‘We promise we won’t place a banana in front of you and ask you to discuss it or collapse in the middle of the interview,’ the tutor smiles.
Well that’s a relief, I thought to myself. After all of the ridiculous scenarios I’d read about online, I was delighted that the tutors were dispelling some of the myths the night before our interviews.
We were told we would have two interviews the next day; one related to our book list and personal statement and another of unseen poetry. For the poetry one we had to arrive half an hour before our interview to give us time to read and analyse the poems.
I looked around the room, realising that everyone here was my competition.
The tutors all seemed very normal and nice but I was still a bag of nerves. They wished us luck and told us to keep checking the board that evening and the next morning for our interview times.
My tummy did a somersault as I handed in the book list we’d been asked to complete earlier in the evenings; had I written the right sorts of books down? Did I know enough about each of them? Had I starred the right ones?
Keep checking the boards – the timings of your interviews tend to be pinned to a board in the Porter’s Lodge. Make sure you listen carefully about the location of the board and keep checking it during your stay, you may get a very last-minute interview at another college.
The tutors aren’t trying to trick you – not all of the colleges have a meeting before the interviews, some of you will meet the tutors in the interview room but remember they are interested in your knowledge and how your mind works, there are no trick questions.
Try not to be too intimidated by other applicants - however people come across remember you are all in the same position, everyone is nervous just like you!
Be prepared to be unprepared – so many subjects have give applicants ‘unseen material’. This is a great way of putting everyone on a level pegging, to stop students just regurgitating what they have learnt at school. It’s your time to shine!