This December I was lucky enough to be called for interview at Worcester College for Law. Having attended multiple open days and faculty events, I was really excited to finally be coming to Oxford for ‘the real thing’! I arrived the night before my first interview, which gave me the chance to settle in and meet some of the other applicants. The staff and student helpers were all friendly and helpful, and it was lovely to come down to breakfast for a full English (although I was so nervous for my first interview that I couldn’t manage to eat much!) I spent most of the day rereading the books and articles I’d mentioned in my personal statement, and chatting to the other applicants.
The interview itself was with two tutors, and I was asked about my EPQ before being given some scenarios to consider, similar to the famous ‘traffic light’ problem that is mentioned on the law interview section of the university website. The tutors definitely pushed my reasoning, and I had to adjust my argument at times to fit newly introduced factors. It was hard to tell how it went afterwards, so another applicant and I took our minds off it by visiting the Christmas market on Broad Street and enjoying a hilarious game of bingo hosted by the student helpers as evening entertainment in the JCR.
I attended another interview in college the following morning, which required pre-reading of a legal text to be discussed with the tutors. Having something on paper to refer to during the discussion was helpful, and I came out feeling more confident with the answers I had given. All the tutors I met were friendly and personable, and whilst the situation did feel intimidating beforehand, I found it easy to relax once in the interview room.
After the standard two interviews in college, all the law applicants waited anxiously overnight to hear who would be sent out to other colleges. I have never played so many games of table-tennis in my life as I did that evening, and enjoyed a Christmas film night and watching the election night coverage. Like the vast majority of Worcester’s law applicants, I wasn’t sent anywhere else the next morning, so was able to go home by lunchtime.
My advice to applicants is to get in as much broad reading as possible, not only around your subject but also on current affairs (most of us lawyers expected to be asked about controversial news items such as the prorogation of parliament, or how to legally advise Trump or Prince Andrew). I found that my mock interviews at school really helped to familiarise me with the pressure of being asked complex questions on the spot, so if possible ask a teacher or your head of sixth form to sit down with you and do a few practice interviews that closely mirror the style of the Oxford interview for your chosen subject; for lawyers, practicing discussing pre-reading is essential.
Finally, try and enjoy your time in Oxford as much as possible. Don’t bring too much schoolwork with you, as everyone I spoke to agreed they’d been far too optimistic about their productivity and we all spent more time in the JCR or exploring the city.
Overall the experience only made me want to study at Oxford more, and now I can’t wait to hear if I have an offer or not in January!