Oxbridge interview preparation in Paris
I spent a wonderful autumn day in Paris working with a student on his Oxbridge interview preparation. Talking about yourself and what you have achieved so far might not come easily at first, but it most certainly gets easier with practice.
Oxbridge tutors have a reputation for asking seemingly impossible questions, yet this is by no means everything that students get asked in their interview. In addition to subject-related problems, tutors will also ask applicants questions around what they had written in their personal statement. Even more important than knowing the personal statement inside-out, however, is that the student comes across as relaxed and confident in the interview. This allows them to properly convey their enthusiasm for the subject they are applying for as well as lets them show that they are mature and independent thinkers.
In my approach to the one-day intensive tutorial session, my student and I spent the morning talking through everything that he had mentioned in his personal statement by using the STAR technique. Whilst normally the go-to approach for job interviews, the STAR method is also great preparation for Oxbridge interview as it allows the student to structure their responses and convey what they have gained from their academic and extracurricular experiences so far.
In the afternoon, we then built on this structure by discussing potential subject-related questions that academic tutors might ask based on the content of the personal statement. I also prepared the student for more general questions, related to the university and college he is applying to.
I have every confidence that the student will do well in the interview. In addition to his talent for the subject he is applying for, he is now familiar with the interview format, which will allow him to perform to the best of his abilities on the day. Aside from being able to think broadly and creatively on the spot about your subject, being confident is half the battle. Whilst Oxbridge interviews are most certainly intimidating, knowing what awaits and what is required of them can truly enable applicants to shine.
Here are some photos from my time in Paris (it included a lot of tutoring but also some dog-walking):
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