University interview questions examples and how best to answer them

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If you're prepping for an upcoming University interview here are plenty of questions examples and how best to answer them.

Here's your guide to nailing your university interview questions...

Questions about the University

You'll almost certainly be asked why you applied in particular to the University you're interviewing for so this one you should definitely prepare for. You should have your own reasons - and no, "it's the closest one to my house" shouldn't be it.

As well as talking about specifics the University offers for the course you've chosen, you may wish to discuss other things that caught your eye such as societies, sports facilities or technical equipment available to students.

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Questions about the course

Another given: You'll surely be quizzed about the course you have chosen. Why do you want to do this degree? What do you know about the course? What options (if applicable) are you thinking of taking?

Career and study prospects

Expect to be asked about your plans for the future, whether they be full time employment or further academic work like studying for a PhD. Your interviewer should tell you if the course you've chosen is the best for your ambitions.

Topical questions

Depending on the subject you may be asked relevant topical questions. You should definitely expect these in interviews for social sciences courses - the likes of economics, politics, sociology and so on. Give your honest view with a well reasoned argument.

A test

We're not talking about full on exams like the BCAT for Medicine here, but something altogether more informal. Especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) courses, you may be invited to solve a simple equation or write/complete a short algorithm, e.g. Bubble Sort.

Transferable skills

It's not just about A*s, a lot of Universities will want to see you have transferable skills that apply to a wide variety of situations.

You may be asked for examples of you:

  1. Working in a team
  2. Being a leader
  3. Taking responsibility
  4. Managing your time

Questions about your personal statement

And here's you'll start to sweat if you've lied. Your personal statement is likely to be a prime source of questions so you best hope you really did read Stephen Hawking's A History of Time back to back if that's what you claimed.

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To prepare for these sorts of University interview questions, read back over your personal statement and consider what parts a University interviewer may want to know more about.

Expect the unexpected

There will be some questions you simply cannot expect ("Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?") and for these the interviewer is looking to see how well you cope under pressure and create a reasoned response. Take your time to consider your answer.

Don't be afraid to ask "for a moment to think" or, if needed, for the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question.

Typically there is no 'right' or 'wrong' answers to these questions, it's more about how you go about responding.

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

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