Today Despina is telling us how she felt welcomed into Wadham College when she arrived for interview:
Going to Oxford for interviews was one of the most interesting and exciting experiences for me! I had never even been to Oxford before, and I took a chance by applying there, since it was one of the 3 universities in the UK offering my course, Human Sciences. I applied to Keble College, but got my invitation to interview from Wadham College.
When I got to Wadham, I was welcomed very warmly by the student ambassadors, (who were wearing “I ❤ Wadham” t-shirts) and was ushered to dinner, just in time! The first night was nerve-wracking for me, as I had no idea what to expect, and I was stressed beyond belief. However, other candidates for other subjects who I met that night were very friendly and put my mind at ease, and they relayed their own experiences from the day.
The next morning, I found out that both my interviews were the same day, at two different colleges, 5 hours apart, and my first interview was only an hour after breakfast! However, there was something unique about the tutors at Wadham, as they had a small meeting for all the candidates before the interviews began, and introduced themselves as well as the interview process, which would be composed of 4 questions only for each of us, to last a total of 20 minutes. This made us all feel more comfortable with the tutors, the interview style, and each other, as we got to meet all the other candidates, and make friends with potential classmates.
My first interview was exactly as I had been told it would go, and in fact it was over before I even realised. There were three tutors in the room, and two of them asked me questions while one kept notes. They had told us about this, so I knew to expect even this, so it didn’t put me off that much. I was also offered a glass of water before we began, which was very considerate, and some paper to write on at any point during the interview when coming up with my answers to the questions.
The tutors were also very pleasant and since they had introduced themselves to us earlier through the invitation letter, I was able to put a face to each name I had seen, which made the whole process more familiar, and put me at ease, which was ultimately beneficial for my performance in the interview. What I also found very nice was the effort made by the tutors at Wadham to consider my background in context of the questions, as a particular question regarding the practice of gift giving in society was directed by the interviewers to the story of the Trojan Horse, which I had more-than-average knowledge of, being Greek, so I could answer that question with a whole new perspective. All in all, I found this interview to be very engaging and enjoyable, and the topics that were brought up were fortunately all areas of Human Sciences that I have a deep interest in.