For the first time ever, potential candidates at the Oxford and Cambridge University will be interviewed remotely. The interviews which take place in December will have a very different feel for students this year, who would usually attend in person and undertake at least two interviews. UniAdmissions, the Oxbridge Admissions experts want students to have the best chance possible to secure their place at Oxford or Cambridge.
Dr Rohan Agarwal, Managing Director and Founder of UniAdmissions understands first-hand how hard the interviews can be, having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2015 and shares his tips below:
1. Test your technology. It may seem obvious, but practice setting up your laptop a few days beforehand and download the right video conferencing. Oxford will be using Microsoft Teams and Cambridge are using Zoom/Whereby for their interviews
Check that the microphone works and think about where you will be sitting for the interview. Make sure that it is neat and tidy behind you.
2. Think about how to make a good first impression. We all know virtual meetings are not the same as meeting someone in person, so try and make a connection from the offset. Remember to pause between talking, as there can be a delay.
3. Don’t read up on multiple advanced topics in-depth. Choose one topic and know it well. Focus the rest of your time on your core A-level syllabus. You are not expected to know about the features of transverse myelitis, but you will be expected to be able to rattle off a list of ten cellular organelles.
4. Don’t lose heart if your interviews appear to have gone poorly. If anything, this can actually be a good sign as it shows the interviewer pushed you to your limits, rather than giving up on you as you clearly weren’t Oxbridge material.
5. Above all, don’t give up. When you’re presented with complex scenarios, go back to the absolute basics and try to work things out using first principles. By doing this and thinking out loud, you allow the interviewer to see your logical train of thought so that they can help you when you become stuck.
Dr Rohan Agarwal, Managing Director and Founder of UniAdmissions said: ‘You only get one shot at securing a place at your dream university. We were inundated with complaints about technical issues from students following the BMATs, so we want to make sure that all candidates have the best possible chance of success when it comes to the online interviews. We have been working with students to ensure that they are ready for this day. The success rate is 18% to get into Oxbridge, compared to 63% when students work with us. With students having put so many hours of studying into the exam and interviews, you don’t want technology to scupper your chances. By being prepared and planning ahead will help ensure that you have a successful interview.’
Notes to editors:
UniAdmissions was founded in 2013 by Dr Rohan Agarwal whilst at university. UniAdmissions are the Oxbridge Admissions experts, tutoring students with a 63% success rate, compared to 18% without tutoring. They also donate 100 places a year to underprivileged students.
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