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Post Info TOPIC: University Interview


Mookish Deity Most High

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University Interview


I have an interview for a biology course on Wednesday and am feeling dreadfully underprepared. I have absolutely no idea what sort of they thing they could ask me, other than why I'm interested in the course.

 I'm currently reading up on recent biological news stories and re-reading my personal statement, but I have no idea what's expected of me, so am clueless as to how to prepare.

So does anyone have any sort of idea of the questions they'll ask me? Or have any tips on how to prepare/ general interview advice?



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High Mookish Shaman

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I dont know about Biology but I have done the whole university interview thing before, some University's dont bother some do. I think its more to get to know the applicants personally, make sure you will fit and let you see the place.

My interview day was very informal, I had the advantage of going with another two classmates, but we dressed smart all the same. We were given a presentation by the course leader and then interviewed in groups of three which was lucky for us as we were grouped together coming from the same college. However it was very informal and they just had a chat with us about what kind of subjects/events we had been studying at college and why we wanted to do the top up course. We all got in to the course in the end and it really was not the formal situation we had imagined!

You sound like you have prepared for any situation and with your vibrant, creative personality and smarts, I would say you will be fine!



-- Edited by Knives on Sunday 27th of January 2013 03:21:47 PM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Not knowing what they'll ask is part of the excitement though! :)

OK,seriously,I know new situations and unknown scenarios do cause you particular trouble,so firstly good luck! As to what they might ask,it depends on whether it's a formal or informal interview and what they're after out of it,i.e. is it just a standard thing done as a formality to ensure the person on the form isn't a total idiot,or is it a top-line school that gets heavily over-subscribed,and they grill everyone ruthlessly to get the best of the best?

As for what they could ask,why you're interested in the course is a good one. They might phrase that in two parts...why you chose that Uni.,and what you intend to study after it or what field of employment you're aiming for. They could also ask if you intend to do part-time work whilst there,and if you do,they might ask how you intend to cope with that and finding time to do your "homework" as well [i.e. tutorials/research projects/essays etc etc]. They might also ask if you're going to live in halls/privately,but only so they can tell you how best to secure a place once you accept their offer. [even if other Unis look better,don't give them the impression you're not totally going to go here if they offer a place]

Don't be afraid to ask THEM stuff as well [they should ask "have you any questions for us?" at some point],so grill them on things like how well they did on the last RAE,how many of their graduates went on to PHDs/employment [and in what areas ; the more varied the better as that shows wide applicability of skills gained on said course],what arrangements they have with local employers for placements,what courses you could transfer onto after the first year should you find this one not exactly to your liking,etc.

Also,if they ask something that throws you or you don't get,do NOT be afraid to say you don't understand what they meant or could you have a minute to think about it? You want to give the best answer,not the first answer. They expect you'll be nervous,so don't panic!

p.s. Ask about any student societies too.

p.p.s. Good luck! We believe in you! :)

Dave.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I'm afraid I have no advice my dear, as the applications process here is entirely different, but I just wanted to say best of luck! You will do great :) x x x

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I'm afraid I don't have any personal experience with university interviews, as the universities I chose either gave me an offer or didn't - although, I was applying for a course very different to my A-level subjects - but many of my friends did have to go to interviews.

Remember that all they know about you is what you've written in your personal statement, so you're likely to be asked about that - another reason why it's a bad idea to lie in your personal statement - or other questions about what you didn't write - one of my friends was asked to tell the interviewer something about herself that wasn't in her personal statement, so she talked about a holiday she'd been on.

As Dave said, they'll probably ask you about why you want to study biology, and why specifically at that university. Some of my friends from my biology class were asked about recent news stories and their opinions on them, so reading up on them is an excellent idea. Reading up on the course for that university is also a good idea: look at the syllabus, look at the modules, find out what interests you.

Do have a list of questions prepared about the course and the university, and don't be afraid to ask for them to repeat the question or give you a minute.

This website gives a list of frequently asked interview questions, so have a think about how you'd answer each of them (if they're relevant), but don't commit your answer to memory, because you'll sound like a robot!

I hope I've been even slightly helpful, but good luck, and try not to worry too much. They want the best students too, and they're expecting you to be nervous. You sound a lot more prepared already than you think you are!



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Mookish Deity Most High

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That's a great website Miki ; I didn't know UCAS applications were online only and you couldn't do them on paper forms any more. [Rather exclusionary though,but that's for ROTD...]

Anyway,I just wanted to add for Inky to ask if the Uni or dept. had any kind of induction programme for new students as well.

Dave.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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You're all such fantastically helpful people, thankfully this is the only uni I've applied to which does interview (though I'm not usually sure why). They did say that most applicants they interview are sucessful, so hopefully that means that as long as I don't really mess things up then I'll get an offer.

I think I'm feeling a little bit more calm about it all, but we'll see how things go.

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Mookface (mod)

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Good luck Inky, you'll be wonderful! Sending you good vibes :)

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Booky Mooky (mod)

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Good luck lovely Inky! Let us know how it goes :)

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Thanks guys. :)

It went a lot better than I expected, it was really informal for an interview and much less intimidating than I was anticipating (I was expecting a small room with an 'interrogater', but in fact it was a guy in a lab, with other people being interviewed in the same room at other benches). The interviewer was really friendly although he did have a way of making it seem like he expected more from my answers, but it can't have gone too badly as they gave me an offer then and there (again not what I expected). I'm so happy right now.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Yay! Congrats Inky,I knew you could blitz this! :)

(think you'll take them up on it,or are you undecided whether to go elsewhere?)

Dave.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Dave, I'm torn between this university (Manchester) and Newcatle uni, I think that in terms of pros and cons they're so close, on one day I'll think about it and favour one and on another I'll favour the other, it's such a tough decision and I have no idea which I'll end up picking.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Ahh gotcha. I'd take Manchester without a thought ; it's pretty much the [student] capital of the North and is centrally located for easy travel to tons of places. Unlike Newcastle,which isn't and is a bit isolated,and it gets all the horrible weather in the winter blasting in from the North Sea. In Manc it just rains lol. Of course it's your call. :)

Dave.

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Booky Mooky (mod)

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Congrats on your offer Inky!

As for choosing unis, have you been to both institutions' open days? When I was looking around, that was the kicker for me. It's also worth considering how each course is assessed - is one heavily exam-based, or one more project-based? Play to your strengths.

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High Mookish Shaman

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thats great news inky, told ya easy squeezy! x

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Vic, I've been to open days at both during the summer and I will be going to an applicant day in Newcastle in February (my interview day was sort of like an applicant day as well). So by the time I have to decide I'll have been to both unis twice, so hopefully that should help with the decision. As for coursework : exam ratio, they seem pretty similar.

Dave, I don't find Newcastle particularly isolated, you can get to plenty of places fairly quickly from there, plus I think it's a much friendlier city. In terms of the actual university I think I prefer Manchester slightly, but but in terms of location I definitely prefer Newcastle.

I'm so glad I don't have to decide for another few months yet.

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Professor Mook (mod)

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WELL DONE!!!

Also, remember that wherever you go, there will be things about your university that you think are excellent, and things that you think are bollocks. I know it's not MUCH of a consolation, but I hope that thought helps at least a little bit!

Also, well done for getting through the interview - I know you find situations like this very stressful, and you've done really well!!!

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Thanks Candy. :)

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Inky wrote:

Vic, I've been to open days at both during the summer and I will be going to an applicant day in Newcastle in February (my interview day was sort of like an applicant day as well). So by the time I have to decide I'll have been to both unis twice, so hopefully that should help with the decision. As for coursework : exam ratio, they seem pretty similar.

Dave, I don't find Newcastle particularly isolated, you can get to plenty of places fairly quickly from there, plus I think it's a much friendlier city. In terms of the actual university I think I prefer Manchester slightly, but but in terms of location I definitely prefer Newcastle.

I'm so glad I don't have to decide for another few months yet.





Aha - never been to Newcastle myself but I'm biased towards Manchester because of all the record shops they have lol,and there always seems to be something going on there or getting built. Still,no need for a snap decision thankfully. :)

Dave.

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Honoured Mook

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If you come to Manchester for a tour or interview again, give me a heads up-- I can introduce you to my much younger/cooler/hipper classmates and I'll treat you to lunch.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Congrats Inky, you should be very proud! :)

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