You walk into your Oxbridge Economics interview, not really knowing what to expect, and the Professor of Econometrics and Mathematical Economics in-front of you cuts into the conversation, with a faint smile and a gentle shrug: “So, tell me about the ‘dismal science’?”
Now, if all is well, you will happen to recall that it was first Carlyle who coined the phrase the ‘dismal science’ in reference to the discipline of Economics. And with that as a starting point, you go on to dissect the phrase: examining why Economics may be deemed ‘dismal’, and exploring the sense in which Economics is an inexact science.
But surely it would have been almost impossible to prepare for such a question in advance? I agree. Nonetheless, I believe that there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success…
Above all, Oxbridge interviewers are trying to see how you approach and think through questions. So it is important that you present your ideas and thought processes in a clear manner. Even if you get a question wrong, a good direction-of-approach and logical steps to solving the problem may be more favourably received than a correct answer without demonstration of genuine understanding.
Stay confident, keep your composure, and may luck be on your side!