Well, it’s now November so you know what that means…the panic starts about receiving the email about getting an interview and although you shouldn’t worry as it’s out of your hands, and have no doubt done everything you possibly can; it’s natural to be worried about it and you certainly won’t be the only one. The main question I had at this time was how much work should I be doing to prepare for an interview that I didn’t even know if I had yet so hopefully I can help ease this for you. My main tip would be to make sure that you are comfortable with everything on your personal statement, particularly if it comes to books as you don’t want to be leaving this in case you don’t have much time when you get invited for an interview. I had just less than 2 weeks from the date I found out I had an interview so if you know it will take you longer, start earlier as you don’t want to be stressing about something you can avoid.
Another useful thing would be to try and immerse yourself in your subject as much as you can which won’t seem an issue as you’ll no doubt love the subject you’ve applied for. To do this, as I was studying law, I started reading the newspaper and seeing how the law was changing and how the law has impacted certain decisions. I even watched a few documentaries and TV Shows, which I know Suits isn’t fully representative of law but if it makes you excited about your subject then do it as not only will it make you more confident before your interview, but it’s also a nice break from revision.
Ultimately, don’t stress about doing loads of interview preparation as tutors are looking for your natural ability and your passion for that subject so don’t be concerned if other colleges are having more practice than you, as it doesn’t make them better suited for life at Oxford. I actually found that the way they conduct the interviews are in a way that you can’t fully prepare for them as for me with law, each interview we had an extract from law with a scenario that was made up for which we then discussed in the interview. So, no matter the scale of the preparation people had, in reality as long as you can articulate what you want to say clearly this is perfectly fine as they are designed to allow everyone to have an equal chance at succeeding.
Despite the stress of it all, the thing about interviews that I remember most is the utter enjoyment of them and driving home with my dad telling him all about how I answered questions and getting excited re-living how it went. It is an experience that you’ll never forget so make sure you enjoy it as at the end of the day, you’re having a conversation about a subject you thoroughly love, with tutors who love it equally so and genuinely want you to succeed and share their passion of their subject with you!
Also, don’t worry if you’re nervous, it shows you care, so use that as a positive and don’t let it affect your performance as everyone that gets to interview stage are capable of being an Oxford student, so this is a fantastic achievement!
Good Luck!!! xx