The first thing to note is that no one really knows the reasons behind the number of interviews you may get, so don’t worry about it or compare yourself to others. I started panicking as most of the other English candidates went home and I was still being sent for interviews, but it all turned out fine in the end!
I’m studying English at Keble, but I applied to Brasenose and had five interviews: two at Brasenose, one at St Anne’s, and two at Keble. I felt that my first interview went so badly and came out feeling like I’d made a big mistake in applying. However, my second interview felt like it went better and the more interviews I had the more relaxed I became, until I even enjoyed my final one! It’s also worth saying that everyone else felt the same about their first interview – it’s completely normal so don’t panic and just try to get ready for the next one.
It can be a really nervous time waiting around and very tiring too. It may vary depending on the college, but most colleges have lots of student helpers and other interviewees in the JCR (Junior Common Room) for the duration of the interview period. This is often a relaxed environment in which you can meet other people, play games or just sit quietly in the corner and read or listen to music. It will completely depend on what type of person you are, and it’s fine if you’d prefer to spend time quietly in your room, but I personally found that being in the JCR was the perfect way to relax and distract myself from the stress of upcoming interviews.
Tips for preparing between interviews:
Firstly, make sure to give yourself some time off immediately after your interview, you may need to calm down a bit and it’s alright to feel slightly overwhelmed and upset, I know I certainly did!
If you have no more interviews that day try to spend a bit of time meeting the other candidates as the time will pass much quicker than if you stay in your room and hopefully you will enjoy yourself. I loved meeting other people interested in my subject and we even met up the following summer to go to the theatre!
Make sure to keep checking the noticeboard throughout the day if there is the possibility you might have another interview.
An hour or so before your interview it can be a good idea to spend a bit of quiet time going over your personal statement and any notes you may have to refresh yourself.
And finally, make sure to eat frequently and get enough sleep as the days can be exhausting!
Having multiple interviews often means you get to stay a bit longer in Oxford, so try and see this as a positive! Although I had a lot of interviews, they are only 20-30 minutes long, so I spent a far greater proportion of my time playing games and chatting to other candidates. I left Oxford happy to have had a really enjoyable three days, regardless of the outcome.