UCAS college interviews are taking place over the coming weeks, which will strike fear into the hearts of some would-be college goers.
Students should relax. Anyone who has been called for interview deserves a pat on the back, as clearly they have presented themselves well on their personal statement. Not all candidates are fortunate to be called for interview. The admissions office has obviously seen something in you that has gotten you to the next round. At this stage, it is very important to believe in yourself.
College interviews are usually short in duration. It is uncommon for an interview to last over 30 minutes unless some form of aptitude testing is also taking place. Generally they last between 10 to 15 minutes. Some individuals make the mistake of assuming that a 10 to 15 minute interview is not important and that they have more or less already secured a place. This is a very foolish assumption to make, as the interview process is essentially the deciding factor on whether an individual will be offered a place on a programme or not. Therefore, it is imperative that you present yourself well and that you are well prepared.
Firstly, ensure that you have the dress code correct for an interview. Present in smart attire, with no trainers, hoodies etc. When you enter the room, it is important to introduce yourself, smile and shake the interviewer’s hand. Usually the first question is an open question, meaning that you cannot answer it by means of YES/NO.
Classic open interview questions are:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What made you apply for this course?
These questions can throw some people off, so make sure you have strong answers for them. Other questions that you should prepare include:
* Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for this course/career?
* Why did you apply to this university?
* Tell us about your work experience?
* How do you cope with stress?
* What do you feel will be the most challenging aspect of this course?
* What qualities should a doctor/nurse/accountant (whatever the course/professional training you are applying for) have?
* What are your strengths and weaknesses?
* What appeals to you most about this career?
* How do you feel about moving away from home?
* Why should you be offered a place on this programme?
It is also imperative that you know your personal statement well, as interviewers will use this to form the basis of their questioning.
It is also important that you do college research. Look at the college’s website! Think about things such as:
- What does their website tell you about the college?
- Why do you want to go to college here?
- What do you like most about the college?
Lastly, when the interview is over, it is important to thank the panel, smile and shake their hands. There are numerous places offering interview skills training and mock interviews if you feel the need to increase your confidence. Why not check out your local FAS office or contact Galway Careers Clinic.