Today we have a special feature from William on the Economics and Management interview at Oxford.
Hi William, how many interviews did you have?
I had three interviews: two at Jesus College which is where I was initially interviewed and then one at Hertford College
What were the different interviews on?
At Jesus, one interview covered economics and the other covered management. At Hertford, the interview covered both disciplines.
Were you given ‘unseen material’?
My interviews were all based around my subject and there were no ridiculous questions. I was given unseen material in all of them. At Jesus I had to discuss an unseen article on airline collusion. In my economics interview, afterwards, we discussed solutions to the hypothetical problem about the decision the college had to make regarding the leasing of its property.
Then in my interview at Hertford, we discussed a mathematical problem I had never seen before and I had to attempt to solve it.
Did the tutors push you outside of your comfort zone?
Yes, the tutors definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. In each interview the initial question gave me the freedom to apply what I had learnt at school and from reading around the subject. Then they would ask more detailed and varied questions to push me and see how I handled questions on ideas I had never thought about before.
What top tips would you give prospective applicants?
Show that you’re interested in the subject by bringing in a wide range of knowledge. For example, I tried to talk about behavioural economics at every opportunity since it wasn’t something in the A Level syllabus.
Be prepared to have a discussion: the tutors want to see how you think and do not expect conclusive answers. Do not be afraid to ask questions and do ‘think aloud’ by explaining your thought process.
You shouldn’t just reel off standard answers…it’s a good sign if the tutors push you into areas you have never thought about before.