Practice with your family or a friend 

If this is your first interview or you are simply very nervous, it might help to sit down with a friend or family member and try answering some of the most common university interview questions. Practice might help you become less nervous and avoid thinking too long about some questions. However, while some practice is recommended, try not to overdo it. At the actual interview, your answers should sound authentic and honest, not too rehearsed.

Dress appropriately

Although university admission interviews are often quite informal, you should wear clothes you would wear for a formal job interview. Read our other article to find out more inspiration on what to wear.

Arrive early

If you are attending an admissions interview in person (some interviews might be conducted via a phone call or Skype), make sure you know exactly where the location is and how to get there. Allow yourself plenty of time so that you can arrive to the destination at least 10-15 minutes early.

3…2…1…Take a deep breath, smile and be yourself!

This might be the most challenging part but try to be relaxed during the interview. Remember that the admission committee has apparently been impressed with your application so far to invite you to the interview, so just be yourself and show your interviewers that you are excited about the opportunity to study at the university. Also, the interview itself is usually not the most decisive factor in the application process, rather it serves as a chance for the application committee members to get to know you better and to find out more about whether you are really interested in the programme. Therefore, try not to stress too much about right or wrong answers, but rather respond honestly and truly to yourself. As long as you are polite, attentive, and prepared, it should only help your chances of getting accepted.

The list of most common questions asked at university admission interviews:
1) Tell me about yourself

2) Why are you interested in this college?

3) Why do you want to major in….?

4) What are your strengths and weaknesses?

5) How do you plan to contribute to this school?

6) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

7) What is your favorite book?

8) Whom do you most admire?

9) What is an obstacle you have faced and how did you get through it?

10) What three adjectives best describe you?

11) What activities do you find most rewarding?

12) If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?

13) Why do you want to study at…..?

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