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Higher education interviews

Interview skills video

Depending on the course you are applying for, you may be asked to attend an interview. It is important you prepare for these interviews to ensure you make a good first impression.

This video shows you how to approach a university interview, with key points to remember beforehand.

You will also find an apprenticeship interview guide, a corporate panel interview guide and employer tips on the Skills Jersey YouTube channel.

 

What your higher education interview will involve

Interviews vary significantly between institutions and courses. They can follow a traditional one-to-one question and answer format but increasingly students are asked to complete tasks, either individually or in a group, or complete other forms of assessment.

How to prepare

Before:

  • if you are going in person, make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there
    • plan your travel from Jersey in advance in case of bad weather delay
  • read the prospectus and any course literature 
    • you need to be clear why it is this course and this University in particular that you want to go to over any other 
    • what is it that makes it unique and interesting to you?
  • re-read your application particularly your personal statement 
    • the people interviewing you will have read this so it is important you remember what you said
  • research the tutors in the department so you know who they are and their area of expertise
  • find out about any current issues, news or developments in your subject area and read up on them
  • look up information about the department and course on the University’s own website
    • they sometimes have their own resources and advice on how their interviews work and what to expect
  • remember to think about everything you do outside of education
    • the people interviewing you will want to know more about you as a person, do think about the skills and interests you have developed through employment, or volunteering
  • practice: arrange a mock interview with teachers at school or at Skills Jersey

On the day:

  • be punctual, take contact numbers just in case something happens that means you will be delayed
  • do not panic, you have been invited to interview because they want to meet you and get to know you, they are not trying to catch you out
  • be enthusiastic, think about your body language and eye contact
  • if you are unsure about a question ask for clarification, or for it to be repeated
  • ask questions, this is your opportunity to find out everything you want to know about the course and University. It is good to have three or four questions to ask – do not ask questions where the information is easy to find on websites or prospectuses

After:

  • remember that an interview is also the chance for you to find out if a place is right for you so think about the whole experience
    • did you get a good feeling about the environment and people you met?
  • make some notes on questions and answers, what went well and things you could have improved upon ready for the next time
    • if you are unsuccessful, it is always useful to ask for feedback too

Tips for online/ virtual interviews

If your interview is virtual, you may also want to think about:

  • check camera and sound is working on your device
  • make sure you have good internet connection
  • stay away from any background noise or any potential disruptions
  • prepare your screen background to ensure it is appropriate 

If you are invited to an interview for a course and the cost of attending is a barrier, contact Student Finance who may be able to support you to attend one university interview. Email Student Finance or call +44 (0) 1534 449450.


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