~Be the best version of you ~
Applying for university is a key cog of life in the establishment of your career. Preparing for the interview is another ball game but nothing to worry about as every university/interviewer essentially wants you to pick them, they have your best interest at heart. Remember that!
Being in a time of uncertainty there may be differences to the way interviews are held but that should not faze you. You’ve got this!
Below are some creative ways in which you can prepare for your interview, whether it is face-to-face or online.
One of the most important things to do before your interview is to research both the university and the course you are applying for. For example, research about the modules they provide for each year. The university website also highlights the style of teaching that would be used for assessments. This can potentially help you in creating questions to ask your interviewer. Also, try to have a couple of questions (the more specific the better) to ask. For example, find out the most recent updates about your course/industry and question this. Remember, it is a two-way interview. As much as they want to know more about you, this is also your opportunity to shine. This is your time to showcase your passion for the path you have chosen.
Following on from this, Breathe. Breathe. And Breathe. I cannot stress how important it is for you to remember to breathe. When you find yourself feeling slightly worked up or unsure of an answer to a question, breathe, and process your thoughts. Also, you are allowed to ask the interviewer to rephrase a question if you are unsure.
Additionally, whilst your interview is being conducted it is important that you stay hydrated. Nobody likes a dry throat. Make sure you have water with you for when you might need to drink. Next, regardless of how silly it may sound, have food before your interview. An empty stomach is not the best, especially when it rumbles (I’m a victim of that!) Lastly, during your preparation, you can search online for questions they may ask and create mock interviews with your family and/or friends.
Alongside the preparation tips given in the above section, when you have a face-to-face interview do not forget to sort out your travel arrangements. For example:
- If you are driving to the university find out about parking. Look for which parking area is close to where your interview is.
- If you are getting public transport make sure you leave enough time for any delays.
- If you are someone such as me who had 4 interviews back to back across the county, make sure you have sorted your accommodation and work out your travel arrangements from there.
Adding to this, try to arrive at your interview at least 15mins before so that you can have time to check-in and relax before your interview.
The tips already given can also be implemented when having an online interview. Below are some extra tips.
Firstly, avoid logging in during the last minutes. Take the online platform as seriously as you would a face-to-face interview. Try to log in at least 10 minutes before your time even if you are the only one there waiting as this shows that you have good time management skills.
Once your interview is happening, make sure to demonstrate good communication skills. For example, make sure your body language is still perfect. So, no slouching in your chair because you are at home. As well, when the interviewer is speaking, make sure to acknowledge them: smile and nod, look engaged and maintain eye contact. Also, the way you dress is still important; to be the part, you need to play the part.
Furthermore, as it is online this means you have control of what the interviewers hear. Make sure your family or those you live with are aware of the time you have your interview so that they are not making noise in the background. Also, you need to make sure that you are set up behind a neutral background. No power ranger backgrounds!
On the day of your online interview, one of the most important things is making sure that you do not forget to have your device charged. You do not want a case where it switches off.
I do hope that the things mentioned above can help you feel more at ease during your interview and help you to properly prepare. Remember, think positively and be confident. Think of your interview as a conversation.
All the best and hopefully see you around!