After the university application process, you have finally reached the interview part. Most students will find this a nerve-wracking experience because they will literally be sitting right in front of a row of interviewers.
But don’t worry. These interviews are designed in a way to know more about you, your academic and/or career plans, and your aspirations in life. By knowing these, the university can assess you better. So as long as you express yourself in a good way—confidently, professionally, and genuinely—then you’ll surely nail that interview!
To prepare for the interview, here are 6 of the most commonly asked university interview questions you should prepare yourself for. Along with the questions, we’ll also be showing you a few tips on how to answer them properly.
Of course, a little introduction about yourself is commonly the first thing that interviewers will ask. Since the question is about you, freely tell them some interesting facts about yourself: your hometown, your family, your hobbies, your interests and more.
It will also be a nice touch to symbolize yourself or compare yourself with something that will make them remember you more. It is a formal interview but mixing in with a bit of a lively tune can also help you cope with the tense atmosphere.
The school will be curious if your interests are lined up with their institution. This is specifically true for particular courses and universities with an international reputation.
So before going to the interview, research about the university and have a grasp on their principles and advocacies. In general, let them know that you want to grow as a student and as an individual with them. If the interviewers know fully well that you have the same vision as theirs, you will make a better impression and have a greater chance of passing the interview.
This question is mostly asked alongside the previous question. Talk about your interest with the subject and how this course will help you in your career in the long run, be it being a great doctor, a successful lawyer, an influential teacher, a remarkable researcher, and so on. NEVER tell them that you chose the course because someone else forced you to do so. This will not have a good impact on the interview. Persuade them to believe that you are capable of making your own choices and that these choices are all part of your own plan. This will also give them the idea that you are motivated and driven in pursuing your long term goals.
This question is mostly asked in universities with courses and learning programs that are more research-driven. To prepare for this question, you need to research prior to the interview on the experiments done in the academe.
Another form for this question is: “what will you contribute in your discipline after graduation?” While it is easy to say that you want to be financially stable after graduation, some universities are also interested in your possible contribution to the related field. Contribution can be made through academic research studies, ideally on topics related to your discipline. After all, you will be working on a thesis in the duration of your chosen course so preparing for a topic you’re interested in before enrolling into school can be a good start.
This may be one of the hardest questions that you will encounter in your interview. However, with enough research on your discipline, you should be able to know what you want to contribute in the long run.
Every student will face certain academic challenges and being able to share them with people is a strong act. Don’t be afraid to share them to the interviewers. It will show your strength as a growing student. In addition, tell them how you conquer the challenges. This will show the interviewers the effort you put in to make yourself a better person.
Before ending the interview, interviewers will definitely ask you if you have any questions. Of course, you can ask something you are unclear of about the enrollment process. But apart from that, try to formulate at least one smart question that might spark their interests at you. For example, you can ask who their favorite thinkers are under their disciplines and if you know these theorists as well, you can continue on with the academic conversation. You can also ask about their beliefs and principles regarding education, work, or life as a whole.
This is probably the trickiest question in the interview. Some people may think that asking a lot of questions isn’t smart, but it is actually a good way to show them that you’re truly interested in their university and subject.
As a final reminder, you should always look and sound genuine in your answers. Don’t portray them to be scripted or rehearsed. Go with the flow as if you’re conversing with a friend—but balance it with professionalism. Lastly, learn how to answer with confidence.
Breathe and relax. With proper preparation, answering university interview questions won’t be a nerve-wracking experience!