When will my interview be?

This tends to vary - interviews generally start taking place from early November and continue all the way through the academic year, although the earlier you apply, the earlier you’re likely to be interviewed. Many universities and departments interview at specific times, but they don’t always publish this information. Try looking at the admissions section of the university’s prospectus or website to see if it tells you.

How should I prepare?

  • First, have a thorough look at the prospectus, paying particular attention to the course you want to study. If you’re already familiar with the university and the course, it will show the tutors you’re committed to studying at their university. It will also save you from having to ask simple questions.
  • Go over your personal statement, as it’s an obvious source of questions for admissions tutors, and is often used as a first question in the interview to help put you at ease. Make sure you have answers prepared for the common ones such as “why do you want to study here?” and “why have you chosen to study this subject?”
  • Do some mock interviews with teachers, career advisors and/or parents. If you can, arrange to have the interview with a teacher or adult you’ve never met before, to make it a bit more realistic. The idea of a mock interview is to help you prepare for questions you might get asked in the real interview, and to give you a feel for how an interview goes. If you’ve haven’t applied for a part time job or other position of responsibility, this may be the first interview you’ve ever had to attend, and the mock interview should make your real one a bit less daunting. When you go for your actual interview, you may find it’s nothing like your mock – don’t be discouraged though, it’s all good practice.
  • If you’re applying for subjects such as medicine, biology or economics, it may be worthwhile reading around in magazines for information on the latest developments in your field. You may be asked for your opinion on these during the interview.
  • Finally, get plenty of sleep the night before so you feel refreshed and ready for your interview.

I’ve been asked to attend an open day

Rather than holding interviews, many universities invite you to attend an open or visit day. This is an excellent opportunity if you are able to go, as you will probably get a tour of the university, visit your department, meet and ask questions to the lecturers and possibly even have an informal interview.

What are informal interviews?

Sometimes universities describe their interviews as “informal”, which can often cause confusion, as students don’t know how seriously to take them. Informal interviews are generally used as a chance for you to find out more about your university and department as well as for the tutor to find out about you. You shouldn’t take them as seriously as formal interviews, though you might still want to prepare some questions and look over the course information. This is because they are often held before universities make offers, so your performance in the informal interview may influence whether you are offered a place or not.

What should I wear?

It’s probably a good idea to wear what you are comfortable in, but still look presentable enough to make a good impression. This could range anywhere between smart-casual and a suit and tie. We would advise against trainers, jeans and t-shirt, because you want to show you’ve made an effort, but if you really don't feel comfortable in anything smarter then wear that. It's far better to be badly dressed and confident than it is to be well dressed and look really uncomfortable in the interview. At your interview you will see people wearing clothes with different levels of smartness ranging between smart-casual to a full suit and tie - so whatever you end up wearing, there are likely to be people who are both smarter and less smart than you. Also remember that interviewers aren’t going to dress up for you, so there’s no need to dress up for them.

The consular may ask anything during a visa interview but some of the frequently asked questions are:

  • Why you want to study abroad?
  • Who’ll sponsor your education?
  • Why have you chosen this course?
  • Why do you prefer USA to study?
  • Why don’t you study this course in your own country?
  • What will you do after your studies?
  • Some of the sample questions asked by the consular during interview are:

    • Why do you want to go abroad?
    • Why have you chosen this university?
    • Who will sponsor your education?
    • How will you pay for your stay?
    • Why you want to go there why not other countries?
    • Why don't you study this course at your own country?
    • Why have you chosen this course?
    • Who are there in your family?
    • Who earns in your family?
    • What do you know about course you've chosen?
    • What are your hobbies?
    • Do you intend to work there?
    • What do you know about your university?
    • What will you do after completion of your studies?
    • Does anybody from your family stay or study abroad?
    • How many years do you intend to stay there?
    • What do you expect to gain from these studies?
    • Why have you decided to continue your education?
    • Why have you changed your specialty (if you have)?

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