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Steps to Success » Preparation for Top UK Universities

The Interview Challenge: Preparing to Shine

Get a real-life taste of UK student life on i-Learner’s Oxford study tour. Take a look at the brochure and video for more details of the 2024 tour.

If you have your sights set on a UK university, especially Oxford or Cambridge, then you need to prepare for the possibility of an interview. Both these prestigious institutions require interviews for all applicants, including international students. The interview is your chance to shine, but with deadlines in October and interviews in December, time is tight. Start building your interview skills now, not just for the interview, but also to boost your confidence in class, future work, and social settings.  


Sharpen your interview skills with UK summer activities

A university interview is the place to showcase your passion and interest in your chosen subject. You will be face to face with an expert in the field, which is an incredible opportunity. It can also feel incredibly daunting! UK summer activities like subject-focused summer schools, study camps, or even summer tours can help you prepare. Programmes like i-Learner’s Oxford Study Tour allow you to discuss your interests with peers, expert tutors, and university admissions professionals. As much as possible, practise explaining concepts out loud, discuss interesting ideas from books you have read, and work through practical problems aloud and with peers.


Develop thoughtful discussion skills

University interviews are not just about knowledge; they assess your ability to engage in thoughtful discussions. School debates can be helpful, but consider an admissions-focused summer school for a more intensive experience. These programmes push you further, developing your ability to participate in challenging discussions and respond thoughtfully to questions.


Master the art of thinking out loud

In UK classrooms, participation in class discussions is highly encouraged. This, in turn, develops the crucial skill of “thinking out loud,” narrating your thought processes as you answer a question. This is gold for elite university interviews! Participating in UK-based summer activities and camps is a great way to develop this skill and impress interviewers.


For more information about what to expect from Oxbridge interviews and the whole application process, take a look at this guide from Seven Springs Education, our partner organisation in the UK.