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Biochemistry Interview

I remember receiving the email inviting me for interviews, and I felt so excited but also so nervous.

I really enjoyed being in Oxford even though it was a stressful time (looking back I can say it was an amazing experience), so I would recommend taking some time to wander around some parts of Oxford when you have free time. Personally, I recommend the covered market or just exploring the around the grounds of the college where you are staying. At Merton there was an ice cream trip one evening which was really nice to be able to just chat with the other applicants from the different subjects and places.

For Biochemistry you will receive two interviews, one at the college you applied for or were assigned and then another at a randomly assigned college. In my interviews they had a copy of my personal statement and had highlighted sections of it and was asked one question that was directly related to something I had mentioned. From this starting point they then branched into a discussion around a related area. So, read over your personal statement before interview just to help remember what you wrote and to reduce the surprise of any questions.

I had read before that it was unlikely that I was going to be asked the question ‘Why Biochemistry?’ so I was a little surprised when I was. Yet, I just took a second and then remembered all the reasons I had applied so tried to summarise into a clear sentence or two. This then led to more questions being asked leading to me thinking about recent discoveries in biochemistry.

In both interviews I was asked a question about a problem using A level knowledge and then was given more information and then asked harder questions. This was to see how I was able to interpret the new information I had been given and then link it to other areas of previous knowledge. Just remember to think out loud so that even if you are not completely heading down the right path, they can help guide you and see your thought process. After all, they are looking to find who they can teach for the next three years. I remember making a mistake on a question that was basic A level knowledge which caused me to panic slightly. But the interviewers are friendly and want to help see the best in you, so they stopped me continuing further with the wrong image and guided me to correct it.

My overall and advice and tips would be:

-Just remember to breathe and think clearly

-it is normal to feel nervous, just think of it as an amazing opportunity to matter what

-Reread your personal statement

-Enjoy being in Oxford


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