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Applying to university

Tips for virtual interviews

You should approach an online interview the same way you would a face-to-face interview.

woman looking at her laptop screen on video call and giving handshake

Currently, interviews for university places are unable to go ahead as planned. However, some courses and universities will still require an interview to accept you onto a course. Courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing will usually involve interviews, as well as arts courses like Music and Drama. For these, interviews aren’t a luxury, but a necessity, and universities will make sure interviews are done virtually. 

You should approach an online interview the same way you would a face-to-face interview. It’s a stressful time for both students and universities. To make it easier for everyone, and to give yourself the best chance of success, here’s some advice on how to approach a virtual interview. 

Prepare answers for common questions

Most universities will want to know your answers to ‘Why do you want to study the subject?’ and ‘Why do you want to go to this university?’. Have your responses to these questions polished and memorised.

Re-read your personal statement

You might be asked about some of the things you included in your personal statement so be sure to familiarise yourself with what you wrote. 

Check the tech

Make sure you’ve got everything ready for the interview: the internet is working, your chosen video call software is ready to go and you won’t be interrupted by parents or siblings while you’re being interviewed. You can test this with another household member (or another isolated friend) to sort out any technology issues ahead of time. 

Arrive on time

This will avoid adding any unnecessary stress. As with a face-to-face university interview, you should be ready to go five minutes before, and never keep the interviewer waiting. 

Have information and documents at hand

As with an on-campus interview, you may be asked questions about your personal statement, CV or other relevant information. Having these next to you means you can look professional and prepared when asked about them, rather than scrambling for an answer. 

Dress smartly and comfortably

Regardless of whether you’re meeting in person or not, you should still act and look professional. Online interviews are not the time to make a fashion statement, so wear what you’d normally wear to an interview. 

Do some of your own interviewing

The interview is your chance to ask your own questions, so prepare some in advance. It’ll show you're engaged in the course and interested in the university. 

Stay calm

Last but not least, remember to relax as you'll interview better this way. You've earned this interview based on merit, and with proper preparation and honest answers there’s nothing to worry about.

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