These are strange and unprecedented times for everyone, but particularly for prospective university students. Not only have they had their A-levels cancelled, but they now must also choose a place of further education without possibly even attending an open day. Communicating with each other over the internet via webcam has become the new norm, and social distancing rules have meant that most university interviews will not be conducted in person this year. Nevertheless, if you’ll be attending your interview online this summer, there are still some things you can do to impress your future tutors. Here are our top five tips for smashing a virtual university interview.
Be on time
When you’re at university, there’s nothing worse than walking into your lecture late. So, introduce some good habits early and make sure to log on to your interview at the right time. If you haven’t yet had your place confirmed and your talk with the faculty members will be the decider, the worst thing you could do is be late. Not only does this disrespect the tutors and their time, but it is also a reflection of what kind of student you might be. Put the date and time of the interview into your diary, or set a reminder for the day before so that you don’t forget. By being on time to your virtual interview, you will make a good first impression before you’ve even started talking, so this is definitely the first step to success!
Being prepared is the key to smashing any interview, whether it by online or in person. After you’ve gone through all the effort of getting an offer for your chosen university, it would be silly not to do even a little bit of research. Predicting and preparing answers to potential interview questions is crucial for Russel Group universities in particular, as some of them are notorious for asking tricky ones. You should think of solutions for even the most basic questions and never leave any stone unturned as you don’t want to be caught out in the interview.
We don’t mean that you have to fish out your best suit and tie from the back of your wardrobe, but it might be a good idea to at least change out of your pyjamas! Even if you wear a smart shirt, but leave your comfy trousers on, this will make all the difference to the first impression you make. Your tutors will obviously not expect you to look that good when you attend lectures and tutorials, but looking smart for an interview is always a must, even in these circumstances. Our advice would be to wear a formal shirt, blouse, jumper or dress for the perfect interview look!
Choose a good location
The current lockdown means that we can’t venture very far, so it’s highly likely that your virtual university interview will have to take place from the comfort of your own home. Having the interview somewhere that you are more familiar with might give you an advantage, however, there’s always room for things to go wrong. Before the video call starts, it might be a good idea to sit in a quiet location, away from background noise and potential distractions. The last thing you need is not to be able to hear your tutors because your mum is hoovering next door! Also, try to pick somewhere where there is a good internet connection and plenty of light so that your interviewers can see you in all your quarantine beauty.
In an interview, it is often all too easy to only speak when you’re spoken to. Unfortunately, your university will want you to ask questions and to get involved with the discussion. If you’re taking part in a group interview, you will need to ask questions to make yourself stand out from the other candidates! So, do your research beforehand and prepare a selection of questions that you might want to ask when given the opportunity. Also, the interview will be your best chance to find out more about your course. If you’re still sitting on the fence between several courses or universities, then your interview is the perfect time to narrow down your choices.
Happy interviewing, and good luck!