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How to ace university interviews?

I am planning to apply for universities soon and heard that interviews are quite common. Would be good to receive some tips and tricks to acing them and what are some common questions they would ask. Thanks!!!!! business career university school interview

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Thomas’s Answer

"1. Be yourself (well, your professional self). Remember, it’s ok to relax in an interview. The best kinds of interview take the form of formal conversations, so feel free to ask questions during it.

2. Make sure you find out exactly what to expect. If you don’t know what the interview format will be or whether you need to bring anything, it’s perfectly fine to email or phone the university to ask. If you know the name of the interviewer, do a little bit of internet research and see if you share any interests.

3. Get there 15 minutes early. Make sure you know where you are going and have contact details so you can call them if there is a problem.

4. Research your course and the university (and we mean thoroughly). Scour every inch of the information available and make sure you have properly read the course syllabus. Think about what particularly interests you about the course. Is there a particular module that that piques your interest? Why are you choosing to study it and what are you specifically interested in? Ask around and see if you know anyone who is already doing that course, or if not, someone already at the university, so you can get insider info.

5. Make sure you read over your personal statement. It’s likely that they might ask you about it. If you have claimed to have read a book in the personal statement, and actually haven’t, now would be the time to read it.

6. Have a look at our article on university interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Don’t learn your answers off by heart though; you don’t want to sound robotic.

7. Ask a teacher or careers adviser at school to give you a mock interview. For extra practice, get a friend or your parents to hit you with some difficult interview questions.

8. Come prepared with a list of questions about the course or the university. Keep it restricted to academic stuff. It’s best not to ask them: “Where’s the best place to get wasted?” Just a thought.

9. Read around the subject you are applying for. You want to show interest beyond what you have been taught in the classroom. Have a look at relevant newspaper articles, browse the internet or read professional publications. Read around the areas of the subject that really interest you (and are included in the course); that way you can draw your interviewer into a discussion about it. Don’t worry, they aren’t expecting you to be an expert, but they are looking for a passion and interest in the subject.

10. Remember, it’s not just about the university choosing you, you want to scope out the university too. They want to attract the top candidates, so there’s a bit of wooing going on their end too."

Source: https://www.allaboutcareers.com/university/how-to-prepare-for-a-university-interview/
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Khushi’s Answer

The best piece of advice I would give to anyone is:
- to be yourself
When I was preparing for interviews myself, I didn't see how that would help. However, when applying to university/college the interviewer and academic team want to see who you are as a person but also how would you as an individual benefit the university! Just being yourself in the interview and being honest within your approach and answers is the best thing to do. I would also recommend:
- research into the course: what is the content like, which qualities are they looking for in the student
- self-confidence
- honesty
- try making mock questions to help you prepare, normally the most common questions are: Why this course? Why this university? Why do you think you're a good candidate for this course?
- dress smart - appearance is key!
- arrive early

Hope this helps!
-K
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Sanober’s Answer

Hi there!

Great question-- many universities opt to interview prospective students before making decisions, as it's important to get a well-rounded view of the student before accepting them. Having just completed some graduate school interviews, I can offer the following tips:

1) Prepare to answer the question "Why this school?" Admissions and course directors want to know exactly why you were drawn to apply to their university versus the thousands of others. If you prepare your answer to be specific to you, you will definitely stand out.

2) What do you see yourself doing once you achieve this degree?

3) How do you learn best? (the admissions department wants to see if you are a self-driven learner).

Above all else, if you speak confidently and highlight your strengths while shedding light on weaknesses and how you aim to improve them, you will be great in the interview. Remember, they are on your side and want you to succeed just as much as you do, and there are usually no trick questions. They just want to get to know you a little!

Best of luck :)

Sanober
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Sam’s Answer

Hello! I recommend learning about the STAR technique. This will help you form a response to questions on the stop. Here is a summary: The STAR method is a technique of answering behavioral interview questions in a structured manner by describing a specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are discussing. The STAR method helps you explain in a simple yet powerful way how you handled specific work situations and challenges. Good luck!
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Ethan’s Answer

Hi,

I recommend, if you can, looking up the name of your interviewer on LinkedIn to get an idea for who they are. Beyond that there is no perfect tip, being yourself and being open and smiling lots is the best way to avoid any sort of awkward moment. If you have experience that you really want to bring up then I would recommend looking into how you can spin that experience into common interview questions and have something prepared for how and where you can bring up that experience.

There's no one way to ace an interview but just have faith in yourself and be confident in your answers!
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Rhea’s Answer

My tip is to show your personality. A lot of individuals go into interviews with the mindset that they have to perform for the interviewer, but that can come off as inauthentic. Talk about all the qualities that make you a well rounded candidate as well as your interests and passions.
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi g S.. Thanks so much for posting this awesome question! My best answer to your question at this time is that "acing" any interview...takes time and practice meaning if the university interview is the first time a person has ever been interviewed, the likelihood of acing may be pretty low.

My first tip, do your homework. Serious interviewers will pay very close attention to your answers including the depth of your responses. Your depth of response can be indicated by the richness of your conversation. This includes answering the questions you are asked (vs answering the question you want to answer...there is a difference). In doing your homework, ensure that you have researched the college/university that you are going to be interviewed by. Ensure that you can speak with confidence on your desired major (if you have one).

On speaking with confidence, being a good interviewee takes practice...just like being good in other spaces. I encourage sitting down with a critical thinker who can do some role play with you. Have them ask you questions and work on giving the best answers you can. From there, make notes on where your responses can be stronger and/or thinking of questions that you may get asked. Then be prepared to fully answer those anticipatory questions as well.

As to some types of questions that may get asked? Interviewers will typically want you to talk a bit about yourself. Believe it or not, this can be a make or break moment in the interview process. It is a place where oftentimes, interviewees ramble instead of using the time to give as full a picture as can be provided in a finite period. Be sure you know how long your interview will be and work on how you would describe yourself. Interviewers may also spend some time sharing about themselves, their connection to the college/university and details about the college/university. While they are speaking, be a keen listener and where you can, from your research, build on their commentary when it is your turn to respond.

What I share here is but a small sample of some tips that I hope you find helpful. Best of luck to you!
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Matt’s Answer

Arrive early. Do your research on the university so you show your interest. Do not overthink it and just be yourself. Be polite and respectful. Just always remind interest subtly with your answers. With behavioral questions, use the STAR method.
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Jason’s Answer

Hello, there have been some great responses here but I would like to add a bit of perspective as well. Virtually every interview is about fit and its a two way street; would the University fit your needs and do you fit theirs. You want to interview them as much as they are interviewing you - this is why having questions prepared ahead of time is important. Consider for a moment what a University wants. Ultimately they are a business that sells a level of prestige. They want their students to excel in the coursework but also in life (got to make those endowment dollars). Are you the type of person who would fit in well with the existing student body, take advantage of the various benefits on campus, do well in your academics, and raise the prestige of the institution? Being able to articulate how you would be a fit for the school as well as determining if they will fit your needs will help you to be successful.

Best of luck to you!

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Cinnamon’s Answer

Hi there,
I would highly recommend as for any interview ask yourself "Why me." Why would you like to do with the education you are attempting to achieve while you are there. How will you give back to the community - many schools want to know what and how their students are giving back. Also do some of your own research on the school and their success rates with their graduates and what other programs they offer to help get their students ready for the real world. Do not be afraid to have questions as well to make sure they know you have done your research and are not just interested in what you are going to take away but, what you have to offer as well. I hope that helps Best wishes!
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